Importance of fibre during pregnancy
The benefits that fibre brings to your pregnancy health make this a useful and essential nutrient. Fibre can ease common symptoms of pregnancy, allowing you to enjoy this journey with your baby more.
For example, soluble fibre slows down digestion and makes you feel full more easily. Eating foods rich in soluble fibre thus helps to moderate your pregnancy weight gain.
Upping your fibre intake can also alleviate constipation, which happens to many moms-to-be. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to your stools and speeds up the removal of waste from your body. Just don’t forget to drink plenty of water too, to help move all that waste along!
How much fibre do you need during pregnancy?
Your parents probably told you to eat your greens when you were a kid. Now that you’re a mom-to-be, you’ll need at least 25 g/1000 kcal of dietary fibre per day. Give your digestive system time to adapt by gradually increasing the amount of fibre you eat.
Where can you find fibre?
Fibre comes in more than just greens. Soluble fibre is present in:
- Grains such as oatmeal and barley
- Vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots and turnips
- Fruits such as apricots, apples, pears and oranges
These foods contain insoluble fibre:
- Wholegrain products such as whole-wheat bread and rice
- Vegetables such as cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, bitter gourd
- The outer skins of fruits
- Krishnaswamy K, Sesikeran B. Dietary Guidelines for Indians –A Manual. National Institute of Nutrition;2011.
- Perry JR, Ying W. A Review of Physiological Effects of Soluble and Insoluble Dietary Fibers. J Nutr Food Sci. 2016;6:476.
- Chawla R, Patil GR. Soluble Dietary Fiber. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2010;9:178-96.