Sweet Potatoes during early pregnancy

Sweet Potatoes during early pregnancy - Health Benefits, And Risks

Sweet potatoes are a sweet and starchy root vegetable that is loaded with tons of vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that plays a major role in a healthy pregnancy. They're an excellent source of folate which is one of the most essential nutrients that your body requires especially during early pregnancy. They're delicious, healthy, and highly nutritious. 

Sweet potatoes during early pregnancy

They're packed with many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, thiamine, and riboflavin and provides a good amount of minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. All these nutrients play a major role in a healthy pregnancy. This article is all about having sweet potatoes during early pregnancy.

Health Benefits of Sweet potatoes during early pregnancy

Sweet potatoes are good to eat during early pregnancy as they're extremely nutritious and provides several health benefits to both the mom and her baby. Some of the amazing health benefits provided by sweet potatoes during the first stage of pregnancy are described below:

1. Highly Nutritious

Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious as they're a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients contribute to the proper growth and healthy development of the fetus.

2. Rich in Beta Carotene

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta carotene, that your body transforms into vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to support your immune system, gut health, and good vision.

3. Healthy Gut

Sweet potatoes contain fiber and antioxidants that promote the growth of good bacteria thereby contribute to a healthy gut.

4. Promote Fetal Development

They're an excellent source of vitamin A that plays a major role in fetal development as it helps in the growth of your baby's organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, blood, kidneys, and so on.

5. Fetal Brain Development

Sweet potatoes contain vitamin B6 also known as pyridoxine that is essential for the formation of a functioning brain and nervous system in the fetus.

6. Prevent Spinal Cord Defects

They're an excellent source of folate. Folic acid helps to form the neural tube during early development. It helps to prevent the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

7. Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes

Sweet potatoes contain plenty of fiber that helps to improve digestion hence promote a healthy digestive tract and also reduces blood sugar spikes in pregnancy.

8. Cure Morning Sickness

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) which is well known to relieve morning sickness, a common complication during early pregnancy.

9. Reduce Stress

They're a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps to reduce fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia as well as increase birth weight. This mineral is well known to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety.

10. Support Immune Function

This veggie is a great source of vitamin C that is vital for both mom and baby. Your body requires it for tissue repair and wound healing, and it also helps in the development of your baby's bones and teeth. It also aids in the body's production of collagen, helps to boost your immunity. It also improves your ability to absorb the iron that is essential to prevent the risk of developing anemia in pregnancy.

Side effects of eating sweet potatoes during pregnancy

Although sweet potatoes are good to consume if you eat them in limited quantities. Overconsumption can lead to some side effects as well. Some of the possible side effects due to consumption of sweet potatoes during pregnancy are:

1. Kidney Stones

They're high in oxalates that cause kidney stones in the body. Overeating them can lead to severe pain in kidney and gallbladder issues.

2. Unhealthy Weight Gain

Sweet potatoes are high in starch which can contribute to unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy if eaten in excess amount.

3. Gastrointestinal Issues

They contain mannitol, a sugar that can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as gas or diarrhea if you consume sweet potatoes in excess amount.

Nutritional value of Sweet Potatoes

100 g of raw sweet potato contain the following nutrients:

Energy 88 kcal
Carbohydrates 20.12 g
Fats 0.05 g
Protein 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Folates 11 µg
Vitamin A 14,187 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.078 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.061 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.557 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.80 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.209 mg
Vitamin C 2.4 mg
Vitamin E 0.26 mg
Vitamin K 1.8 µg
Sodium 55 mg
Potassium 337 mg
Calcium 30 mg
Iron 0.61 mg
Magnesium 25 mg
Manganese 0.258 mg
Zinc 0.30 mg
Phosphorus 47 mg
Carotene-α 7 µg
Carotene-ß 8509 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg

Sweet potato cravings during pregnancy

Food cravings or aversions during pregnancy are very common. Some theories say that cravings for certain foods are linked to the expectant mom's nutritional needs. Some experts believe that sweet potato cravings could be due to your craving of eating something sugary, or starchy. Craving for sweet potatoes could also mean that your body requires carbohydrates. 

However, there is no scientific explanation to prove these theories. There's no scientific evidence available that can prove what a woman craves is related to something her body or her growing baby needs. So, if you're having sweet potato carvings, go ahead and indulge in moderation.

Raw Sweet Potato during pregnancy

The outer layer of raw or uncooked sweet potatoes can lead to nausea, bloating, upset stomach, abdominal cramps, or heartburn during pregnancy. They contain an enzyme inhibitor that can make digestion difficult if eaten in larger quantities. So, it's better to cook them before eating when pregnant.

Ways to include Sweet Potatoes in your pregnancy diet

Here are some of the easiest ways to include this versatile veggie in your pregnancy diet:

-> You can bake or steam sweet potato to satisfy your hunger pangs or sweet cravings. Peel the skin of the sweet potato and cut it into thin slices. Squeeze lemon on them and sprinkle salt and pepper on them. 

-> You can add sweet potatoes to other vegetables of your choice to make a healthy and nutritious dish.

-> Add boiled sweet potatoes to your salad to make a quick and healthy snack.

-> Mash the boiled sweet potato in a bowl. Add salt, sour cream, olive oil, and pepper to it. Garnish it with cilantro.

-> You can enjoy sweet potato chips as snacks.

-> You can also prepare sweet potatoes dessert to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can you eat raw sweet potatoes during early pregnancy?

No, don't eat raw sweet potatoes in early pregnancy as the outer layer of uncooked sweet potatoes can lead to health complications such as nausea, bloating, or heartburn.

2 Can sweet potatoes cause miscarriage?

Sweet potatoes contain a high amount of vitamin A. Intake of an increased amount of vitamin A during early pregnancy could be associated with congenital malformations and miscarriage. More than 15,000 IU of vitamin A in a daily diet or more than 10,000 IU in the form of supplements increases the risk of abnormalities in the development of neural crest tissues. So, avoid overconsuming sweet potatoes during your pregnancy period. 

3. Can we eat sweet potatoes in the first trimester?

Yes, you can have them in the first trimester as they're highly nutritious and contribute to the healthy growth and development of your little one.

4. Are sweet potatoes safe to consume during early pregnancy?

Yes, sweet potatoes are totally safe to consume during early pregnancy. They're rich in nutrients, low in fat content, and are easy to include in the diet. You can have this versatile veggie during all three stages of your pregnancy.

5. Is sweet potato good for early pregnancy?

Sweet potato is an amazing source of numerous vital nutrients that your body needs to nourish your baby during pregnancy. So, it's good to include this versatile veggie in your pregnancy diet.

6. Can I eat sweet potatoes in early pregnancy?

Sweet potatoes are good to consume during early pregnancy as well if you've them in moderation. They're highly nutritious and provide you many health benefits during your pregnancy period. So, you can have them in early pregnancy.

7. Is it safe to eat sweet potatoes in pregnancy?

Yes, sweet potatoes are considered safe to consume during pregnancy. They're a great source of vitamins, folic acid, antioxidants, and fiber. All these nutrients are vital for a healthy pregnancy.

Sweet potatoes don't cause any harm to you or your growing baby if you have them in limited quantities. They're an excellent source of vital nutrients that are required to maintain maternal health and for the healthy growth and development of the fetus. Sweet potatoes are among the best foods during pregnancy due to their high nutritional value. 

If you're still unsure about the consumption of sweet potatoes during the first stage of your pregnancy just consult your doctor and talk about your concerns.

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Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and 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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