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Dietary fiber, we know that they improve transit. Ideal to avoid or relieve intestinal disorders during pregnancy or even after baby! But they also have other virtues ... and some less known disadvantages. Our advice to consume them wisely.
What is fiber?
- Fibers are substances of vegetable origin present in pulses (pulses), unrefined cereal products, that is to say complete or semi-complete, vegetables, fresh and dried fruits and oleaginous (hazelnuts , nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, etc.).
- They do not provide calories or vitamins because most of them are neither digested nor absorbed by the lining of the intestine. They remain in the digestive tract and leave with the stool. There are two types:
- Soluble fiber, mainly present in fruits and vegetables, form a gel that attracts water and thickens the volume of food in the digestive tract. They play an important role in the transit: with too little consumption, you risk being constipated, but if you consume too much, can occur ... diarrhea.
- Insoluble fiber are mainly present in the cereal envelope (wheat bran, etc.), oilseeds and leafy vegetables. They help to give a feeling of satiety without overloading calories. But, in excess, they can block the absorption of minerals, including zinc, important during your pregnancy.
What are the fibers for?
- Dietary fiber regulates intestinal transit. Not being degraded, they also have the power to capture in their path sugars and fats whose rate of absorption into the blood is reduced. They help regulate blood sugar and reduce insulin peaks that play a major role in overweight. Some fibers help to nourish the intestinal flora, which participates in the production of vitamins and helps to fight against infections.
Pregnant, how to consume them?
- It is recommended to consume about 28g of fiber per day. This is about a portion of cereal in the morning, a salad with vegetables at noon, a fruit with each meal and a soup of vegetables or pulses and / or cereals in the evening. Peckish ? Combine a fruit with a handful of oilseeds.
- Avoid whole loaves or bran as they irritate the digestive tract and block the absorption of zinc. Prefer the semi-complete sourdough bread whose fermentation cancels out this negative effect.
- Choose whole or semi-complete cereals, fruits and organic vegetables, because if the fibers are in the skin of fruits and the envelope of cereals, pesticides also ...
- For dried vegetables, soak them overnight before cooking, after throwing the soaking water. This will make them more digestible and less likely to give flatulence. If you combine them with cereals (one-third of pulses, two-thirds of cereals) you will get a dish as complete as animal protein, with, in addition, fibers that your intestines will appreciate.
Marie-Victoire Garcia, with the collaboration of Dr. Jean-Paul Curtay, nutritionist, co-author with Rose Razafimbelo of the Family Guide of Food Healers, ed. Albin Michel.
Quick, take a look at our Food and Pregnancy file