Good nutrition is important for everyone. If you are pregnant, nutrition becomes an even higher priority, because you must adjust your diet to include your growing baby’s needs. You may have to stop eating some of your favorite foods and increase your intake of others. Focusing more on a diet of natural foods can provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals. Foods such as sweet potatoes are beneficial during pregnancy because of their high nutritional value.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, if you are pregnant, you should consume 700 micrograms of vitamin A per day. One cup of cooked sweet potato with skin has 1922 micrograms of vitamin A, nearly 300 percent of the daily recommended intake.
Vitamin C and Iron
Vitamin C is vital to the absorption of iron. Iron is essential to you and your baby’s health during pregnancy. The National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant women consume 80 to 85 milligrams of vitamin C and 27 milligrams of iron each day. A 1-cup serving of sweet potato baked in the skin contains 39.2 milligrams of vitamin C, which is almost half of the recommended value. A 1-cup serving also contains 1.38 milligrams of iron.
Dietary fiber supports good health by introducing natural bulk to your digestive system. One of the common symptoms of pregnancy is constipation. By consuming 22 to 28 grams of dietary fiber on a daily basis, you reduce the occurrence of this symptom and prevent digestive problems. Women should eat 28 to 34 grams of dietary fiber per day. A 1-cup serving of sweet potato has 6.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is significant for one food item.
Adults age 19 and older, including pregnant women, should consume 4.7 grams of potassium per day. Women who are breastfeeding should increase their intake of potassium to 5.1 grams per day. Sweet potatoes contain 950 milligrams of potassium, which makes them an extremely beneficial food during pregnancy.
Vitamin B-6 is an important vitamin during pregnancy, because it helps in the formation of red blood cells and may prevent morning sickness. The American Pregnancy Association advises consuming 1.9 milligrams of vitamin B-6 each day. A 1-cup serving of sweet potato provides almost 0.6 milligrams of vitamin B-6.
- American Pregnancy Association; Essential Nutrients & Vitamins for Pregnancy; November 2007
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Sweet Potato, Cooked, Baked in Skin, Without Salt
- MedlinePlus; Potassium in Diet; David Zieve; May 2010
- Office of Dietary Supplements National Institutes of Health: Vitamin C
- Office of Dietary Supplements National Institutes of Health: Iron