Published on Sep 24, 2017
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For one, it’s extremely common, afflicting 42 million people in the United States.
Each of us has different bathroom habits, but most experts say that three or fewer bowel movements per week could indicate a problem – especially among older men.
And although constipation can be caused by medical conditions (hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease), medications (painkillers, antidepressants), and other factors that may be out of your control, for most of us, it’s caused by what we’re eating—or, rather, not eating. In fact… The number-one cause is not consuming enough soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber traps water in your stool while insoluble fiber bulks it up. Together, they help waste move smoothly through your intestines and colon and, eventually, into the toilet.
But when you don’t eat fiber-rich fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains on a regular basis, it’s easy to become constipated. You could also be dehydrated.
But even guzzling water won’t prevent constipation if your diet is lacking in fiber.
And when that happens, you can add a few natural remedies into your diet that can help get things moving.
1) Prunes – 2:04
For one, they’re rich in fiber. The nutrient is what increases the bulk of your stool so it can move along on its merry way. One prune has about 1 gram of fiber.
They also have fructans and sorbitol, fermentable sugars that can have a laxative effect, she adds.
2) Kiwi – 2:32
One downside to some fruits is that they contain a lot of fructose—fruit sugar—that can cause gas… Which is why I suggest for you to stick to high-fiber, lower-sugar fruits that don’t bring on the bloated tummy, like kiwi. One cup of kiwi offers 5 grams of fiber, plus you’ll get other good-for-you nutrients, like more than double your daily vitamin C quota.
3) Oranges – 3:03
I recommend skipping the Oj and eating the fruit itself instead… This is because most orange juice products are loaded with unnecessary sugar, which will cause weight gain and further your constipation problems.
Plus, one large orange offers 4 grams of fiber for just 86 calories. Bonus, citrus fruits contain a flavonol called naringenin, which Chinese researchers in an animal study found could work like a laxative to help treat constipation.
4) Oatmeal – 3:41
Oatmeal offers the best of both fiber worlds: a half-cup of dry oats contains 2 grams of insoluble and 2 grams of soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines, while soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. Together, the two types of fiber work together to bulk up a stool, soften it, and make it easier to pass.
5) Aloe Vera Juice – 4:17
This bottled beverage is popping up in more stores, fueled by the healthy-drink trend (think coconut water). Made from the aloe vera plant, aloe can act as a laxative for some people. In fact, aloe was traditionally included in laxative products. I suggest that if you want to try aloe juice, start with 2 ounces and work your way up to 8.
6) Spinach – 4:52
Not only does one cup of cooked spinach pack 4 grams of fiber, but it’s also an excellent source of magnesium. The mineral helps the colon contract and also “helps draw water into flush things through”. In fact, in some cases, many over the counter laxative products actually contain magnesium… Before you go that route though, it couldn’t hurt to add more magnesium-rich foods into your diet first.
7) Green Beans – 5:35
If traditional beans are too tough on your stomach, you can try green beans. Though they’re very different from traditional beans (they’re much lower in protein and carbs), they still contain 4 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, making them a good constipation fighter. Better yet, they contain fewer fermentable sugars, so they likely won’t come with the gassy side effect of regular beans.
8) Greek Yogurt (plain, non-fat) – 6:17
Many yogurts contain live active bacterial cultures, or probiotics, that replenish the good bacteria in your gut. That can help with the entire health of your GI system. In fact, in one meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014, probiotics helped increase the number of bowel movements by 1.3 per week, and—sorry for the image—improved consistency, too, making things more comfortable when you go.
Go GREEK, the plain option contains no added sugars and you can easily enhance the flavor yourself by adding some fresh fruit.
There you have it guys. Food truly is the best medicine… For more nutrition tips, make sure to: Like, Share, & Subscribe to Seniority Health.
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