As someone who's gone through a lot of weight loss up-and-down my entire life, the one thing I have always been most afraid of is that pregnancy weight gain. I know that it's a woman's body's job to gain weight, protect and feed the baby during these critical nine months but I've always wondered: How do you keep yourself from going overboard and gaining too much weight? Even better, how do you maintain a healthy pregnancy and gain the appropriate amount of weight that's good for you and your baby?

In her story at The Boston Globe, writer Lara Salahi answers that very question with the intriguing "an ally in battling pregnancy weight gain: fiber". She writes that fiber is the key to a woman having a healthy weight during her pregnancy--which is why we came up with this handy list of the 12 Latin fiber-rich foods that will help keep your pregnancy weight-gain on track. Indulge in these and you'll feel better about those numbers on the scale.

Read more in ¿Qué más? U.S. birth rate drops to record lows, Latinos having fewer babies than ever before

Black Beans 1

Black Beans

Image via Bourgeoisbee/flickr

Cuban-style black beans (frijoles negros) are one of my favorite dishes and the best part is that they provide 15 grams of fiber for every cup. Even better: have abuela's moros y cristianos with black beans and brown rice for an extra dose!

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Bananas 2

Bananas

Image via Fernando Stankuns/flickr

Bananas have 3.1 grams of fiber for a medium-sized one. Add it to your daily fiber intake by adding them to your daily breakfast (like my banana oatmeal), either as a side or morning snack.

 

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Almonds 3

Almonds

Image via Shelby PDX/flickr

An ounce of walnuts (about 23 nuts) has an impressive 3.5 grams of fiber! Add them to your diet by tossing a handful into salads like this quinoa and avocado salad.

Papaya 4

Papaya

Image via Reeding/flickr

A cup of cut up papaya has 2.5 grams of fiber, plus a TON of nutrients. Have a little afternoon snack (a great treat!) by making a traditional papaya milkshake.

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Brown Rice 5

Brown Rice

Image via Rob Qld/flickr

I could practically live on rice, but these days I switch to this healthier version thanks to the 3.5 grams of fiber per 1 cup of brown rice. Substitute and your belly will be happy! Personally, I'm a big fan of the vegetable feijoada.

Orange 6

Orange

Image via Chris Campbell/flickr

What Latino doesn't love citrus fruit? Oranges have 3.1 grams of fiber and adding them to your diet can be as easy as having fresh-squeezed orange juice in the morning or even an orange pudding for dessert!

 

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Sweet Corn 7

Sweet Corn

Image via Robert Couse-Baker/flickr

After it is cooked, sweet corn provides 4 grams of fiber per cup. That's pretty good, especially when you indulge in one of these delicious Latin corn dishes.

Lentils 8

Lentils

Image via Tuluum/flickr

One of the BEST things you can eat during your pregnancy are lentils. With a whopping 15.6 grams of fiber per 1 cup, enjoy a healthy lentil soup or a traditional potaje.

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Avocado 9

Avocado

Image via Public Domain Photos/flickr

Avocados are simply wonderful. They're good for the baby and they're good for you during pregnancy, thanks to "healthy" fats and 10 grams of fiber per fruit.

Sweet Potato 10

Sweet Potato

Image via You As A Machine/flickr

The boniato has 5 grams of fiber (and only 103 calories!) for a medium, baked one. No matter what you call sweet potatoes in your country, you'll love our diet-friendly sweet potato recipes.

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Garbanzo Beans 11

Garbanzo Beans

Image via Mink/flickr

Garbanzos, or chickpeas, have 8 grams of fiber for every 3/4 cup. Now THAT is good stuff! Eat well during your pregnancy with our healthy garbanzo recipes.

Pumpkin 12

Pumpkin

Image via RichardBowen/flickr

Delicious pumpkins have 2.5 grams of fiber per cup and are a GREAT Fall food--but feel free to enjoy them year round! Keep it healthy with this graet pumpkin and black bean salad.