12 Nutritious Foods to Reduce Pregnancy Constipation

12 Nutritious Foods to Reduce Pregnancy Constipation

Rishika Narayanan
By Rishika Narayanan
Constipation is a common medical condition that we might have all experienced at least once in our lives. It is associated with infrequent bowel movements, abdominal discomfort, and the passage of hard stools. It disables you from emptying your bowel completely. There are multiple causes of constipation and the severity of this condition can vary from person to person.
Some of the common symptoms of constipation are:
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Sickness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Foul-smelling stool
  • Dry, hard or lumpy stool
Occasional constipation is normal; however, keep an eye out for long term constipation; it could be chronic.
Constipation could occur due to multiple reasons. It might be due to:
  • Not consuming enough water
  • Eating excess dairy products
  • Stress
  • Dietary changes
  • Eating disorders
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pregnancy
Almost 50% of pregnant women experience constipation at some point during the nine months. There are a lot of reasons that instigate it during pregnancy, such as stress, anxiety, low-fiber diet, iron tablets, and lack of physical movement.
There are quite a few ways to treat this. Some of the regular treatments for pregnancy constipation is an over-the-counter medication, high fiber diet, and physical exercise.
The healthiest cure is to try the natural method. Below are 12 nutritious foods that can help reduce pregnancy constipation.

1. Water

Drink Water Often
Drink Water Often

An easy tip but also one of the most important remedies for constipation is water. Staying hydrated during pregnancy is even more crucial. Lack of water could cause dehydration in the colon leading to a harder stool and eventually constipation.

Pregnant women should consume at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. It also helps if you can slowly double your daily water intake.

Staying hydrated will help clear your bowel movements and ensure it moves smoothly through your digestive tract.

2. Yogurt

A lot of diary consists of a particular microorganism known as probiotics. You have probably come across this term before; they’re known to be one of the healthy “bacterias.” It greatly helps in improving general gut health and also softening the stool.

A cure to constipation study was conducted in 2014 to assess the effect of probiotics on people with chronic constipation. The results showed that eating at least 180ml of curd or yogurt each day for approximately 14 days, shortened the time taken for body waste to travel through the bowel for people suffering from long term constipation.

3. Dry Fruits

Dry Fruits are Rich in Fibers
Dry Fruits are Rich in Fibers

Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, and figs are great when it comes to constipation relief. They all are excellent sources of fiber.

Fiber can be considered a superfood when it comes to curing constipation. Including a generous amount of fiber in diets has proven to be effective for people suffering from constipation.

Fiber isn’t digested easily and hence has the ability to retain water passing through the gut. This helps soften the stool and allows it to pass easily through the bowel, helping relieve constipation.

4. Lentils

Again, lentils are a great source of fiber, and it is an age-old trick to soothe constipation discomforts. It promotes digestion, therefore reducing the chances of constipation.

Other foods that are high in fiber include pulses, chickpeas, beans, and peas. A study conducted in 2017 showed that 100 grams of cooked pulses satisfy the required daily dietary intake of fiber.

Apart from that, they are also filled with other nutrients that a pregnant woman can benefit from. They are filled with protein, and proteins are known to be one of the superfoods for pregnant women as they receive most of their energy from this.

5. Prunes

Prunes are one of the oldest homemade remedies for constipation. They are one of the highest fiber-filled foods that ease up bowel movements. They also contain other nutritional benefits, such as sorbitol compounds that have gastronomical benefits.

A review conducted in 2014 showed that prunes have a great impact on stool consistency as well as the frequency of bowel movements in constipated people. About 100 grams of prunes is day can show great improvements.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is Packed with Healthy Nutrients and Fibers
Broccoli is Packed with Healthy Nutrients and Fibers

Broccoli consists of a particular substance that helps with digestion and protects the guts; it called sulforaphane. It also prevents overgrowth of some microorganisms in the intestines that could hinder the process of healthy digestion.

The results of a study conducted in 2017 showed that people who consumed broccoli sprouts regularly had lower chances of suffering from constipation and had smoother bowel movements.

Apart from that, broccoli is also a great pregnancy food as it’s packed with healthy nutrients such as calcium and vitamin C. It’s a great source of iron and also helps the body absorb iron from other iron-rich foods.

7. Whole-grain foods

Whole wheat products such as bread, rice, pasta, and cereals are greats sources of soluble fibers. This helps with constipation by adding some weight to the bowel, speeding up its flow through the intestines.

Besides that, they're also a great source of iron and zinc too. Whole-grain foods sometimes also consist of nuts and seeds, which make them even more nutritious with each serving.

8. Grapes

Grapes are a great, easy to munch on pregnancy snacks. Once again, like other constipation relievers, they are also packed with fiber but also contain a lot of water. This makes sure you're staying hydrated throughout while snacking on some delicious grapes.

A medical professional said that grapes could actually boost your metabolism during pregnancy and could also be super beneficial for the baby as it has all the vital nutrients. Grapes are also composed of antioxidants and pectin, which helps in improving immunity.

Since they're sweet, they also satisfy a lot of cravings that pregnant women experience.

9. Clear soups

Clear Soups are Easy to Digest
Clear Soups are Easy to Digest

Soups are a great meal for pregnant women, and they're easy to digest but also packed with nutrients. The water content in soups is also beneficial when it comes to curing constipation as it adds moisture to hard stools and aids then in passing easily through the bowel.

Soups are very versatile dishes; they can be tweaked according to a person's taste and requirement. Pregnant women need a lot of nutrients, and therefore soups can be said to be one of the easiest and healthiest go-to meals for them.

10. Plums and pears

Bloating is one of the most common symptoms of constipation; eating fruits can be of great help. Fruits such as plums, pears, and apples are filled with fiber and water too. Try and consume them with their skins as they are edible and also consist of a lot of fiber, especially a natural fiber known as pectin.

The high percentage of water in these fruits also aid in digestion and prevent constipation.

11. Olive oil

Olive oil can have a mild laxative effect on your body, which can ease the flow of waste through intestines. They are also known to have compounds that help with digestion and relieve constipation. Apart from this, they are, in general, great for pregnant women as they have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also has a positive impact on the development of the baby.

12. Kiwis

Kiwi Fruit Contains a High Amount of Fibers
Kiwi Fruit Contains a High Amount of Fibers

You have probably already gotten a good enough idea of how beneficial fruits can be when it comes to finding a healthy cure for constipation.

Like all the other fruits we have looked at, kiwi also contains high amounts of fiber that can speed up the flow and bulk up the stool, improving the intestinal flow.

Apart from the benefits we have already looked at, kiwi also consists of an enzyme called the Actinidine; this is known to promote movement in the upper gastrointestinal tract and other phytochemicals that could help with digestion.

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