How to Avoid Constipation During Pregnancy

It is Murphy’s law that just when you are able to get food into your body without having it come back up, that you suddenly find you can not get the food out of your body. Nearly half of all the women who are pregnant suffer from constipation during pregnancy.

As with all symptoms of pregnancy there is a reason for constipation. When you are pregnant your body creates progesterone which in turns relaxes the muscles of the bowels and causes your digestive tracks to work much slower. Your digestive track works slower to make sure your body absorbs the nutrients from your food for your baby. This can create constipation, which if it not kept under control, can lead to hemorrhoids.

There are some ways you can help avoid constipation throughout your pregnancy. Make sure you included plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber absorbs water and can help to soften your stools and speed their passage. Eat plenty of high fiber foods like whole grain cereal and oatmeal. Instead of eating white bread with your sandwiches, eat whole grain breads. Add some oat bran to your cereals or yogurt.

Fresh fruits are also an excellent way to get your fiber in. Melons and plums have a high amount of fiber in them as wells as dried fruits like figs, raisins, apricots and of course the well known favorite prunes. Prunes and prune juice have a like laxative effect and will help keep things moving properly in your body. Aim to eat at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. You can tell you are getting enough fiber if your stools are large and soft and you aren’t straining to pass them. Keep in mind though that too much fiber can lead to diarrhea which can lead to dehydration so do not over do the fiber in your diet.

Also, drinking plenty of fluid will help you combat constipation. Fluids help keep digestive products moving through your system so it is very important for you to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Keeping up with your fluids is important especially if you are increasing your intake of fiber. Your body needs to water to soak up the fiber otherwise it can cause more constipation.

Also, make sure you are eating your yogurt if you can. Yogurt has a bacteria called acidophilus that helps stimulate the intestinal bacteria to break down food better. Look at your prenatal. Some of the prenatal that women take contain a lot of iron and iron can play a big part in constipation. Talk to your doctor to see if you can switch for a while to a different prenatal that contains less iron or at least stay off of the prenatal for a while until your constipation is under control.

Avoid foods that can lead to constipation. White bread and some cereals such as corn flakes can lead to constipation as well as white rice and bananas. If all this fails, give your doctor a call to see if there is something you can take to help keep you regulated. Most doctors will allow you to take Metamucil to help keep things moving.

Constipation is never pleasant but during pregnancy it can be even extra uncomfortable. Make sure you take the steps to avoid constipation. It will help make your pregnancy that much more enjoyable.

Dietary Fiber for Natural Health

When people look at the nutritional content of foods, they tend to concentrate more on calories, protein, fats and vitamins. Most of the time, people forget to consider the dietary fiber content of foods. In recent studies, it was shown that in America alone, less than half of the population gets enough fiber in their diet.

Taking in enough fiber will greatly improve your natural health and well-being. Here are some facts that you have to know about dietary fiber

What is it?
Roughage or dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plants that travels through the digestive tract. In an overview, it helps the body absorb more water and improves elimination of wastes. It also helps in the absorption of nutrients and other chemicals.

There are 2 types of fiber. The soluble fiber is the one responsible for lowering blood cholesterol levels. Because of this, intake of enough soluble fiber will reduce your risk of developing heart diseases and stroke. Insoluble fiber increases bulk that your body needs to maintain the functions of your stomach and intestines. This type of fiber prevents you from experiencing constipation.

What are the benefits of getting enough fiber in your diet?

Bowel Movement and Integrity
Having enough fiber provides you with bulk. It helps you have well-formed and soft stool so wastes can pass easily. With this, you are sure not to have constipation. When you have diarrhea, adding fiber to your diet will help you absorb water and form bulky stools. It is also said that fiber can help relieve patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Having a high fiber diet also reduces your risk of developing hemorrhoids, diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Since fiber helps you pass stool easily. There is no need for straining during defecation. This is one of the ways fiber helps prevent these health conditions.

Regulates Blood Cholesterol Levels
Soluble fiber helps maintain an ideal cholesterol level by reducing the amount of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) in your body. LDL is also called as bad cholesterol. It has also been studied that fiber can also lower your blood pressure. Maintaining a good blood cholesterol level puts you at lesser risk of developing heart diseases.

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
This is one of the reasons that most diabetic patients add fiber in their diet. Getting enough soluble fiber aids in the absorption of sugar in your body. It helps your body absorb sugar slowly so diabetics can avoid sudden peaks on their blood sugar level. Enough insoluble fiber in your body is also said to prevent development of type 2 diabetes.

Aids in Weight Loss
Eating foods with high-fiber content may require you to chew your food longer than you would any other type of food. Because of this, your body is given enough time to think that you are already full. This would lessen chances of over eating. A high- fiber meal will also lower down hunger cravings because fiber takes a longer time to be digested. You feel full longer when you eat food with high fiber content. Fibrous foods also have fewer amounts of calories in them. So no matter how much fiber you eat, you won’t have to worry about the number of calories you are taking in.

Fiber is also said to fight off carcinogenic agents, thus lowering your risk of getting certain types of cancer. If you want to improve your health the natural way, adding more fiber to your meals is a healthy idea.