We don’t need to get into the ins and outs of bowel movements – we all know the pain and struggles that you can face.
The fact that over four million people in the United States alone are thought to suffer with constipation tells its own story, and shows how this is certainly a problem that’s not going away.
Most people will wait for days before even thinking about addressing the problem, and even then they will turn to some over-the-counter medication to aid their plight.
Well, we have some good news. The days of turning to such medications are long gone – unless your doctor has specifically stated otherwise. Instead, you can relieve your ailments by just changing up your diet, and through the course of this guide will tell you five natural ingredients to help you along your way.
It all starts with a drink of water
This first suggestion might seem to border on the ridiculous. After all, could something as simple as water help to relieve your constipation?
Well, while it’s probably not going to be the most powerful prevention tool we are going to cover, it’s certainly still important.
The importance of water should never be underestimated. We know about the importance of hydration, but when it comes to your digestive system water is something that can lubricate it. The upshot of this is that your stool is softened, and hopefully the benefits of this are plain to see.
Let’s explain this via simple science. As your stool travels to the colon, it absorbs water and eventually solidifies. If your stool happens to stay in the colon for a while, this water eventually disappears. As such, if you can turn to water, you can lubricate your digestive system and provide your stools that crucial water that can help the problem enormously.
The fiber-factor – turning to leafy greens
Again, in an article which is designed to promote a healthier you, this next suggestion won’t really come as a surprise. We’re taught from a young age about the importance of turning to green vegetables and when it comes to the likes of kale, cabbage and spinach – you really can’t go wrong in relation to constipation.
The benefits of these greens are all related to the amount of fiber which is contained in said vegetables. Fiber is essential in your quest against constipation, as it’s something which can cause the colon to contract more. It makes it feel fuller, with the result being that it wants to remove the food that has accumulated within it.
Something that might surprise you relates to your daily fiber recommendations. Most of us don’t even touch this, with experts suggesting that you should turn to as much as 40g per day in a bid to stay healthy.
Aside from the above, leafy greens will also deal you a heavy dose of magnesium. This is yet another element that most of us are short of within our diet, yet it can help you out by softening your stool.
Chia seeds (and a little experiment you can do)
Here’s a little experiment you can carry out to verify the validity of this next suggestion. Take some chia seeds, leave them in water, and watch the results. For those of you who want a spoiler, the result is that the seeds will turn to jelly.
This jelly-factor is hugely important. This means that they are one of the best natural laxatives around, as they will bind to liquid, expand and make a texture that facilitates much better movement for the stool.
It’s not just the jelly which makes chia seeds so important in your battle against constipation though. The seeds also happen to contain 10g of fiber and as we have already talked about earlier in the article, this is something else which can make you go to the toilet much more quickly anyway.
Turning to oils (of most varieties)
Something that you have probably noticed through the course of this guide is that we are touching on a lot of so-called superfoods. This is a term which has dominated the healthy eating industry over recent years, with these “superfoods” said to contain umpteen natural benefits to your health.
Well, suffice to say, oil falls into this category. Specifically if you opt for mineral oil, olive oil or flaxseed oil the benefits to your constipation ailments can be considerable. In fact, it’s regarded as so beneficial that some doctors even “prescribe” it to patients.
So, how exactly does it work? Again, it’s all about softening your stool, so it can pass through your colon much more easily. To achieve this, you really don’t need to turn to much, with a tablespoon being the standard recommendation.
Of course, not everyone is going to be keen on sipping some oil from a spoon. This is another one of the big benefits of oil, it’s very flexible. You can use it to cook with, or even add to a salad. Just remember that it does contain around 120 calorie per tablespoon, while some oils burn very easily which should be considered if you are using for cooking.
Finishing with the fiber-factor again (flaxseeds, this time)
Finally, let’s return to the topic of fiber and just how it can help your stool’s journey.
Another food that contains fiber in abundance is flaxseeds. To put the content into perspective, it’s understood that you will reap around 3g of fiber for every tablespoon of flaxseeds that you consume. This is a pretty monumental figure, particularly when you think how easily it can be implemented into your diet through salads and smoothies.
Fiber isn’t the only reason it’s regarded as so good for constipation though. Flaxseeds also contain something going by the name of mucilage. This is another ingredient that is found to aid the digestive process – as it effectively “coats” the channel and therefore allows food to pass through much more easily.
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