Four Reasons Why Potatoes Are Essential During Pregnancy

Posted on - in Baby, Food, Health, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Pregnancy and childbirth are among the biggest milestones of a woman’s life. Carrying a baby in your womb and bringing him into the world is an experience that’s inexplicable yet a happy moment for a mother and a family.

Why potatoes are essential for pregnant women
Me when I was pregnant with my eldest. My office teammates then gave me a surprise baby shower.

I remember when I got pregnant with my eldest, everyone in the family was elated with the news. My parents pulled all the stops to ensure I keep myself in the pink of health. That included preparing delicious and nutritious food during my pregnancy. My mom cooked food with all those preggy-essential vegetables like malunggay, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and even my least-liked veggie, ampalaya (which, I admit, I still can’t eat in one go).

One thing I noticed, though, is that my mom didn’t prep a lot of potato-based dishes. I mean, I like potatoes. “They’re just carbs,” she said. Guess what? She was wrong!

There had been studies proving that the humble potato packs a lot of nutrients that a pregnant woman needs. I should have read these during my pregnancy and showed it to my mom. Debunk the myth, so to speak.

So why should pregnant moms include potatoes in their diet?

1. Potatoes are high in folate. To be honest, I’ve heard of folate first in those ads for milk targeted for pregnant women. And those milk products aren’t exactly cheap. Surprisingly, potatoes have high amounts of folate, which is essential for the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and DNA development. Also, potatoes taste great, too (those milk products can sometimes taste like medicine).

2. Good source of potassium. Pregnant women are more prone to cramps, so it’s important to have more potassium in their diet. While bananas would be the top-of-mind when it comes to potassium, potatoes also contain this–and this power-packed veggie has the highest potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed vegetables! Did you know that a medium-sized US potato (about 5.2 oz) has 620 mg of potassium, more than that of a banana? Now that’s interesting!

3. High levels of vitamin C, B6, iron and fiber. These nutrients can aid digestion and lower blood cholesterol. Potatoes also do not contain fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

4. Makes you feel full for longer periods. As the baby in the womb grows, he will get energy through glucose. This is why you feel hungry and crave for starchy food. Potatoes can help curb those cravings and make you feel fuller faster. They also can help reduce gastric acidity.

As potatoes are a rich source of vitamins and nutrients essential during pregnancy, it’s also important to consider how these are prepared to receive their full health benefits. So instead of frying the potato or adding a dollop of butter or cheese, try steaming or baking them and use herbs for flavoring. One recipe you can try is the Orange Chicken Pineapple Potato Kebabs. See the recipe below:


INGREDIENTS Orange Chicken Pineapple Potato Kebabs
● 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1-inch pieces
● 1 lb petite/ creamer potatoes
● 1 lb fresh pineapple, cubed
● 1 lb assorted bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

Chicken Marinade:
● Salt and pepper, to taste
● 2 Tbsp olive oil
● Pinch of red chili flakes
● 1 Tbsp honey
● 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
● 4 garlic cloves, minced
● 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
● Orange slices, to taste

Pineapple, Potato, and Pepper Marinade:
● 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
● 2 Tbsp olive oil
● 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
● Black pepper, to taste

PREPARATION (Prep Time: 20min | Cook Time: 15min)
1. Place chicken into mixing bowl or plastic bag and season with salt and pepper.
2. Combine remaining chicken marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate 8 to 12 hours.

Potatoes, Pineapple, and Peppers:
1. Microwave 1 lb. of any varietal of petite potatoes for eight minutes, or until fork tender.
2. Place cooled potatoes, pineapple, and peppers into a mixing bowl or plastic bag.
3. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over produce. Marinate 8 to 12 hours.

1. Soak wooden skewers in water for one hour before grill time. Layer chicken, pineapple, potatoes, and peppers onto skewers in any fashion you like. Discard excess marinade.
2. Heat grill over medium-high heat (400°F) and lightly oil. Place kebabs onto grill. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning when necessary, or until chicken reaches 160°F and is no longer pink inside.

Besides the preparation, also consider the source of your potato. Yes, all potatoes aren’t created equal. Good thing Potatoes USA has brought high-quality US frozen, US tablestock (fresh), and US dehydrated potatoes to the Philippines. You can get these in major supermarkets and groceries nationwide. Check the Potato Goodness website and the Potatoes USA-Philippines Facebook page for more information on the super spud and some delicious potato recipes you can try during your pregnancy.

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