Constipation is a condition in which bowel motions are not frequent and the person faces difficulty in passing the hard stools. It means that the movement of stool is too slow through the digestive tract. So, by the time the stool reaches the rectum, it turns dry and hard, thus causing discomfort. In such cases, proper dietary selection can make a huge difference. Find out how to tackle constipation with a good diet.
Common symptoms of constipation
Constipation is among the most common health conditions around the globe. Having less than three bowel motions in a week is an indication that you have constipation. Bloating, upset stomach, abdominal cramps, and firm stool are all signs of constipation. In acute cases, there can also be blood in the stool.
Major causes of constipation
- Insufficient intake of water
- Lack of physical activity
- Having an excess cheese or milk
- Low-fiber food choices
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Hormonal problems
- Over-dependence on medicines like anti-depressants, strong painkillers, allergy medications, etc.
What to eat to get rid of constipation naturally
Modifying your diet is the best way of soothing a constipated stomach. A high-fiber diet is key to stimulating bowel movements organically. Here are some foods that you must include in your daily diet:
- Apples and Kiwis- They are loaded with fiber. Doctors recommend people with chronic constipation to having apples and kiwis as they accelerate the movement of stool through the intestine. So, you should consume one apple and a handful of kiwis daily.
- Citrus fruits- Grapefruits, oranges, and mandarins are some examples of citrus fruits. They can be a refreshing and healthy snack in between meals. As they contain pectin, they significantly reduce constipation. For best results, consume fruits along with their skin.
- Green leafy vegetables- Greens like brussels sprouts, broccoli, and spinach are rich in fiber and have vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. 4.7 grams of fiber is present in just one cup of spinach. Only 5 brussels sprouts can meet 14% of your fiber needs daily. So, you can consume these in the form of salads and soups. They will add weight and bulk to your stool, making it easy for you to poop.
- Sweet potatoes- Sweet potatoes are extremely delicious and they alleviate constipation. As they contain lignin, pectin, and cellulose, they will benefit your gut immensely. Once you start having sweet potatoes, you will notice great results after 4 days. There are amazing sweet potato recipes on the internet that you try. Roasted, mashed, boiled, or steamed – they always taste palatable.
- Peas, beans, and lentils- Lentils, peas, and beans are called pulses. You must include the most affordable fiber-packed items in your everyday diet. As pulses have both soluble and insoluble fiber, they effectively soften the stool, thus facilitating a smooth passage. You can add pulses to salads and soups or blend them to make yummy dips.
- Flaxseeds and chia seeds- In many countries, flaxseeds have been a traditional constipation remedy for centuries. Thanks to their laxative effects, they are known for aiding digestion. Chia seeds are equally fiber-dense seeds and 85% of them are made of insoluble fiber. Studies have revealed that both chia seeds and flaxseeds increase stool frequency. They retain water in the large intestine and add volume to the stool. You can mix these seeds in yogurt, cereals, bread, and cakes.
- Stay hydrated- Are you drinking enough water? Having eight glasses of water daily will give you much relief from constipation. Drinking warm water with lemon juice on an empty stomach is an excellent remedy. Until you are satisfied with your bowel movement, avoid drinking caffeine-rich beverages like soft drinks and coffee.
Besides eating well, you should also exercise like walking or cycling. It will keep your intestinal muscles healthy and active, thus facilitating frequent bowel movements.
The Bottom Line
There are various medicines available in the market to relieve constipation. However, you can rely on several home remedies and foods to treat it without medications. You can also consult a certified dietitian in Gurgaon for a constipation-specific diet plan. A dietician will suggest the appropriate food items based on the level of seriousness.