Let’s take a look into some natural ways to relieve constipation!
Constipation is a common digestive problem that can leave you feeling uncomfortable, bloated, and stressed over the need to “go”. Here are 9 natural ways to help ease constipation.
1. Drink More Water
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation. Water helps everything in the body run smoothly, ESPECIALLY OUR BOWELS.
If you don’t consume enough water, the large intestine absorbs the water from the food waste, resulting in hard, difficult to pass, stools. The more hydrated you are, the less fluid the colon will withdraw, aiding in softer, easier to pass, stools.
GOAL: 8 cups of water per day! Drink ½ – 1 oz. of water per pound of body weight per day.
2. Eat More Hydrating Foods
Hydrating foods can aid in overall hydration along with consumption of WATER.
HYDRATING FOODS: Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini
3. Eat Regularly (Every 3-4 Hours)
When you don’t eat for a while, your blood sugar drops, and your body goes into starvation mode, decreasing the rate of digestion.
Example: Breakfast @ 8am, Lunch @ 12pm, Snack @ 4pm, Dinner @ 7pm
4. Increase Fiber
Fiber, the indigestible part of plants, is important for smooth digestion. There are 2 types of fiber. Soluble fiber, found in apples, oats and beans, adds bulk to the stool & insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, vegetables and wheat bran, helps to speed up the transit of food in the digestive tract. TOGETHER, they aid in reducing constipation.
Goal: 25-30g per day.
5. Add a Little More Healthy Fat to Your Food
It is possible to eat TOO little fat. Fat aids in motility by stimulating communication between the stomach and small intestine with the colon. Limit saturated and trans fats and include more foods that are rich in unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, seeds and nuts, fatty fish (Salmon, mackerel).
Fat is essential!
6. Try a Little Aloe Juice (1 oz.)
The plant contains compounds that produce laxative-like effects. Through digestion, the fluid from the aloe juice is drawn into the stool to make it softer. The digestion of the protein found in aloe juice can actually strengthen the body’s intestinal muscles.
Brands we recommend:
7. Don’t Overdo The Caffeine
Although it is true that caffeine can stimulate the muscles in your digestive system to contract, ultimately causing a bowel movement, excess caffeine consumption can actually lead to the opposite outcome. Caffeine is a diuretic and can actually cause dehydration, one of the main causes of constipation. Overtime, the bowel can grow a dependence on coffee if consumed in excess.
Don’t drink coffee as a remedy to reduce constipation! For every cup of coffee you drink, have a cup of water.
8. Chew Your Food Better
Chewing your food properly can aid in smoother digestion and increased nutrient absorption. When you chew your food more thoroughly, the body releases digestive enzymes to break it down more efficiently. By breaking the food down into smaller pieces upon ingestion, producing more saliva, a digestive enzyme, the digestive process is improved.
This will also help you feel more satisfied.
9. Move More During the Day
Exercise increases blood flow to the muscles and digestive tract, aiding in increased digestion. Your digestive muscles are more effective when you’re in better shape. Being sedentary for long periods of time can kink up the colon and lead to constipation.