How to Stop Constipation with Natural Remedies
Natural Constipation Remedies
Are you feeling bloated and plugged up? The discomfort and the unease which constipation causes are well known. Constipation is one of the commonest gastrointestinal complaints. Although it is only a symptom of a condition and not a disease, constipation is enough to make you feel sick. Do not take constipation lightly. It could lead to complications like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, bloating and could be painful at times. Don’t reach out for that laxative. Laxatives are habit forming and can give you only temporary relief. They irritate the lining of the stomach and the intestines, and weaken the colon. Abuse of laxatives could lead to other complications.There are various natural constipation remedies that you could use to stop constipation forever.
What is constipation?
Constipation has been defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week. The stools become hard, dry and difficult to eliminate. The regularity of bowel movements differs from person to person as this is determined by the kind of foods people eat and the lifestyle they live. Chronic constipation predisposes people to colon cancer. When bile acids and toxins, which should ideally be eliminated, remain longer in the gut due to constipation, they damage the colon cells.
Do you suffer from constipation?
What causes constipation?
When digested food material moves through the colon or the large intestines, the colon reabsorbs the water from the wasted to forms faeces. However when the movement becomes slow the water absorption increases leaving the stools or faeces hard and dry and difficult to eliminate. This condition is clinically known as constipation.
Constipation is caused by a variety of reasons - lack of fluids, lack of exercise, stress, lack of fibre, certain medications, certain physical conditions like pregnancy, aging, dehydration, etc predispose people to constipation.
How to Treat Constipation Naturally
The best way to treat constipation is tochange your lifestyle. Eating a healthy balanced diet, which contains fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, lentils, green leafy vegetables, etc., maintaining an active life and adopting healthy routines could change the way your body responds.
Natural Constipation Remedies
There are a whole range of remedies that you should incorporate into your lifestyle to treat and prevent constipation.
Water – Drinking plenty of water, especially warm water in the morning could prevent constipation. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water and drink this early in the morning instead. This is an excellent tonic for your intestines and it effectively relieves constipation. I have specifically mentioned ‘water’ and not ‘fluids’ here just to stress the fact that sodas and sweetened juice do not really help.
Probiotic foods – Natural probiotic foods like yoghurt, curd, buttermilk, pickled vegetables, tempeh, etc., have been known to normalise intestinal activity. Probiotic foods are known to aid digestion and facilitate the smooth movement of food down your gut. They not only increase your immunity but are also great constipation preventers.
Did you know?
More than 4 million Americans complain of frequent constipation.
This accounts for 2.5 million physician visits a year.
Around $725 million is spent on laxative products each year in America.
Source - National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)
Foods to Relieve Constipation
Apples are rich in fibre and can prevent constipation. An apple a day, keeps constipation away. Cooked apples are excellent for babies who have constipation. Children could also be given apple juice but if you could eat the whole apple, then go for it.
Figs– Figs, both fresh and dry, contain a lot of fibre. 5 to 7 figs could give you enough fibre for a day. Consuming figs with your breakfast could prevent and eliminate constipation.
Papaya – Papaya is an excellent food that promotes digestion because of the enzymes it contains. The fibre helps the smooth passage of stools, so stock up on your papayas to prevent constipation.
Guavas – are natural laxatives. Eat guavas with the seeds and you will not have any difficulty passing stools.
Grapes – Grapes also have a lot of fibre and can a bowl a day will make your passage easier.
Dry fruits like Prunes, raisins, dates, etc can be soaked in warm water and consumed to give you immediate relief. Raisins are
Foods that Relieve Constipation
Flax seeds – Ground flax seeds when consumed with saliva forms a gel like substance, which works like a brush and flushes out the waste from the gut. Flax seeds are healthy as they contain Omega 3 fatty acids.
Raw foods and salads – Try to consume as much of raw vegetables and fruits as possible. It would help to go organic. Add mint, cilantro, other fresh herbs to your salads to make them even healthier and fibre filled.
Seeds and nuts – Sesame seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, etc are excellent for constipation. Ground fenugreek seeds in a glass of water prevent constipation. Sprinkle sesame seeds on your salads and vegetable to get more fibre. A tea brewed with a teaspoon of fennel grounds in warm water relieves you of bloating, gas and constipation.
Nuts - Most nuts have plenty of fibre in them. A handful of nuts a day could make a healthy snack which prevents constipation.
The Indian gooseberry or Amla – could be eaten fresh or in its powdered form. A teaspoon of dry gooseberry grounds with water could prevent constipation totally.
Oats and barley – These are high in fibre, having them for your breakfast in different forms would be ideal. Add oatmeal and barley flour into your pancakes or have a bowl of rolled oats with yoghurt and fruit to make your breakfast doubly healthy.
Senna – Senna has been considered to be the ultimate cure for constipation. A cup of senna tea could help you, but too much of it could cause cramping.
Psyllium husks – is a fibre that you could take to loosen up the stools. Remember to drink of plenty of water when you take high fibre foods. Fibres need fluids to absorb fats and clean out your gut.
Fruits, nut,s and high fiber foods for constipation
Constipation Remedies for Adults
Avoid processed food. Processed foods are highly refined and contain little or no fibre. These are what cause constipation. Go for whole grain cereals, lentils and sprouted grains to avoid constipation.
Avoid high fat and deep fried foods. Fatty deep fried foods are unhealthy and cause constipation. If you are prone to constipation, it would be wise to avoid any deep fried foods.
Exercise – A sedentary lifestyle is another major cause for constipation. You need more activity to get your intestines moving.
Tummy massage – Give yourself a light tummy massage. Lie down on your back and massage your stomach in circular, clockwise movements around your belly button for about 2 minutes. This if done in the morning after drinking a glass of warm water hastens your bowel movements.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine. These can cause dehydration and constipation. Although just a cup of coffee may actually help you, three or more cups leave you dehydrated.
Sleep – Disturbance in sleep or lack of sleep could case constipation. Try to get your 8 hours of sleep for your body to function optimally.
How to prevent constipation?
Apart from using these natural remedies, you could make a few other lifestyle changes to prevent constipation.
- Make a habit of sipping water constantly. Carry a bottle of water with you all the time.
- Chew your food well. Take time to chew each mouthful so that the food you eat is digested well.
- You could have the doctor prescribe alternatives. If you have been having chronic constipation, you need to make these changes slowly and let your digestive system adjust to these changes.
- Establish a morning routine, drink warm lemon water and give yourself time in the toilet. Forcing bowel movements could cause fissures and bleeding. Let the muscles of your rectum relax so that stools could be passed normally.
- Never resist the urge to have a bowel movement. Check with your doctor regarding the medication that you are taking, as this could also be a reason for constipation.
- When you add more fibre to your diet, you could be faced with the problem of flatulence. Increasing your intake of water and eating your meals in smaller amounts spread through the day could help your digestive system adjust to the change.
- Balance our intake of pulses and raw vegetables and gradually increase them as your body accepts the change.
If you could adopt these changes to your daily routine, you could tune your body to a rhythmic clock of its own helping it eliminate toxic wastes naturally without holding back.