Pregnancy and digestion doesn’t always go hand in hand due to the increased levels of progesterone and an expanding uterus that relaxes the muscles on the intestine that ultimately slows down your digestion. Another factor that adds on the problems with digestion is the stool-hardening side effects of iron supplements, which is commonly prescribed during pregnancy.
As constipation is extremely uncomfortable during pregnancy, it will also put you at risk of developing hemorrhoids. By following a high fiber diet, this will help aid in regularity as well as improve your overall health and well-being during your pregnancy. Keeping your body full and well satisfied throughout the day will also aid in reducing morning sickness symptoms.
What are the Benefits of Fiber?
Foods that are rich in fiber are extremely beneficial during a woman’s pregnancy as this helps prevent intolerance to glucose, which is a condition that often leads to gestational diabetes. As pregnant women become more at risk with developing diabetes, pregnant women with type 1 diabetes may also reduce insulin levels with a high fiber diet.
What are the types of Fiber?
As there two types of fiber, it is important to understand the difference between soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber is known to add bulk to stools, which enables a smooth track through the intestines. Sources of insoluble fiber include the peels of fruits and vegetables, rye, wheat, rice, and nuts.
Soluble fiber begins to swell up like a gel-type substance in the digestive tract, this will slow down digestion of sugar and starch while lowering levels of cholesterol. Great sources of soluble fiber include, leafy green vegetables, fruits, legumes, oats and barley.
Here are 7 High Fiber Foods that are healthy for Pregnant Women.
Popularly known for its high levels of monounsaturated fat, avocados are also fiber rich as just one avocado contains 9 grams of fiber.
Just a serving of one cup of raspberries contains just as much fiber as 3 slices of whole-grain bread. Their sweet aroma and flavor is great for satisfying your sweet tooth without all the unnecessary sugar. Just one serving of raspberries will also cover more than half of your daily vitamin C intake.
Coconut water contains various essential nutrients as well as lauric acid and dietary fiber, which helps protect your body from developing an infection.
Oatmeal is rich in B-vitamins, iron and fiber. A quarter cup of oats contains 5 grams of fiber as well as a super fiber called beta-glucan which lowers cholesterol levels. This will definitely help aid in digestion and keep you satisfied for hours.
Considered as one of the healthiest foods you can eat, Lentils contain 15 grams of fiber and take only 10 minutes to cook. A bonus to eating lentils is the added 12 grams pf protein that is crucial during your pregnancy.
This perennial superfood is rich in fiber as just one cup of broccoli contains 5 grams of fiber. This versatile vegetable can be steamed, sautéed or roasted for a delicious meal.
Apples are rich in fiber as they contain almost 5 grams, some of which comes from pectin, a special soluble fiber that forms a gel-like substance in your stomach.
Try a bowl of oatmeal and sprinkle nuts and fruits for a great high-fiber meal. You can skip the milk and add honey to sweeten the taste. As most women prefer light meals during their third trimester, fiber-rich meals should include lentil and carrot soup, baked beans, vegetable stir dry, or a salad with chickpeas and bulgur wheat. Be sure to also include snacks that are rich in fiber like unsalted nuts, dried fruits, as well as green vegetables to give you bulk fiber that will also promote intestinal health and glowing skin throughout your pregnancy.
Foods to Avoid
Expectant women should avoid foods with a high glycemic index such as white rice and white brad as they can rapidly increase levels of blood sugar. With regular intakes of high GI foods, this will increase the likelihood of birthing a heavier baby and developing the risk of childhood obesity. Be sure to get enough fiber with a lower GI rating from whole grain cereals, whole wheat breads, and brown rice.
You can also enjoy fiber snacks such as popcorn, almonds, walnuts, and beans to gain more fiber intake and help you comfortably regulate your system. Just be sure to go for organic produce as they are found to contain more amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein.