High Fiber Diet – How Important Is Fiber During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is not always easy, especially on your gut. The hormonal changes that you see may cause havoc on your digestive system and do not forget the flatulence and constipation! This can be balanced by incorporating hi-fiber in your diet.

So how much hi-fiber food is important?

A hi-fiber diet helps in the following ways:

  1. Helps you stay full for longer
  2. Helps with constipation and flatulence
  3. Reduces the chance of hemorrhoids
  4. Helps in reducing the insulin intake in pregnant women with Type-1 diabetes
  5. Reduces chances of pre-eclampsia
  6. Reduces chances of hypertension

How much fiber should you incorporate in your diet?

As per the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women should consume 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber per day.

What are the types of fiber?

There are two types of fiber:

  1. Soluble fiber: These swells to form a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, which slows the digestion of starch and sugar and helps lower cholesterol levels
  2. Insoluble fiber: It is known as “nature’s broom” or “roughage” ( as it adds bulk to your stools) and helps in smooth passage through the intestines.

What are some sources of fiber?

Soluble fiber: These include oats, legumes,  fruits, vegetables,  and barley.

Insoluble fiber: These include whole-wheat, rice, fruit and vegetable peel, nuts, rye.

Insoluble fiber like whole-wheat bread, cereals (whole grain) and brown rice have a lower glycemic index (GI) rating. This is very important, as high GI products (refined and processed food, white rice, and white bread) quickly raise the blood sugar.

So, it is important to have a good amount of hi-fiber diet which helps in adding bulk to your food and keeps you satiated for longer. Also, hi-fiber foods have a lower GI, hence they help in maintaining your sugar levels and your carb craving.

 

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Aishwarya

Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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