Are you pregnant and craving potatoes? The good news is these root vegetables are loaded with nutrients. And, it is safe to consume potatoes during pregnancy. However, whatever you consume during pregnancy directly affects both your health and the health of the unborn baby.
So you need to take all precautions about what you eat and drink. You have to eradicate everything unhealthy from your pregnancy diet. So even in the case of potatoes, though they are safe to consume, have them in moderation to get maximum benefits. Continue reading to know if it is safe to have potatoes during pregnancy.
What are Green Potatoes? Can They Be Consumed During Pregnancy?
Potatoes are grown underground. However, sometimes they come out of the ground. As a result of exposure to sunlight, the metabolic activity on the skin of the potatoes rises due to which chlorophyll is formed. This provides the potatoes a green color.
Another product formed due to this phenomenon is solanine. This is a glycol-alkaloid toxin, which is considered harmful. Therefore, green potatoes are not supposed to be consumed, especially during pregnancy.
Is it Healthy to Eat Potatoes During Pregnancy?
Potatoes are healthy to consume as long as they are cooked properly and consumed in limited quantities. Speaking about cooking methods, during pregnancy, you should avoid:
1. French Fries
French fries are deep-fried in oil and speckled with lots of salt, so they are unhealthy for pregnant women.
2. Baked Potato with Cheese
This mouthwatering dish is not safe during pregnancy. This is because baked potato with cheese can trigger excess weight gain. It also increases the issues like gestational diabetes.
3. Fried Potato Chips
This dish comprises too much oily fat and salt. This can induce high gestational hypertension and increase the risk of obesity that can, in turn, give rise to other pregnancy complications. Therefore, fried potato chips are also not suitable for pregnant women.
Top 12 Benefits of Eating Potatoes During Pregnancy
Some of the benefits of consuming potatoes during pregnancy include:
- A Baby’s main source of energy in the womb is glucose. Potatoes are rich in glucose.
- If you are underweight and pregnant, potatoes are one of the healthiest ways of gaining weight during pregnancy.
- If cooked in the right way, potatoes help pregnant women to deal with digestive issues, especially gastric acidity.
- Potatoes are low in fat and calories. On the other hand, they are also a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamins B-6 and C.
- The half-soluble and soluble fiber in potatoes help to bring down cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
- Potatoes contain flavonoids that control blood pressure levels and thus are highly beneficial during pregnancy.
- Raw potatoes are rich sources of vitamin C and help to boost immunity during pregnancy.
- Potatoes are rich in iron, calcium, and potassium. These minerals are essential for the growth and development of the fetus.
- Potatoes are high in folate. Folate is important during pregnancy because it reduces the risk of the baby developing problems related to the brain and spine.
- Potatoes are a rich source of energy and pregnancy is the period that demands high energy levels.
- Digestion of potatoes happens slowly, so they help in keeping the expecting moms full for a longer time.
- Pregnant women suffering from under-eye bags can use raw grated potatoes to get rid of the same. Potatoes are famous for their soothing, bleaching, and relaxing effects on the skin.
Healthy Ways to Include Potatoes in Your Pregnancy Diet
Here are some of the healthy ways to cook and consume potatoes during pregnancy:
- Steamed potato
- Baked potato (without cheese)
- Stewed potato
- Potato soup
- Mashed potato
- Potato salad
Side Effects of Eating Potatoes During Pregnancy
Here are some side effects of consuming potatoes during pregnancy:
- Green potatoes (green-tinted potatoes) contain alpha-chaconine and alpha-solanine. This type of glycol-alkaloid toxin usually irritates the gastrointestinal tract. It causes diarrhea and vomiting and can also adversely affect fetal development.
- Green potatoes can cause potential defects like Spina Bifida in the newborn.
- Potato rich diet during pregnancy can trigger gestational diabetes in pregnant women.
- Australian researchers have discovered that the chances of type 1 diabetes in those children whose mothers ate a potato-rich diet and other tuberous vegetables during pregnancy increase.
- Rotten potatoes can cause food poisoning in expecting mothers.
- If a pregnant woman is a potato lover and consumes potatoes in abundance, then it can lead to a fetal anomaly as potatoes contain high amounts of alkaloids.
- Finally, but most importantly, pregnant women who are over-weight, are more prone to become obese if they consume of potatoes in excess during pregnancy.
How to Select and Buy Good Potatoes?
- Always select fresh potatoes. If possible, buy potatoes from organic farms or shops that sell organic vegetables.
- Wash potatoes properly before cooking.
- Select firm, well-shaped, and blemish-free potatoes.
- Select potatoes without black spots.
- Never use green sprouted potatoes.
- Don’t use potatoes if they start to get rotten even from a small area.
Therefore, whether potatoes are safe or not totally depends on the way you cook and consume them and also very importantly the number of potatoes you consume. Be careful and avoid overeating it during pregnancy to reap maximum benefits. Actually, potatoes, particularly organically farmed ones, are good substitutes to rice and cereal when it comes to satisfying the dietary requirements during pregnancy.