Constipation can affect anyone but ladies are more likely to experience constipation. This problem normally persists for only a short period of time and is due to insufficient amount of fibre and fluid in the diet – all you need to do is adjust your diet. However, if you notice long term constipation problems, consult your doctor, especially if you experience significant pain.
It is encouraged by health experts that everyone should clear our bowel at least once a day to avoid buildup of toxins in our body. However, you are only considered having constipation when you get less bowel movement compare to normal and the regularity of bowel movement is different in everyone. You can have a bowel movement of as often as 3 to 4 times per day, or once in 3 or 4 days, and still be normal.
Useful tips to relief constipation
Drink at the right timing
Drink warm water (slightly hot) the first thing in the morning (yes! before your even brush your teeth) will help your bowel to move, and of course clear out the unwanted things from your body! Best results is between 5-7am because that’s the time your colon works.
Eat PLENTY of fibre
Soluble fibre softens the stool, while insoluble fibre passes through the intestine mostly unchanged but it bulks up the stool and stimulates bowel movements. Both types of fibre are equally important so make sure you take both of them, taking too much insoluble fibre without increasing water or soluble fibre intake can worsen constipation.
Below is a chart of foods rich in soluble and insoluble fibre.
Go for the natural laxatives
Laxatives can be occasionally used to relieve constipation and can be easily purchased at pharmacies over the counter but long term use can cause dependency and other undesired side effects. We recommend using natural laxatives and the best ones are figs and prune (whole fruit, paste or juice). Taking one to two servings everyday can help you to increase fibre intake and keep constipation away!
Physical activities help to stimulate movement of the bowel.
30 minutes of brisk (quick) walking daily or 3x 1 hour session of exercise weekly will be just nice to keep yourself active and bowel movement regulated.
A clean and healthy colon is the foundation to our wellbeing so let’s follow a balanced diet and lifestyle starting today for a burden-free colon!
- WebMD http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-constipation
- National Health Services, UK http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- P.A, Balch. 2010. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 5th Ed. New York: Penguin Books.
- F, Berkoff and J, Schwarcz. 2013. Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal. New York: Reader’s Digest.