Constipation happens to everybody on occasion. If constipation tends to be a frequent occurrence for you due to food intolerance or food sensitivity, then it is important that you maintain your bowel regularity by changing your diet and avoiding known triggers. By doing so you can avoid the discomfort, gas and bloating that comes with constipation.
1. Increase your fiber: Fiber is key to keeping things flowing. Fiber helps make your stools soft and easy to pass. Beans, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli, are high in fiber.
2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Eight glasses of water a day ensures that there is enough water flowing through your bowels to make stools comfortable and regular.
3. Fruits and vegetables not only have fiber, but also contain other important nutrients that contribute to healthy bowel movements.
4. Protein can be constipating so to combat the constipation of a high-protein diet, pair it with plenty of fiber rich foods.
5. Exercise gets everything moving, including your bowels. Going for a walk or working out can relieve and prevent constipation.
6. When you gotta go, go. Ignoring nature’s call to move your bowels can lead to irregular bowel movements and constipation, especially if you consistently do not go when you need to. By going when you need to go, you can create a cycle of regularity.
7. Papaya is not only a source of fiber, but it also contains antioxidants and enzymes that can improve digestion by breaking down proteins.
8. Limit your intake of constipating foods. It sounds obvious, but make sure that your snacks and beverages are fiber-rich rather than empty of nutritional value. Skip foods that can bind in favor of fruits that have fiber content. Red meat is high in iron, which is constipating. High fat foods, such as dairy, can also cause constipation by releasing enzymes that slow down the intestinal tract and gum up the digestive process.
9. Go for fresh and unprocessed foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain the most fiber. In a pinch, frozen vegetables and fruits are also good options because they have been frozen with fiber content still intact. Processed and canned foods can contain additives that break down fiber content or make the nutritional value void or even difficult to digest.
10. Coffee or laxatives. Although caffeine and laxatives are not good options, if you are severely constipated they can get things going in a pinch. Caffeine can stimulate a bowel movement, but can also cause dehydration so it is important that you drink plenty of water to avoid further constipation.
By eating a well balanced diet filled with fiber and foods that maintain regularity, you can avoid constipation on a regular basis.