Posted on Aug 01, 2019, 6 p.m.
Constipation at best it is uncomfortable and at the very least it can become downright debilitating. Sooner or later everyone experiences this to some degree which can be treated with medications but a gentler approach may be turn to food as medicine, some of which may remedy the situation almost immediately.
Constipation can be seen as a blanket term, meaning it is a catch phrase that encompasses a few different things such as stools being too hard, too small, too difficult to pass, or too infrequent.
According to gastroenterologist Niket Sonpal, MD. “People with constipation may also notice a frequent need to strain and a sense that the bowels are not empty.”
Constipation can be caused by a number of reasons including diet, specifically a lack of fiber or healthy fats, lack of exercise, stress, and dehydration among others. What is considered normal for bowel movements varies from person to person, but in general if you aren’t pooping at least every three days, you’re probably constipated.
Diet is a good first step in trying to deal with backed up intestinal traffic, fiber and water should be considered your go to in most cases.
“Most dietary fiber is not digested or absorbed, so it stays within the intestine where it modulates digestion of other foods and affects the consistency of stool,” explains Dr. Sonpal.
Fiber has 2 forms with their own benefits: soluble fiber is made of carbohydrates that dissolve in water, and insoluble fiber is from plant cell walls that doesn’t dissolve in water. Try to get a good mix of both kinds with some healthy fats and water then chances are that you will be making that trip to the loo in no time.
If you eat something that makes you have to go to the toilet immediately it may be a sign that you are sensitive or allergic to it, or even that it was bad. While it is a good idea to load up on healthy foods to move your system you want to avoid anything that will make it happen too quickly.
Water is wonderful, and proper hydration can often solve many issues, constipation is no exception to that rule. Filtered plain water with lemon makes a good choice, but sparkling water should help to get the job done too.
Caffeine isn’t drank it’s just rented, this expression is true, because it is a stimulant to the GI system. This may be a quick fix, but it may not be the best way to handle this situation on a regular basis; be sure to drink water as well due to caffeine being dehydrating.
When you need to go it may be time to pull out the high fruit fiber such as apples, guava, peaches, raspberries, and papaya. As it turns out Nana was right about those prunes too, they can work wonders for constipation.
While you’re reaching for fruit don’t forget that veggies are full of fiber too such as peas, artichokes and broccoli. For a salad try adding some beats and tomatoes for a fiber and hydration boost that should make you good to go fairly quickly.
Oatmeal is another fiber full helper that may assist you in pushing out your problem. Oatmeal may be a better choice during the day, for evening fiber filled quinoa may be a better option.
Nuts and nut butter are healthy fats that are also fiber packed which may help to grease the pipes for release, try dipping some apples or berries for extra fiber. Olive oil may also help which can make a yummy dressing for salads.
Thanks to its capsaicin content curry is a natural laxative that may help you to push things through your colon a bit easier, as it acts to stimulate a receptor that speeds up digestion.
Before you reach for that drug store solution keep in mind that exercise combined with fiber filled food and plenty of water may be an easier and more gentle solution. If you are experiencing pain it may be best to seek medical attention, and don’t let this issue go for too long as it could lead to or be a sign of other problems.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.