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If mama is healthy, then the baby is healthy! Pregnant women in particular need to keep this in mind and make sure to maintain a healthy diet. There are many hormonal changes that take place in a woman’s body and having problems with the digestive system is quite common. Many pregnant women suffer from constipation, haemorrhoids, and diarrhoea. Having foods rich in fibre keeps these at bay or keeps it to a minimum.
What is Fibre?
Fibre is found only in plants, and it is not something that can actually be digested by the human body. We do not gain any nutrients from it, but it does provide an important function in the body. Having enough fibre in your diet ensures a healthy and well-functioning digestive system as it helps the body remove waste that could be harmful. Another name by which fibre is known as “roughage.”
The only side effect of a diet rich in fibre is that you may fart a bit more than you usually would. This is because through our bodies generally cannot digest fibre, the bacteria inside the colon and intestine can digest it to an extent.
What Are the Types of Fibre?
There are two types of fibres:
- Insoluble Fibers: This type of fibre acts as a natural laxative, and it helps in faster and easier waste movement through the digestive tract. It softens the stool and prevents constipation. It can be found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and dried peas.
- Soluble Fibers: This type of fibre helps to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Soluble fibres can be found in dried peas and beans, fruits, vegetables, barley and oats.
Benefits of Eating High Fibre Foods During Pregnancy
A hormone called progesterone, which is produced by the ovaries during pregnancy, relaxes the stomach muscles and slows digestion. Adding fibre to your diet can make all the difference here as it helps to curb the irregularity. Here are some other ways that fibre is good for you during your pregnancy.
- Helps Keep Pregnancy Weight Under Control: As high-fibre foods keep you fuller for longer and they do not contain too many calories, they are a great way to help you manage your pregnancy weight.
- Helps to Prevent Constipation: Having the recommended amount of fibre in your diet will prevent you from becoming constipated, a problem faced by most pregnant women.
- Helps Regulate Blood Sugar: Fibre slows the digestion of food, and this prevents the blood sugar from rising too fast.
- Fibre Helps Reduce Risk of Heart Problems: Fibres help to trap cholesterol-rich bile acids in the digestive system, resulting in the body being unable to absorb cholesterol.
Fibre Rich Food Options for Pregnant Women
In order to avoid constipation and all the other problems that a faulty digestive tract can cause, add more fibre-rich foods to your meals and notice the difference it makes to your system. Here are some high fibre foods for pregnancy:
- Fibre Rich Vegetables:
- Green Peas
- Brussels Sprouts
- Fibre Rich Fruits:
- Fibre Rich Grains And Cereals:
- Brown Rice
- Whole Grains
- Wild Rice
- Fibre Rich Legumes and Nuts:
- Lime Beans
- French Beans
- Black Beans
Instant High Fiber Recipe
It might be tricky remembering to prepare these oats the night before, but this ‘Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats’ recipe makes for one good fibre packed and instant breakfast meal, and makes things easy for you in the mornings.
What You Will Need:
- One cup of milk of choice (non-fat, if dairy)
- 2/3rd cup rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Pour the milk over the rolled oats and then stir in the cinnamon. Cover the bowl with some cellophane and keep it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add some chopped walnuts, some sliced apples and enjoy.
Other Things to Consider
If you increase the amount of fibre you consume during pregnancy, then it is very important for you to drink a lot of fluids each day as it helps in keeping your digestive system working well as well as keeping you hydrated. The recommended amount of fluids you should be drinking is ten to twelve cups. Coconut water is especially beneficial to pregnant women as it contains many essential nutrients, dietary fibre and lauric acid that help in protecting the body from infections.
The high-fibre content of a plant-based diet is the healthiest for pregnant women as it contains less toxic waste than any animal products. Plant fibre ensures correct bacterial population in the gut, and it also helps to prevent the build-up of putrefactive bacteria. It is also advised that pregnant women stay away from soybeans or any soy products as they are most often genetically engineered.
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life. Most women anticipate it with a lot of joy. But in order for you to really and truly enjoy your pregnancy, knowing that you are doing your part for your baby, you must ensure that you are maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. After all, you are eating for two now. Remember to have a more plant-based diet and drink a lot of fluids in order to keep your body functioning at the best level it possibly can, for you and your baby.