Fiber is an indigestible matter that is found primarily in the outer layers of plant foods that passes through the human digestive system left unchanged and unbroken into nutrients. It absorbs the water as it passes through the human digestive system, which eases bowel movements in the process. It is made up of oligosaccharides, beta-glucans, pectins, chitins, waxes, lignin, inulin, dextrins and cellulose.
Benefits of High Fiber Diet
An increased intake of high fiber in our diet is wholly beneficial to our health. It cannot be ignored that it is an essential part of a nutritious diet. Diets rich in fiber have health benefits more particularly to pregnant women as shown by numerous medical studies over the years.
Women with higher fiber intake have lower risk related to any heart diseases. Another medical study showed that women with higher fiber intake and low fat diet have low rate of obesity. Also, Women with high fiber diet are more likely to be at low risk for gallstones. The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who indulged themselves with high fiber foods are less likely to need gallbladder surgery. Fiber most likely lowers cholesterol level decreasing any chance of gallstone development.
Another study in the United Kingdom funded by the World Cancer Research Fund also showed that pre-menopausal women who have high fiber diet could probably lower their risk to breast cancer.
High Fiber Diet Benefits in Pregnancy
There are other benefits of high fiber diet for women, and more particularly to those pregnant women. The benefits of high fiber diet for pregnant women are listed here:
- Women with high fiber diet during the first trimester of their pregnancy have a lower risk of preeclampsia. Medical studies showed a reduction of risk for preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a precarious condition for pregnant women since there’s a relative increase in blood pressure and protein in the urine.
- Women with high fiber diet also help prevent constipation. Constipation is a common sickness to pregnant women. High fiber intake by pregnant women boosts the amount of water content in their bowel movement, which creates softer and well-formed stools. In essence, it prevents the irritating effects of stimulant laxatives. It is, therefore, advisable for pregnant women to eat foods with high fiber content to prevent constipation.
- Since pregnant women are prone to constipation during pregnancy, it is not far that they would experience hemorrhoids specifically during the third trimester. High fiber intake by pregnant women is advisable. The effect would be the same as in constipation. Fiber boosts the amount of water content in their bowel movement. It also helps regular bowel movement with less strain and pain.
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High fiber intake really helps pregnant women even after delivery of their child. Most often pregnant women experience postpartum hemorrhoids caused by the amount of pushing required for delivery, which puts a lot of pressure on the rectal veins. To prevent such postpartum hemorrhoids it is, thus, important to treat constipation by eating foods with high fiber and drinking of lots of water.
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