Eating Potato during Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Eating Potato during Pregnancy - Is It Safe?

Last Updated on



Any food that you consume during pregnancy affects not only your health but also that of your baby’s. Potato is a rich source of dietary fibre, vitamins, and other essential nutrients for a pregnant woman. You should have it in moderation to avoid any potential ill-effects of overconsumption.





Benefits of Eating Potato During Pregnancy

Potato is filled with nutrients that your body requires during pregnancy; hence if you are craving potatoes during pregnancy, you are free to have some. However, it’s best to consult your doctor or nutritionist before consuming it. Here are some of the benefits of potatoes:

1. Reduces Acidity

Potatoes are highly beneficial for those with digestive or acidity issues. A serving of mashed potatoes can help reduce gastric acidity.




2. Combats Cholesterol

The soluble fibre and vitamin C present in potatoes help in fighting cholesterol.

3. High in Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre is apt for pregnant women as it can help in relieving constipation, which is a common ailment experienced by many pregnant women. Potatoes are high in dietary fibre and can help alleviate the problem.





4. Rich in Vitamins B and C

The vitamins in potatoes assist in healing wounds and boost immunity. They also help in the absorption of iron from other foods.

5. Good Source of Folate

Folic acid is significant in the development of the fetal brain and nervous system. Having folate-rich food in the early stages of pregnancy reduces your chances of having a miscarriage.




6. Contain Flavonoids

The flavonoids present in potatoes help in controlling blood pressure levels.

7. Helps Fetal Development

Potatoes have large amounts of iron, calcium, and potassium, all of which are essential for the proper growth and development of the foetus.





8. High in Energy

Potatoes are full of carbohydrates and act as a good source of energy for pregnant women. However, it is vital to exercise and stay active to prevent excessive weight gain from potatoes and other starchy carbohydrate-rich foods.

9. Treats Puffy Eyes

Potatoes can help treat the bags under eyes, which are common during pregnancy. Placing some grated raw potato on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes gives a cooling effect and relieves the swelling.




10. Reduces Cardiovascular Disease

The skin of potatoes contains large amounts of potassium, that is known to reduce heart strokes and hypertension.

Harmful Effects of Consuming Potatoes While Pregnant

During pregnancy, you need to take care of your eating habits and ensure that you consume healthy food. Although potato is rich in nutrients, it also poses some risks to your health, and some of these risks are listed below:





  • Potatoes with green spots indicate the presence of toxic compounds like glycoalkaloids, alpha-solanine, and alpha-chaconine, which can cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Consuming a lot of potatoes can trigger gestational and type 2 diabetes in some pregnant women.
  • Eating green potatoes can lead to congenital disabilities like spina bifida and anencephaly.
  • Consuming rotten potato may cause food poisoning in expectant mothers.
  • Babies of mothers who have a rich diet of potato and other tuberous vegetables have higher chances of developing type 1 diabetes in the future.
  • Overweight women consuming an excessive amount of potatoes during pregnancy are more prone to becoming obese.

Cooking Methods You Should Avoid

Eating potato chips during pregnancy is not recommended, as it is fried and unhealthy for you. It may trigger gestational diabetes or may lead to unhealthy weight gain. Hence during pregnancy, you should avoid cooking methods like deep frying, baking potatoes with butter or cheese. Instead of frying and baking, boil or steam potatoes and add herbs to enhance the flavour.

Can Pregnant Women Consume Green Sprouted Potatoes?

Green sprouts erupt on potatoes as a result of the chlorophyll, which is produced when the potato gets exposed to sunlight. The phenomenon also produces a glycol-alkaloid toxin called solanine, in such exposed potatoes. Solanine causes hemolysis, numbs the nervous system, and stimulates the gastric mucosa leading to death. Hence, green sprouted potatoes should be strictly avoided by pregnant women.




Does Frequent Potato Consumption Raise the Risk of Gestational Diabetes?

Potatoes have large amounts of starch, which get rapidly absorbed by the body. This can affect glucose metabolism, thus increasing the risk of developing diabetes. Hence, it is likely that overconsumption of potatoes can lead to a risk of developing gestational diabetes.

How to Choose the Right Potatoes

One needs to be careful when buying potatoes. There are certain things to consider when choosing your potatoes, to avoid their ill-effects. The potatoes that you pick should be:





  • Firm and well-shaped
  • Blemish-free
  • Having no sprouts
  • Having no cuts
  • Free from black or green spots
  • Thoroughly washed before cooking

Healthy Ways to Include Potatoes in Your Diet

Healthy Ways to Include Potatoes in Your Diet

Potatoes are beneficial for pregnant women when taken in moderate amounts and cooked properly. Some of the healthy options to cook potato are:

  • Baked potato (without cheese)
  • Cooked in combination with other vegetables or meat
  • Soup
  • Stew
  • Mashed potato with vegetables and spices
  • Steamed potato

Potato Recipes You Can Try

From the above-listed ideas, here are some of the recipes you can try with potatoes:




1. Potato and Onion Soup

Here’s a healthy appetiser to satiate your pregnancy hunger pangs.

Ingredients:


  • Finely diced potatoes – 1 cup
  • Dried mixed herbs – ½ cup
  • Thinly sliced onions – ¼ cup
  • Butter – 1 tsp
  • Salt and ground pepper (to taste)
  • Grated carrot (to garnish)

Method:

  • Put onions and butter in a pressure cooker and saute them on a medium flame for a minute.
  • Add potatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Pour one and a half cups of water, mix well and pressure cook for up to 3 whistles.
  • Once the mixture cools off, blend it into a smooth puree.
  • Transfer the mixture to a pan and add dried herbs, pepper, salt and half cup water.
  • Stir and cook on a medium flame.
  • Garnish with the grated carrot. Your soup is ready to be served.

2. Potato Salad

This easy and delicious recipe is quick to make and will be enjoyed by everyone.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked and diced potatoes – 8 medium-sized
  • Apple cider vinegar – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Mayonnaise – 1 ½ cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Yellow mustard – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Garlic powder – 1 tsp
  • Blended onion – 1 cup
  • 2 celery ribs sliced
  • Paprika – a pinch
  • Boiled eggs – 5

Method:


  • Dice the boiled potatoes and put them in a bowl.
  • Mix vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder in another bowl.
  • Add this mixture to the potatoes.
  • Add onions and celery to this combined mixture.
  • Slice the boiled eggs and add them to the bowl.
  • Top the salad with paprika and serve.

Potatoes are full of healthy nutrients for a pregnant woman and should not be excluded from the pregnancy diet. Potatoes are healthy for the overall growth and development of the foetus, and hence should be consumed in moderation and in a healthy way. Also, it is best to avoid fried potatoes and avoid overeating, as it can lead to problems like obesity, gestational diabetes, and other pregnancy complications.