Consuming Yam during Pregnancy - Is It Safe or Not?

Eating Yams During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Gayatri Dawda (Nutritionist)
View more Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase, no doubt, but it is during this time when a woman has to be extremely careful about her food choices. If you are pregnant or planning a family, a healthy diet is important for you. Eating nutritious food will provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients required for his proper growth and development. Yams would make a healthy addition to your diet as they are a rich source of fibre, antioxidants, potassium, and other nutrients. However, many women wonder if yams are safe to include in a pregnancy diet. If you have your doubts too, read on to know the truth!

Is It Safe to Eat Yams During Pregnancy?

Yams would make for a safe addition to your pregnancy diet. It is imperative for pregnant women to eat proper nutrients so that the baby grows and develops healthily. Thus, one can not ignore yams which are low in fat and sodium, rich in antioxidants and high in potassium and fibre. Yams taste delicious and absolutely healthy, but only if they are cooked well. Fresh yams are perfectly safe to eat. Cooked yams are also healthy, but if they are refrigerated for several days, bacteria may grow, and if consumed, they can cause food poisoning during pregnancy.

Nutrients Present in Yams

Yams are a perennial vine which cultivated for their rich nutrients. An in-depth analysis of nutrients is given in the table below:

Principle Nutrient Value
Carbohydrates 28 g
Protein 1.53 g 
Total Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 
Vitamin C 17.1 mg 
Vitamin A 138 IU 
Sodium 9 mg 
Calcium 17 mg 
Iron 0.54 mg 
Energy 118 calories

Health Benefits of Eating Yams for Pregnant Women

By now you know that yams are high in nutrients and can be very beneficial for the health of a woman during pregnancy. Some of the benefits are given below –

1. Prevents the Chances of Low Birth Weight in Babies

Yams are high in nutrients, especially Vitamin B6. Furthermore, being high in Vitamin B6, they also prevent the chances of low birth rate in babies.

2. Cures Morning Sickness

The most common symptom of pregnancy is morning sickness. Yams contain an adequate amount of Vitamin B6 which gives relief from vomiting and nausea.

3. May Help Prevent Cancer

Yams are a good source of beta carotene and Vitamin C. They are high in antioxidants which can help fight cancer, common illnesses, and oxidative stress.

4. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure

Yams, being a storehouse of potassium, may keep the blood pressure under control.

5. May Prevent Anaemia

Yams are also a good source of minerals such as copper, zinc and iron, which may help prevent and lower the chances of anaemia in pregnant women.

Benefits of consuming yams

6. May Aid Digestion

Yams contain healthy starch, which is easy to digest. Plus the dietary fibre in yams may prevent constipation, thus aiding digestion-related problems.

7. May Strengthen the Immune System of the Baby

Yams contain 166 IU of Vitamin A per cup of serving, which may make the baby’s immune system healthy and strong.

8. May Lower the Chances of Neural Tube Defects in the Baby

Yams are a good source of folic acid, which is essential to protect the baby from neural tube defects. Thus eating yams may help your baby!

9. Strengthen the Bones

A healthy dose of calcium can be derived from yams for both the mother and the growing baby.

10. Prevents Premature Birth

An iron-rich diet containing yam can help prevent premature birth.

How to Store and Eat Yams

Yams should be stored in a dry place with some ventilation, but should not be refrigerated. Once cooked, you can freeze yams in an airtight container for a longer duration. Yams can be used in soups, roasted and served in the form of stews. You can also consume boil and mashed yams after drizzling some butter, garlic, and herbs on top. You can also enjoy baked thin slices of yams during pregnancy. Yam flesh is also used in waffles, muffin, or biscuit dough.

Varities of steamed yams

Yams are powerhouses of essential nutrients and vitamins. They have an abundance of benefits for pregnant women. This wonder vegetable keeps the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular system healthy. Adding yams to the diet can also help lose weight. Thus, it is safe to add yams to your pregnancy diet, provided it is fresh and well cooked!

Also Read: Is it Safe to Eat Garlic during Pregnancy?

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