Fiber isn’t considered an essential macronutrient, but it can help your pregnancy experience in some major ways: it helps you digest and feel full, prevents constipation and hemorrhoids, lowers cholesterol and slows down sugar absorption, reducing your risk of diabetes. All plant foods contain some amount of fiber, and some have more than others. Nutritionists recommend that you get at least 28 grams of fiber while you’re pregnant, and 29 grams while you’re breastfeeding.
If you’re worried about gaining too much weight during pregnancy, fiber can be a valuable tool to help you from overeating: if you get 28 grams a day, you’ll likely feel to full to binge. If you find yourself getting hungry well before lunchtime, try starting your day with oatmeal. Bean burritos, hummus and salads are also quick and tasty ways to add extra fiber to your diet. Strawberries, pineapple, apples and berries (especially blackberries, raspberries and blueberries) are also high in fiber: try adding them to salads and cereal or having them for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
One possible downside to high-fiber foods: because they slow down your digestion, they can also give you gas. If this is a problem for you, try gas-prevention enzyme supplements like Beano, which are safe to take during pregnancy.
|All-Bran cereal||8.8 g per ½ cup|
|Blackberries||7.6 g per cup|
|Oatmeal||4 g per cup|
|Shredded wheat||5.5 g per cup|
|One pear||about 5 g|
|Raisins||about 5 g per cup|
|Baked beans||about 10 g per cup|
|Lentils||about 1 g per cooked tablespoon|
|Almonds||about 3.3 grams per ounce|
|Sweet potatoes||4 grams per cup|
|Green Beans||3.4 grams a cup|