Being constipated is not a comfortable feeling. You know that sensation when you have to go, but nothing is happening. Constipation means we don’t have a bowel movement as often as we should. Although everyone’s bowel movements are unique to them, it’s suggested that we poop one to three times a day. If we don’t, we can experience some disagreeable symptoms. It’s estimated that approximately 15% of the population is constipated, making it one of the bigger gastrointestinal issues we deal with.
Some people have a bowel movement only once or twice a week. But, going longer than 3 or more days without a bowel movement is deemed unhealthy. After 3 days, the stool or feces become harder and a challenge to pass.
What should you do if you have constipation? First, you should always consult your health care practitioner and follow their instructions. Otherwise, here are a few suggestions we can do at home to alleviate those uncomfortable symptoms.
- Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
- Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Eat prunes, bran cereal, and fiber
- Limit cheese and dairy products
It’s fairly obvious that there are a lot of factors involved, these include a low fiber diet, ignoring the unsuccessful urges to go, not drinking enough water, and a lack of exercise. Diet is a big factor. Here are a few foods that will encourage a healthy bowel movement.
Water is the most overlooked source that can improve our health. It not only keeps you hydrated, it also encourages regular bowel movements. Since constipation is related to dehydration in the colon, you need to make sure you are drinking lots of clean water. When you’re properly hydrated, less water will be withdrawn from the colon, and this will keep your stool soft and easy to pass.
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are full of antioxidants and nutrients. They’re also a great source of fiber and can help alleviate and prevent constipation over time.
Broccoli is a superstar when it comes to insoluble fiber. With 5.1 gram so fiber per cup, it can alleviate any constipation issues.
Oats contain both soluble and insoluble with 8 grams of fiber in just one cup of uncooked oatmeal. Starting your day off with a bowl of oatmeal and fruit will help keep you regular.
Ground up flaxseed contains lots of soluble fiber —2.8 grams in one Tablespoon. Sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal or a salad, toss them in a smoothie, or just eat them plain.
If you’re a snacker, then plain hot air popcorn is a healthier option. You noticed I said ‘plain’ and ‘hot air’ popcorn; all the butter and salt is not good for you. Popcorn has one gram of fiber per cup so it’s okay to indulge.
Aloe vera water is fast becoming a trendy drink like coconut water, and for good reason. Aloe can act as a natural laxative for some people and is often included in over the counter and holistic constipation remedies.
Greens are in a class of their own. They’re low calorie, super high in antioxidants, and loaded with fiber. They also have a high water content so they can help hydrate your body and relieve constipation issues. Many people squinch their nose at greens, but they are so good for your body. They can easily be sneaked into a smoothie or you can juice them. Make greens a regular part of your diet.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to offer any medical advice whatsoever. If you have any health concerns, see your healthcare provider.