Myth or Fact: Pounded Yam Increases Body Weight During Pregnancy


Contrary to popular belief, yams are a great meal for your diet during pregnancy. They’re known for their high carbohydrate content, providing substantial energy. Some pregnant women withdraw from consuming any form of yam due to a fear of excessive weight gain. 


Yams contain enough collagen and dietary fibre to help your digestive system and strengthen your skin. Before discussing whether it adds a significant amount of weight during pregnancy, let’s look at the nutritional constituents of yams. 


Nutritional value of yams

Yams are a nutrient-rich crop with versatile uses and preparations. Below is the nutritional value of yams:

  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Dietary fibre
  • Carbohydrate
  • Proteins
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium

How to eat yams

You can prepare yam in different ways. They include:

  • Fried yam
  • Boiled yam
  • Roasted yam
  • Pounded yam
  • Porridge yam
  • Yam balls


Health benefits of pounded yam during pregnancy

In pregnancy, pounded yam is a powerhouse of nutrients. You and your growing foetus will derive the following benefits from pounded yam:


  • Eases constipation

Because your digestion is slower during pregnancy, you may have recurrent cases of constipation. Pounded yam contains high dietary fibre that breaks down food particles and promotes better bowel movement. 


  • Reduces blood sugar

It’s popular belief that pounded yam contains a high amount of sugar. Thus, it’s unsafe during pregnancy. Yam may help regulate blood sugar during pregnancy.


  • Reduces inflammation

During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by 50%. As such, fluid retention is frequent, which causes inflammation and swelling. Yams contain antioxidants that help reduce the level of inflammation in your body. However, excess swelling may be associated with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. Ensure to consult your medical practitioner. 


  • Prevents underweight birth

Consumption of pounded yam during pregnancy reduces your chances of giving birth to an underweight baby upon delivery.


  • Improves morning sickness

Yams contain a substantial amount of vitamin B6 that helps to reduce morning sickness in pregnancy. 


  • Manage blood pressure

Due to their high potassium content, they help to manage blood pressure during pregnancy.


Does pounded yam increase weight during pregnancy?

Pounded yam doesn’t increase your weight during pregnancy. Yam consumption reduces your appetite and fills you faster than any other meal. As such, it may aid in weight loss during pregnancy.


Is it safe to consume pounded yam during pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to consume yam in any form during pregnancy. However, avoid wild yams as they cause a high level of irritation. Pair your pounded yam with your favourite soup, and you’re good to go, mama!


Do yams have any side effects during pregnancy?

  • When eaten frequently may cause headaches and nausea in some people. 
  • People with protein S deficiency may avoid pounded yam. It increases blood clots because it mimics oestrogen. Wild yams are known for this attribute. 


Pounded yam consumption is generally safe in pregnancy. Pounded yam promotes weight loss and boosts bodily performance for you and your baby. However, speak with your nutritionist or doctor if you experience discomfort after eating pounded yam. 


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