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Eating Right During Pregancy

When I was pregnant, I was feeling a lot of mixed emotions. I was extremely happy with the thought of bringing a new life into this world, but also awfully worried for my baby’s health and safety while inside my tummy.

Since the very beginning of my pregnancy, my doctor strongly advised me to focus on proper nutrition and eat in moderation. I just could not eat whatever food I crave for, neither could I fill my belly with snacks high in sugar and sodium.

I made sure I consume a lot of fruits and veggies. Luckily, I learned that I could get a nutrition boost from potatoes, one of my favorite veggies! This was amazing because I love potatoes, which meant I could still enjoy eating them while I was pregnant.

Not many are aware that potatoes are loaded with nutrients needed by women who are expecting. Most pregnant moms I know assume that a potato-rich diet can either result to gestational diabetes that may affect fetal development; which is not really the case.

Potatoes are a rich source of vitamins and minerals for an expectant mother and for a woman who hopes to be pregnant in the future. Needless to say, it is always best to plan your pregnancy diet with your doctor or nutritionist.

I recently came across a US study of women in the childbearing age (19-50 years old). It indicated that most fell short of the recommended levels of vegetable consumption. Depending on a woman’s calorie needs, about 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables should be consumed daily.

With today’s diets, lifestyle choices and distractions, most women go with just a little over a cup of veggies a day. It’s hardly ideal if you have a little one on the way. This means that you’re missing out on important nutrients like potassium, which can help you avoid horrible leg cramps in the middle of the night.

Bananas, one of my favourites, are a good source of potassium, but did you know potatoes are much better? Over the course of my pregnancy, I found out several reasons why this tuberous crop is valuable during pregnancy:

  • Potatoes rank highest in potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed vegetables. A medium-sized US potato with the skin on at about 5.2 ounces packs 620 mg of potassium. With that size and prepared, you’ll get only 110 calories. 
  • Potatoes have no fat, sodium or cholesterol. 
  • Potatoes are a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamins B-6 and C. Plus iron and fiber, it help in digestion and lower blood cholesterol. 
  • Potatoes are high in folate, which is important in pregnancy for normal fetal brain and spinal cord development. Folate is needed for the development of DNA and other genetic material. 
  • Glucose is the baby’s main source of energy in the womb. Glucose is found in potatoes. This may explain why your blood sugar levels may drop and cravings for starchy food begin. 
  • Potatoes help in your diet. Since potatoes digest slowly, it can help in keeping the moms-to-be full for a longer time. 
  • Potatoes can help reduce gastric acidity. Potatoes are a convenient and delicious way to answer the call of cravings. If cooked in the right way, potatoes can help pregnant women’s digestive issues especially gastric acidity. 

With all things in moderation, eating right, especially during your pregnancy, entails not just consuming the right foods, but the right amounts prepared the right way. It is best to avoid deep fried preparations and choose less processed dishes like boiled potatoes seasoned with spices, olive oil, and vinaigrette.

All you need is to thoroughly clean the potato for preparations with the skin on. I like mine baked or steamed with fewer toppings than usual.  You can also prepare potato dishes in combination with other vegetables and meat, or as a soup or stew. Bear in mind that mashed potatoes with some vegetables and spices will also make your day.

Potatoes USA, an organization that has thankfully brought US frozen, US tablestock (fresh) and US dehydrated potatoes to our shores, offers a lot of options for potato meals.
Here’s one healthy and yummy recipe to consume during pregnancy:


2 lbs. petite yellow potatoes
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Ingredients to assemble the bowl

10-14 petite potatoes
¼ avocado, cubed
1 - 2.6oz pouch of tuna in olive oil
¼ teaspoon dried dill


Preheat oven to 425°F
Rinse and dry potatoes and place on a baking sheet.
Pour olive oil over potatoes and sprinkle salt and parsley over the top.
Shake the pan to coat the potatoes.
Bake for 22 minutes, shaking the pan once during cooking.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Use immediately, or store in a container and refrigerate.

To assemble the bowl:

Remove 10-14 potatoes and add to a microwave safe bowl.
Heat for 30 seconds.
In bowl, add chopped avocado, tuna, and dried dill.
Mix to combine.

You can click here for full recipe nutrition information.

You can also visit the Potato Goodness website for an amazingly wide array of potato recipe options. High quality US potatoes can be purchased from major supermarkets and groceries nationwide.

For more information on US potatoes, you can get in touch with the local Potatoes USA-Philippines office at +632.534.8534 and You may also like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook for tips, trivia and recipes.