The Importance of Fiber During Pregnancy
by Carla Snuggs
A sensible and well-balanced diet during pregnancy will ensure your baby receives proper nutrition and increases the chances of a safe, comfortable, and complication-free pregnancy. Experts recommend that pregnant women eat six small meals to keep their energy up and their blood sugar levels stable.
For pregnant women, dietary fiber is an especially beneficial component of a balanced diet. The average American consumes 14 grams of dietary fiber each day, which is considerably less than the recommended level. A pregnant woman should be getting about 25 grams of dietary fiber per day.
Adding dietary fiber to your diet will decrease constipation and lower blood pressure. Increasing your dietary fiber during the first trimester may also reduce pregnancy risks. A report in the American Journal of Hypertension found that by increasing the amount of fiber in your diet during early pregnancy, the risk of preeclampsia (a potentially fatal condition caused by elevated blood pressure) is reduced. In this particular study, pregnant women who consumed 21.2 grams or more of fiber a day were 72 percent less likely to develop preeclampsia than those pregnant women who ate less than 11.9 grams a day.
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