While we have all experienced constipation at one point or another, some are more prone to it than others. Regardless of which group you fall into, leaving constipation unattended can cause some serious health implications in the long run. Luckily, there’re some foods that can prevent constipation and even treat it.
Constipation occurs in the colon — the final section of your stomach that’s responsible for taking all the extra water in your food and returning it back into your body to wherever it’s needed. It most commonly occurs when waste or stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract or cannot be eliminated effectively from the rectum, which may cause the stool to become hard and dry.
Of course, this whole process can be quite painful and very discomforting, and anyone who has experienced it can attest. A general rule for preventing constipation is to drink plenty of water throughout the day as water hydrates your digestive tract enough to make it easy to go. Other than that, it’s also important to eat a healthy, fiber-rich diet. According to Everyday Health: “Soluble fiber allows more water to remain in your stool, making waste softer, larger, and thus, easier to pass through your intestines. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your fecal material, which hastens its passage through your gut and prevents that constipated feeling.” That is to say, regardless of the fiber you choose, you’re on the right track to preventing constipation.
Finally, regular exercise can also come in handy as being active increases your body’s metabolism, thus, lowering the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine. In order words, the more active you are, the more active your body is. If at the end of the day you’re still experiencing issues going after trying several methods, the following foods will certainly help.
Here are 5 trusted foods to prevent and relieve constipation…
#1. Hot beverage
A trusted way to get fast relief from constipation is to drink hot beverages like coffee or regular tea. The heat of the beverage can speed up digestive motility, and the caffeine stimulates the bowels. However, this should be done in moderation as excess caffeine can cause dehydration.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to improve gut health and soften stools. Dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir contain probiotics. A 2017 study published in Wiley Online Library investigated the effectiveness of kefir in preventing constipation in people with mental and physical disabilities. The study found that “the intake of kefir significantly reduced constipation, compared with the baseline status. Some individuals showed complete relief of constipation, whereas others showed no effect.” The authors concluded that daily consumption of kefir could help to prevent constipation.
This is ideal, especially as we’ve entered the warmer seasons. Watermelon isn’t only tasty but healthy too. Your heart, skin, hair, digestive system, and muscles will all thank you if you make this fruit a regular part of your diet.
Although watermelon doesn’t go far in the way of fiber, it is loaded with water that keeps your colon and stools lubricated. Additionally, chemical compounds laced in the makeup of watermelons make them a proven mild natural laxative.
Beans are pulses that have more than 10 grams of fiber per cup serving and they have a great mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which help the food keep moving through the intestines to relieve constipation. This means they can alleviate constipation by adding bulk and weight to stools, as well as softening them to facilitate passage.
Oatmeal is one of the most popular breakfast meals around the world. It is packed with essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, B vitamins, and fiber. In addition, it contains a good amount of insoluble fiber that aids the digestion process. This helps bowel movements and soaks water from the fluids you drink. As a result, any chances of hard and dry stool formation are nearly eliminated. The fiber also adds bulk to your stool and enables it to pass through the colon easily.
Bonus: Prune juice works magic for constipation. You should have a bottle of this in your fridge if you often suffer from constipation. To prevent constipation, avoid foods that can make it worse, for example, gluten and alcohol.
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