Potatoes During Pregnancy - Are They Safe?

Potatoes During Pregnancy - Health Benefits, Nutritional Value, And Side Effects

Pregnancy is a phase of a women's life where she needs to be cautious about what she eats as it not only affects her own health but her growing baby's too. You've to avoid certain foods to ensure your baby's well being while pregnant. Now if you're wondering whether potatoes are safe to consume during pregnancy or not. Read this article to know all about having potatoes, their health benefits, risks, side effects, and nutritional value. 

Potato during pregnancy

Health Benefits of potatoes during pregnancy

Potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are required for a healthy pregnancy. Here are some of the health benefits of consuming potatoes during pregnancy:

1. Great Source of Folate

Potatoes are a good source of folate. Folate plays a major role in the healthy growth and proper development of the baby in the womb. It also helps to reduce the risk of developing neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies. Consuming folate-rich foods during early pregnancy also helps to prevent miscarriage. 

2. The Rich source of Carbohydrates

Potatoes are high in carbohydrates that are the main source of energy in your diet. They broke down into simple sugars such as glucose to supply energy to body cells and support your growing baby during your pregnancy period.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Potatoes contain potassium, a mineral that is well known to lower blood pressure levels thereby reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

4. Promotes Heart Health

Potatoes are a good source of fiber that helps to lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood thereby reduces the risk of developing heart-related issues.

5. Relieves Constipation

The high dietary fiber content of potatoes makes them ideal for those expectant mothers who are suffering from constipation, a common pregnancy complication. Consumption of potatoes helps to fight constipation thereby improves digestion. 

6. Immunity Booster

Potatoes contain vitamin C which works as an immunity booster. The vitamin C content of potatoes helps to fight against infections and various diseases. Pregnant women are more prone to develop infections or diseases. Consumption of vitamin C rich food during pregnancy helps to boost your immunity and keep you away from infections and diseases. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb more iron which in turn helps to prevent the risk of developing anemia. It also acts as an antioxidant and prevents cells from damage from free radicals.

7. Promotes Fetal Development

They're an excellent source of folate, vitamins, minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and many more. All of these nutrients play a key role in the healthy growth and development of the fetus. 

8. Excellent Source of vitamin B6

Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin B6 that plays a key role in energy metabolism. It is also essential for your baby's brain development and immune function. Vitamin B6 also helps to reduce vomiting and nausea during pregnancy.

9. Strengthen Bones

Potatoes contain a high content of calcium and phosphorus. Both of these minerals help to strengthen the bones.

10. Healthy Skin

Potatoes have the excellent collagen-boosting ability. They've skin tightening properties and can reduce premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. They help to remove dark circles and treat puffy eyes. They also exfoliate the skin from within thereby remove dead cells and rejuvenates your skin.

Nutritional Value of Potatoes

100 g of potatoes contain the following nutrients:

Calories 77 kcal
Carbohydrates 17.49 g
Fats 0.10 g
Protein 2.05 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Vitamin A 2 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.081 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.032 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1.061 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.279 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.298 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 15 µg
Vitamin C 19.7 mg
Vitamin K 2 mcg
Sodium 6 mg
Potassium 425 mg
Calcium 12 mg
Iron 0.81 mg
Magnesium 23 mg
Manganese 0.141 mg
Zinc 0.30 mg
Selenium 55.2 µg
Phosphorus 57 mg
Carotene-ß 4 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 21 µg

Side effects of potatoes during pregnancy

Some of the possible side effects caused due to consumption of potatoes during pregnancy are:
  • Overconsumption of potatoes can increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes in the expectant mother.
  • Overconsumption of potatoes can lead to obesity or excess weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Potatoes with green spots can contain toxic compounds such as glycoalkaloids or solanine that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. 
  • Consumption of green potatoes can cause certain birth defects.
  • Overweight pregnant women are more prone to get obese by the overconsumption of potatoes.
  • Avoid eating french fries, baked potatoes with cheese, or fried potato chips as all these food items are unhealthy for the expectant mother and can trigger some complications such as obesity, gestational diabetes, or gestational hypertension. Hence it's recommended not to consume such food items during pregnancy to avoid any further complications.
  • Rotten potatoes can cause food poisoning while pregnant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it safe to eat potatoes during pregnancy?

Potatoes are safe and healthy to consume during pregnancy if they're well cooked and you eat them in moderation. 

2. Is it safe to eat potato chips during pregnancy?

Potato chips are fried and unhealthy. Consumption of potato chips can lead to excess weight gain or increase the chances of developing gestational diabetes. So, it's better to avoid consuming potato chips while pregnant. However, you can consume them occasionally in a moderate amount if you're not suffering from any medical condition such as gestational diabetes or hypertension. 

3. How to choose the right potatoes?

  • Avoid buying those potatoes which have green spots, black spots.
  • Choose the potatoes that are firm and blemish-free.

4. Is it healthy to eat potatoes during pregnancy?

Yes, potatoes are healthy to consume during pregnancy as long as they're well cooked and consumed in the right amount.

5. Is it safe to eat green potatoes during pregnancy?

Green potatoes may contain toxic compounds such as solanine that can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or vomiting. That's why it's better to avoid consuming green potatoes during pregnancy.

6. What are the healthy ways to include potatoes in your pregnancy diet?

Wash potatoes thoroughly before cooking. Some of the healthy ways to include potatoes in your pregnancy diet are:
  • Stewed Potatoes
  • Potato with other veggies
  • Potato Soup
  • Steamed potatoes
  • Potato Salad
  • Mashed Potatoes (with yogurt or other veggies)
  • Baked Potatoes without Cheese 

7. Can I eat potatoes during pregnancy?

Potatoes are safe, healthy, and highly nutritious. It's good to consume them in your pregnancy period but in limited quantities. 

8. Do potatoes trigger gestational diabetes?

Excess consumption of potatoes during pregnancy can trigger gestational diabetes. Remember that moderation is the key. So, if you've potato cravings sometime then you can have them but in limited quantity. 

9. Is it safe to eat green sprouted potatoes during pregnancy?

Green sprouted potatoes may contain toxic compounds such as glycoalkaloids or solanine which can cause gastrointestinal issues or have adverse effects on your nervous system too. So, it's better to avoid them altogether. 

10. Can I eat french fries during pregnancy?

You can eat them occasionally in a moderate amount if you're not suffering from any medical condition such as gestational diabetes, or hypertension. However, they're high in calories, fat, and salt. They're unhealthy and can lead to excess weight gain, gestational diabetes, or hypertension. So, it's better to avoid consumption of french fries altogether during pregnancy.

11. Is potato good during early pregnancy?

Potatoes contain a good amount of folate which is vital for the development of a fetus during the early stages of pregnancy. It also helps to prevent neural tube defects and other birth defects in babies. So, the consumption of potatoes during early pregnancy is really beneficial as it provides many nutrients to the expectant mother and her growing baby.

Potatoes are packed with vital nutrients and are healthy if eaten in moderation. They contain many key nutrients that are essential for the overall growth and development of your little one. So, including potatoes in your pregnancy diet is a good choice. Remember that every pregnancy is unique and different so you must consult your doctor before adding any new food to your pregnancy diet. 

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    Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and it should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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