It may not seem like an earth shaking problem, but when you can’t go and know there’s a lot to eliminate, it can be painful and concerning. Constipation is defined as having a bowel evacuation less than three times a week. While it can leave you feeling out of sorts, it can also cause far more severe problems that may even require surgery. If you aren’t eating healthy, the problem of constipation is more likely. That’s where a diet for constipation can not only help bring relief, but also prevent future issues.
The foods you eat may look healthy, but be part of the problem.
Foods that are low on fiber can cause constipation, but so can otherwise healthy foods. For instance, unripe ones bananas may back you up. They contain resistant starch that’s harder to digest and tannins that slow digestion. Alcohol can cause dehydration that makes it difficult to have a bowel movement. Foods with gluten can cause digestive problems that create constipation. Processed grains have the germ and bran removed—which contains fiber to keep you going. Milk and dairy may cause constipation, just like red meat may. Most people already realize that fast foods, highly processed foods and fried foods increase the risk of constipation.
Focus on foods that help you go.
An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, it helps you go! Eat the apple with the peel on it. Apples contain pectin that act like a natural stool softener. They area also high in fiber. Prunes are another stand-by when the going gets tough. Not only do they have the same effect as apples, they contain sorbitol, which pulls water into the colon. Pears, kiwi and other fresh fruits also help you go. You need to eat the fruit, not just drink its juice, to get the valuable fiber for colon health.
Eat your veggies for more going power.
Go for the greens to get plenty of fiber, plus other nutrients that keep you healthy. A salad filled with fresh spinach or other leafy greens will aid you in becoming regular. Don’t forget to eat some crucifers, like broccoli or Brussel sprouts to add to the fiber in your diet. Eating cooked spinach is also good, since one cup contains about 17 percent of your daily required fiber. One stalk of broccoli contains 16 percent and five Brussel sprouts contain 10 percent.
- Drink more water. Dehydration can cause your stool to be dry and harder to pass. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day can keep it soft.
- To go, you need to go for whole grains. Rye bread is better than others when it comes to constipation. It speeds up evacuation and decreases the time it takes to move the food through the body by 23 percent compared to white bread.
- Sprinkling flaxseed on your cereal in the morning or in your smoothie can help you go. It’s been a treatment for constipation through the centuries because of its natural laxative effects.
- Chia seeds act like natural stool softener to help make going easier.