The Best Foods And Natural Remedies For Constipation
Did you know there are some foods for constipation that may help minimize your symptoms? Check out our comprehensive guide for natural remedies to try.
Constipation is an embarrassing subject, but it’s something that impacts all of us at some point in our lives. Sometimes, constipation can seem pretty mysterious, especially if the condition comes and goes randomly. But there’s always an underlying cause for our bathroom woes. Rarely, the causes of constipation may be out of our control. But in most cases, we can make life changes to bring ourselves constipation relief.
If you’re tired of trying to do your business but being unable to, we hear you, girl! Here are some of the best foods for constipation, as well as our favorite natural remedies (such as Hergreens!) to help with this common condition.
Why Does Constipation Happen?
Constipation happens when we have difficulty passing stool or when we don’t have to use the bathroom as often as usual. While everyone’s bathroom habits are different, most people should be able to pass a stool once every day. People with constipation, on the other hand, usually have three or fewer bowel movements each week.
Chronic constipation is often a result of a poor diet. It can also occur when we don’t drink enough water to facilitate proper digestion and elimination of waste from our bodies. People who live sedentary lifestyles are also more likely to struggle passing stools because body systems tend to slow down when there is minimal physical activity to keep them going strong. Even some medications (including antacids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can lead to constipation.
What Foods Help With Constipation?
There are some foods that can help you have regular bowel movements. The best foods for people with constipation to eat include:
- Fiber: Most adults should get between 22 and 24 grams of fiber every day. Fiber helps add bulk to your stool so it passes more readily through your digestive tract. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
- Fermented Foods and Drinks: Fermented foods and drinks contain good bacteria that help relieve constipation and soften stools. Examples of fermented foods and drinks include kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
- Yogurt: Some yogurt products are very good for digestive health because they contain microorganisms called probiotics. Probiotics in yogurt include healthy bacteria such as Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus, which are shown to relieve constipation.
- Prunes: Prunes contain a lot of fiber as well as phenolic compounds and sorbitol. All of these substances have gastrointestinal benefits. Since prunes act as a natural laxative, it can be beneficial for those with constipation to eat 100 g daily (that’s about 10 prunes).
- Whole Wheat Bread and Cereal: Whole grain bread and cereals that are high in insoluble fiber (such as wheat bran or oat bran) can improve your stool consistency so it moves more quickly through your digestive system.
- Flaxseed Oil: Flax seed oil has a mild laxative effect, and it can help improve the flow of material passing through the intestines. One study shows that flaxseed oil helps relieve constipation in people receiving hemodialysis treatments.
- Fresh and Dried Fruits: Fresh fruit is rich in both fiber and water. Dried fruit doesn’t contain much water, but it is still a good source of dietary fibre. You don’t need to eat a lot of fruits to reap the laxative benefits they offer. Try eating one or two handfuls of raw berries or 1/3 cup of dried fruit every day.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is a high fiber food and can improve bowel motility so you’re able to “go” more easily. If your goal is to improve your fiber intake, be sure to eat those broccoli stalks and not just the florets. The stalks contain a lot of fiber and can help relieve constipation.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds may be small, but they contain an impressive amount of fiber. They’re one of the most fiber-dense foods on the planet. When combined with water inside your digestive tract, chia seeds form a gel. As it moves through your intestines, this gel acts as a stool softener and relieves constipation.
- Vitamin C: If you’ve ever taken too much vitamin C during cold and flu season, you are probably already aware that this vitamin can have a laxative effect. Though it’s annoying when you don’t need it, the laxative effect of vitamin C can be very helpful when you’re constipated.
Does Fiber Help With Constipation?
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate and it’s a common substance in plants. If you need added fiber in your diet, you can get it from a variety of natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans (such as black beans and kidney beans).
Brown rice and sweet potatoes are also good sources of fiber. White rice doesn’t have much fiber because the bran, husk, and germ have been removed. While a small amount of white rice may help add bulk to the stool, too much white rice may actually contribute to constipation.
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibre is the type that the body can digest, but it takes a long time to do so. This means that soluble fiber won’t cause quick blood sugar spikes and subsequent crashes.
Insoluble fibre isn’t digested by the body. Instead, it passes through your digestive tract and helps move waste out of your body. Insoluble fiber consumption can help relieve constipation.
If you want to stay regular, it’s important to get both soluble and insoluble types of dietary fiber in your daily diet. It’s pretty easy to get sufficient fiber if you eat a whole food diet. You can also get more fiber in your diet by taking fiber supplements as needed.
Do Probiotics Help With Constipation?
If you’re wondering, “What does a probiotic do?” here is a brief explanation. Probiotics help break down the foods we eat so we can absorb nutrients from them.
People with chronic constipation or other abdominal issues (such as irritable bowel syndrome or abdominal pain) may benefit from adding probiotics to their daily diet. Probiotics take time to work, but as you build up the healthy bacterial colonies in your gut, they can help with relieving constipation.
What Are Other Natural Ways To Help Constipation?
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you on your journey to becoming more regular.
DO: Drink plenty of fluids every day (at least eight glasses)
DO: Load your plate with healthy, fiber-rich vegetables
DO: Eat plenty of whole grains
DO: Eat both fresh and dried fruits
DON’T: Drink a lot of caffeinated drinks throughout the day
DON’T: Eat or drink too many dairy products
DON’T: Eat a lot of processed foods
What Foods Should I Avoid With Constipation?
Just as there are foods you should eat if you want optimal nutrition for constipation, there are also foods you should avoid if you have trouble passing stools regularly. Here are some of the worst foods for constipation:
- Fast food
- Meat (especially red meat)
- Frozen meals and snack foods
- Highly processed foods
Do your best to avoid these foods or at least cut back on their consumption if you struggle to have regular bowel movements.
How Can Hergreens Help With Constipation?
Hergreens is especially helpful for chronic constipation because it contains a variety of fiber-rich ingredients (such as broccoli powder, kale powder, barley grass powder, and cabbage powder). It also contains digestive enzymes to help your body break down the foods you eat.
Want to learn more about things you can do to boost your digestive and overall health? Check out the wealth of information offered at Mixhers resources.