Many pregnant women suffer from constipation due to the pregnancy hormones and it is important for them to include high fiber foods in their diet for normal bowel movement. High fiber food is the new mantra for weight loss, treatment of constipation and to give a regulated surge of energy throughout the day. The latest medical news is that that they are good for your heart as well by reducing the total cholesterol levels. Whole grains like wheat, bulgar, jowar etc have traditionally been extensively used in Indian cooking and are good sources of fiber. Here are some more:
1) Oats: Oats (Daliya) has traditionally been included in daily Indian breakfast. One should take care to cook the natural oats and not the instant processed one which contains lesser fiber Add diced fruits like apple, cheeku, strawberries etc instead of white sugar to boost its effectiveness.
2) Fresh fruits: Almost all fruits are rich in fiber. Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blue berries), banana and pear contain the maximum amount of fiber Apple is also a rich source if eaten with the skin on. If its skin is peeled, a large amount of fiber is lost.
3) Sprouts: Have your lentils, sprouted for easier digestion and to improve its fiber content. Add small amount of sprouts in your salad, chaats and snacks to improve its fiber content.
4) Vegetables: Vegetables like broccoli, potato, corn, spinach, methi and peas are very rich sources of fibre. Include them in your salads, soups, stuffed parantha, pizza, omelette etc and for best value, try not to overcook them.
5) Dry fruits: Dry fruits like dates, raisins, figs (anjeer), dried prunes etc are very rich sources of fiber A handful of them taken every day will regulate bowel movements especially in pregnant women where constipation is common. They should be cleaned nicely before consumption by soaking them for sometime in clean water. These can then be diced and sprinkled over salads or included in snacks. Working women can carry dry fruits in a small pouch and use them as anytime snack as well.