Wondering what dietary fibre is? Read why it’s an important aspect of a healthy pregnancy diet and how to include it in what you eat!
Dietary fibre is an essential element of your healthy pregnancy diet, you should aim for around 25g of fibre a day to help keep your bowel movements regular and avoid constipation. Make sure you also include plenty of fluids in your diet as well.
Whilst fibre falls under the category of carbohydrates it does not provide the same number of calories nor is it processed in the same way as other carbs.
There are two types of fibre:
- Soluble fibres can partially dissolve in water and help to keep you feeling full, slowly releasing energy and helping to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Foods in this group include oats, lentils, beans and some fruits such as apples, mangos and bananas.
- Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water and helps to move bulk through your intestines, keeping the digestive system healthy. You’ll find insoluble fibres in wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta and brown rice, nuts, bran, fruit skins and vegetables.
Increased progesterone during pregnancy can lead to the relaxation of the muscle tissue within the digestive system, leading to constipation as your system becomes more sluggish. Maintaining a good level of fibre and drinking plenty of water will help keep your digestive system functioning well – keeping your bowel movements soft and regular will also help you to avoid pregnancy piles which can occur if you are constipated.