Sweet potatoes are beneficial for women both during and after pregnancy. Here are two recipes just in time for Thanksgiving.
Why Eating Sweet Potatoes is Healthy for Pregnancy
There are a handful of vitamins and minerals contained in a sweet potato. The health benefits that it provides can help you and can be passed onto your developing embryo. For instance, iron from a sweet potato can help your body make more blood for you and your baby. It can also assist your cells in transferring oxygen back and forth. The potassium contained in sweet potatoes will reduce muscle soreness in your legs and back as the baby grows, as well as any muscle contractions. A gradual increase in the consumption of fiber can reduce constipation, help with proper digestion and assist in weight control during pregnancy. It has also proven to help decrease the chances of your child developing asthma and allergies early on.
The vitamins contained in a sweet potato include A, C and B6. Vitamin A plays a significant role in embryonic growth. It is used to develop parts of the body like the eyes, lungs and bones. It is important to consume Vitamin A right before giving birth, because it is needed for postpartum tissue repair. This health benefit can help strengthen your immune system while also fighting infections. Vitamin C is used to help you and your baby develop collagen. Collagen is needed for bones, skin, cartilage and tendons. Lastly, Vitamin B6 is necessary to help both you and your child metabolize carbohydrates and proteins. It does even more for your baby by playing a big role in the development of the brain and nervous system.
Why Eating Sweet Potatoes are Healthy Postpartum
A sweet potato is helpful in promoting a healthy pregnancy, but it can also be beneficial after giving birth. It’s normal to feel depressed and drained of energy following your baby’s arrival. Consuming sweet potatoes can help you feel healthier. It also helps to increase the production of breast milk.
Sweet Potato Recipes
Now that you know how beneficial a sweet potato can be, here are a couple of recipes that allow you to prepare them just in time for Thanksgiving.
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
- 1 sweet potato or 6, depending on serving size, cut into 1/4″ slices
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of a finely chopped small onion
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Put oven racks on the highest and lowest third positions. Preheat to 425°F.
2. Take your pieces of sweet potato, beneficial for a healthy pregnancy, and put them in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp of oil and toss around until the pieces are thoroughly coated. Spread and divide the pieces over two pans. Put them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Switch the pans halfway through.
3. While those pieces are roasting, put the last 2 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir it periodically for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and flour. Stir for another minute. Add the milk. While stirring, scrape up any brown pieces sticking to the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high. Stir for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Take out the cooked pieces of sweet potato once the time is up. Get your broiler, and put one pan of pieces in a broiler-safe dish. Cover them with half of the sauce and cheese. Top that with the other half of the sweet potato pieces, then the rest of the sauce and cheese. Broil while staying close by. You must watch it until the sauce bubbles and the cheese starts browning. This could range from 1 to 5 minutes. Turn off the broiler and let it stand for 10 minutes. Top the meal with rosemary and it’s ready to be served.
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- extra salt and cinnamon or sugar for topping
- 1 sweet potato or 6, depending on serving size (any amount is beneficial for a healthy pregnancy)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 tbsp coconut oil or melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Take each sweet potato and wrap them in aluminum foil. Leave them in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. For a healthy pregnancy, it’s important to eat sweet potato cooked rather than raw. This is because you get more nutrition from it compared to eating it immediately after it’s been picked.
- Remove each sweet potato from the oven. Lower the oven heat to 375°F.
- Cut the potatoes in half. Let them cool.
- Peel off the skin.
- Put the potatoes and applesauce in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the coconut oil or butter, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture. Blend together until everything is combined.
- Put the mixture in a 9″ baking dish. Add the extra salt and cinnamon or sugar as well as the pecans.
- Leave the pan in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. When the potatoes start to bubble, take the pan out of the oven.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes, and then serve.
The most common foods people look forward to eating for Thanksgiving is stuffing and turkey. Now, you can add sweet potatoes to that list because you can make one of the two deliciously healthy dishes. These dishes will supply you and your baby with a nice dose of vitamins and minerals. Feel free to share your cooked sweet potatoes with other expecting mothers. Talk to your family at Thanksgiving about why your dish encourages healthy pregnancies.
Related Content: The Link Between Infant Brain Development and Maternal Iron Intake