Vitamins & Minerals

Ease Pregnancy Woes with Fiber

Ease Pregnancy Woes With Fiber

It is common knowledge that fiber is an important part of a healthy pregnancy nutrition plan. However, because of the bland taste of many fiber products, many pregnant women do not receive ample amounts of this important dietary staple. Fiber not only helps to maintain proper bowel function and a healthy weight, it also helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Increasing your fiber intake during pregnancy can also alleviate several common pregnancy symptoms, such as heartburn and indigestion. Pregnancy is a very important time during your life, so why not make it as comfortable as possible? Kellogg’s All Bran cereal is a delicious way to increase your daily fiber intake. With three tasty varieties, you are sure to find one to suit your palate.

Pregnant women are usually monitored closely for two things: possible diabetes and high blood pressure. Elisa Zied, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., a registered dietitian and author of Feed Your Family Right, states that a higher intake of cereal fiber can prevent gestational diabetes by regulating glucose intolerance. Potassium, which is a mineral found in fiber rich foods, helps to regulate high blood pressure. Zied states that you should aim to consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day to experience these benefits.

A growing baby puts increased pressure on the bowels, which can result in irregular bowel syndrome and constipation. Constipation during pregnancy is a leading cause of hemorrhoids, which are a result of straining when trying to pass hard stool and can cause significant bleeding during bowel movements. Consuming ample amounts of dietary fiber helps to keep your digestive system performing at optimal levels and can prevent these issues from occurring.

Indigestion is another common pregnancy complaint. A recent study published in the journal Gut, shows that individuals who consume high-fiber foods during pregnancy have a 20 percent lower risk of suffering from indigestion than those who consume low amounts of fiber.

Eating a high fiber breakfast is a great way to start the day and can help you get a jump-start on your daily fiber requirement. Kellogg’s All Bran cereal provides you with 10 grams of dietary fiber per half cup serving. This is 40% of the daily recommended value. Another high-fiber breakfast idea is a slice of whole grain toast with a tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter. Depending on the brand, one slice of whole grain bread contains up to three grams of fiber. If you are looking for a hot breakfast, a one cup serving of oatmeal contains four grams of fiber. Add a piece of fresh fruit to any of the choices to further increase your fiber intake.

When increasing your daily fiber intake, it is of utmost importance to ensure you are consuming ample amounts of water. In order for fiber to pass through your digestive system efficiently, it must have a liquid to absorb. Not drinking enough water while on a high-fiber diet can cause uncomfortable bloating and even aggravate constipation. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least two liters of water per day. If you are active or work in a very warm environment, you may want to increase your intake to three liters.

An effective fiber product that is safe to use during pregnancy is ClearFiber by Vitabase. This high-fiber powder dissolves easily in most foods and liquids, without becoming thick or gritty. Adding this product to your daily supplement regime is beneficial for use during and after pregnancy to help relieve constipation.