Do you know that constipation is very common during pregnancy? Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues at some point, according to a study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.
Constipation is defined as less than 3 bowel movements in a week. Constipation is so common because of an increase in the hormone Progesterone during pregnancy which causes food and waste to move slower through your system, slower moving intestines means slower digestion. This can lead to constipation. The changes brought about by our pregnancy can also make matters worse. Physically, our expanding uterus can put pressure on our intestines and reduced physical activity can affect our digestive system. Dietary factors like consuming excessive iron/calcium supplements, lack of water/fluids intake and fibre cause constipation too.
The good news is that we can easily make changes to prevent constipation. Try to stay hydrated with 8 to 10 glasses of water/fluids and consume more wholegrains and high fiber food. Aim to consume 20 to 30grams of fibre from fruits, vegetables, breakfast cereals, whole grain breads etc... Let's kick start our day (and year) with healthy breakfast choices, it will surely make a difference! Dietary fiber intake during pregnancy can help reduce risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
In this rate and review article, we are looking at 4 wholegrain breakfast cereals that are readily available in the market. Having a serve of wholegrain cereals with a glass of milk will not only help meet your fibre requirement but your calcium needs too!
NESTLE (Fitnesse Honey & Almond)
Cost: $6.60 (390g)
At more than 3grams of fibre and 240mg of calcium per serve (50g), this is a good choice if you are not a fan of wholegrain cereals and struggle to find a palatable choice because it is on the sweeter side. The almond flakes make it even more crunchy and yummy.
KELLOGG'S (Special K original)
Cost: $6.50 (300g)
This is an excellent choice for the serious health buffs who don’t mind paying a little more. Although it has the lowest fibre content at 3grams per serve (50g), it is still considered as a high fibre content product. I will recommend that you have this with some raisins, prunes or fresh fruits to make it taste even more delicious.
QUAKER (Oatmeal Squares original)
Cost: $6.40 (411g)
I love the shape of this crunchy option, they look like little cute pillows. It melts well with milk and tastes quite good to me. I will also recommend eating this with some nuts or fruits to make it an even more nutritious breakfast. I also think it make an excellent snack too.
POST (Great Banana Nut Crunch)
Cost: $5.45 (439g)
This is the most interesting option (taste wise) out of the 4 choices. The crunchy walnut and banana bits makes it a delicious treat. I will recommend that you couple this with a glass of high calcium milk as the calcium level is on the low side. Although it has the highest fibre content, i gave it a 3 star rating because it is on the higher side for calories and fat. It is also a value for money option because it’s the most economical option.
Here you go, 4 high fibre cereals to kick start your day! Try it for yourself and find your favourite one! Wishing you a wonderful year of wholesome wholegrain goodness!
(Ref: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/constipation-during-pregnancy/, The American Gastroenterological Association: www.gastro.org.)