Constipation is a problem for a large number of people and of course, we’re reluctant to talk about this issue. The main culprit is our diets. Fast foods, processed foods, Frankenfoods, and packaged foods are devoid of any moisture content and fiber-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables that would naturally encourage bowel movements. Some people only have a bowel movement once a day, once a week, once a month, and credulously, there are individuals who poop every other month or less.
Normally, we should be having a bowel movement 30 minutes after a main meal. If we don’t, our stomach can become bloated and distended, and we may produce unappealing gas. So what can we do to stimulate our colon to work effectively?
Drink More Water
Adults need to drink at least two quarts of sixty-four ounces of water every day to keep the plumbing running smoothly. Anything less than sixty-four ounces of water won’t give your fecal matter enough hydration to come out normally and easily. Your fecal matter will be too hard and will struggle to leave your body. Dehydration is the number one cause of constipation, and the best liquid to drink is pure, clean water; it’s said that warm water is best. Herbal teas, diluted fruit and vegetable juices, and lemon water are also good.
Eat More Fiber
You need to eat more fiber! With most meals focusing on animal protein, it’s no wonder people are constipated. There is ZERO fiber in any animal food or any animal by-products like eggs, dairy, and cheese. It’s fiber that makes you poop, so a diet change is necessary. You’ll need to add or increase your intake of high fiber vegetarian foods like fruit, vegetables, soaked nuts and seeds, grain, beans, and legumes. These foods can be your colon’s best friend.
Eat Natural Laxative Foods
Many reach for store shelf laxatives if constipated; in fact, some abuse using them and it can cause a host of health problems as shown below. If you suffer from constipation, see your doctor before overusing laxatives.
*Inability to produce enough digestive enzymes
*Edema – water retention
*Dizziness & light-headedness
*Damage to the colon and digestive organs
Mother Nature has provided us with an abundance of natural laxative foods and herbs that will get you pooping normally.
*Eat high-fiber fruit like berries, figs, apples, prunes, and pears just to name a few. They relieve constipation and make you feel full.
*Aloe Vera is one of the oldest and natural laxatives in the world. It’s packed with enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes that heal the gut. Aloe is an anti-inflammatory and has laxative properties. It contains a compound known as anthraquinones that act as a laxative by increasing water content, stimulation mucus secretion, and increasing bowel contractions.
*Chia Seeds are packed with omega-3s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants. Combined with liquid, they form a gelatinous substance that moves through your intestines easily. With incredible fiber-rich content, chia seeds expand and swell in the digestive tract absorbing water. They help your digestive function and cleanse the bowel, which makes it one of the best foods for healthy bowel function.
*Flaxseeds are tiny brown seeds that are an excellent source of insoluble fiber and are very effective at getting things moving again. They provide bulk for better bowel movements.
*Leafy Green Veggies are loaded with magnesium which is an electrolyte. Spinach, swiss chard, kale, and collards are some of the most nutritious greens and are highest in magnesium. Magnesium has the natural ability to soften stool and stimulate a bowel movement.
*Probiotic foods are also good for constipation. Sources are kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, and kombucha tea.
*Coconut water is a yummy drink that helps maintain healthy electrolyte levels, prevents dehydration, cleans out the urinary tract, and relieves constipation.
Move Your Body
All movement encourages peristaltic muscular waves – muscle contractions that make you poop. Any kind of exercise will get your bowels working again. We’re not talking sit-ups here, we’re talking walking, yoga, running, dancing, swimming, anything that gets you to move around. Get active!
Focus on Positive Emotions
With our hectic lifestyles, stress is deemed a normal experience but it affects our bodies negatively so we need to work on reducing it. Stress, fear, and hate have strong emotions that will cause people to get constipated more than eating ten pounds of cheese a day according to Dr. Schulze. We have to find ways to release these negative emotions. Laugh more, do some deep breathing, develop positive emotional habits, and learn some positive mantras.
Trying all these suggestions at once might be overwhelming for your body, so start slow. Mother Nature knows best.