Increasing your fiber intake during pregnancy is easier than you might think, but, the bigger question might be: Why do you need to?
Why increase your fiber?
Fiber, specifically insoluble fiber, is what prevents constipation, an added discomfort every pregnant woman can do without.
We’ve heard the older generations talk about the need for more “roughage” or the benefits of prunes in their diet, and they do have a point. Roughage refers to the fibrous content for foods that your body can’t digest, it adds bulk to your stools allowing for a smooth passage through the intestines and eliminates constipation.
How much do I need?
Pregnant women, over the age of 19, need to consume at least 28 grams of combined fiber a day. You can consume half of your dietary requirement by eating a 30g serving of a bran cereal and an apple for breakfast. Pair that with some french beans, a medium potato, half a cup of broccoli for dinner and a pear for dessert, and you’ve easily hit the mark. Whole grains, beans and high-fiber bran cereals, all contain high levels of fiber too.
Things to avoid
Avoid juicing as it can remove both nutrients and fiber found naturally in fruits and veg. Keep your fruits and veggies as pure as possible to ensure you reap the greatest nutritional benefits from every meal.
Don’t underestimate the importance of H2O
Also, increase your fluid consumption if you find yourself under the 2.5 to 3 litres, a day, recommendation. You can consume liquid from multiple sources throughout your day – soup, milk, tea, as well as from foods such as fruit and vegetables. But if you find yourself reaching for multiple glasses of juice or fizzy drinks, you might consider switching to water instead; it will keep food moving through your intestines.
Increasing your fiber content is easy with just a little forethought. Make a note of the foods you love that contain high levels of insoluble fiber and rotate them throughout the week. It will keep your diet feeling fresh as well as your bowels regular.