Constipation affects about 16 out of every 100 adults in the United States. Constipation affects roughly 33 out of every 100 people aged 60 and up, with the prevalence rising with age. The technical name for when an individual has fewer bowel motions than usual or has trouble passing stool is constipation. Having fewer than three bowel motions per week is a common symptom of constipation. Chronic bowel obstruction is a prevalent health problem. An estimated 14% of city people experienced constipation in 2015, a direct result of their unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles, according to a report. Some people find that taking a medication in the morning makes their routine easier, while others find that a therapy like an enema is more effective.
Let me share some encouraging news with you. You may heal your digestive system using yoga postures, nutritional adjustments, and Ayurveda, all without resorting to harmful pharmaceuticals or invasive surgical procedures. In Ayurveda, toxins are called mala and when they are eliminated through a healthy digestive system and removed waste products, it leaves one feeling rejuvenated, energized, and more in control of their thoughts and actions. Both physical and dietary changes can help with regular bowel motions. Some easy asanas can help with bowel movements on a physical and structural basis.
An estimated 14% of the population will have ongoing constipation at some point. There are several potential reasons for constipation, but one common factor is a digestive tract that moves too slowly to process food. Conditions include dehydration, malnutrition, drug side effects, illness, diseases of the neurological system, and mental disorders can all play a role. The good news is that consuming certain foods can ease constipation by reducing gut travel time and adding weight to the stool.
What are the foods to be added to your diet to fight constipation?
Nearly 20% of adults suffer from chronic constipation. One of the most frequent causes is slowed colonic transit or a slowing of the digestive process. Constipation may be caused by a lack of fiber in the diet, advancing age, or lack of exercise. Adding a few regular-frequency foods into your meal plan can be a risk-free and effective replacement for traditional treatments for constipation like medicines, stool softeners, and fiber supplements.
Following are the foods that can ease the symptoms of constipation
Sometimes, all you need is water
Constipation can be a side effect of chronic dehydration. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is a good first line of defense against this. The carbonated (sparkling) liquid may help relieve constipation. It will assist them to recover and start moving again. Carbonated water may be preferable to regular water for alleviating constipation, according to some research. These symptoms can be seen in those who suffer from chronic idiopathic constipation as well as those who have indigestion (also known as dyspepsia).
However, fizzy liquids like sugary soda should be avoided as they might have negative health impacts and may exacerbate constipation. Be sure to get plenty of fluids to avoid constipation, which can be brought on by dehydration. There is some evidence that sparkling water is even more beneficial than still water in treating constipation.
Increase your fiber intake
Physicians generally recommend increasing fiber intake to relieve constipation. This is because fiber helps stools become more bulky and consistent, simplifying their passage. It also facilitates their transit through the digestive system. Seventy-seven percent of those who suffer from persistent constipation improved from taking a fiber supplement, according to a review conducted in 2016.
Increasing fiber intake, however, has been shown in some research to exacerbate the issue. Others claim that dietary fiber increases bowel movement frequency but does not necessarily alleviate other constipation symptoms including altered bowel consistency, discomfort, bloating, or gas. Constipation can be alleviated by consuming psyllium or another non-fermentable soluble fiber.
The psyllium in this supplement is 3.4 times more efficient than the insoluble wheat bran in relieving constipation, according to a review published in 2020.
Many studies have found that regular exercise can alleviate constipation. Constipation has been related in studies to a lack of physical activity. As a result, some medical professionals advocate for more physical activity as a means of stimulating bowel activity. However, not all reports find that physical activity alleviates the symptoms of constipation. Because of this, more study is required. Other studies found that exercise did not necessarily improve bowel regularity, although it did alleviate some symptoms and boost the quality of life ratings.
Regular exercise (brisk walking) has been shown to alleviate digestive symptoms and boost the quality of life in patients with IBS. Jogging, or other forms of strenuous activity, may exacerbate symptoms for some people. If you’re feeling down, try getting some light exercise in, like walking, scuba diving, cycling, or going for a run. Some people find relief from constipation problems after engaging in regular exercise.
Get your caffeine fix by chugging some coffee
Caffeine in coffee may cause an increased need to use the restroom in certain persons. Because coffee helps get your digestive system moving, this is true. One study from 1998 even indicated that caffeinated coffee had the same effect on the digestive tract as eating a meal. Compared to freshwater, this impact was 60% higher and compared to sipping decaf coffee, this effect was 23% greater. There is some evidence that coffee contains trace levels of soluble fiber, which can aid in the prevention of constipation by promoting a healthy bacterial balance in the digestive tract. However, caffeine’s bowel-stimulating effects may be more pronounced in those with IBS. There’s a chance it could exacerbate stomach issues, too.
Individuals with IBS may find relief by cutting coffee from their diet. By increasing muscle tone in the digestive tract, coffee helps ease constipation.
Try the natural stimulant Senna
Senna, a herbal laxative, is widely used since it is safe and helpful in relieving constipation. The oral and rectal versions can be purchased without a prescription from a store or online. Glycosides, a class of plant compounds found in senna, activate the nerves in the digestive tract and promote regular bowel motions. Senna is considered safe for adults in small doses, but users should see a physician if their symptoms persist beyond a few days. Senna is not advised by physicians for patients with specific health issues, including inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy, or nursing.
It’s a laxative made from herbs In order to relieve constipation, senna is often used. Constipation is alleviated because the nerves in the digestive tract are jolted into action.
Consume probiotic foods or boost with probiotics
Constipation is a problem that may be avoided with the use of probiotics. The term “probiotic” refers to the good bacteria that can be found in one’s digestive tract in its living form. Two weeks of probiotic supplementation has been shown to improve bowel regularity and stool consistency in patients with constipation, according to a 2019 review. Two weeks of probiotic supplementation has been shown to improve bowel regularity and stool consistency in patients with constipation, according to a 2019 review.
Their ability may also prove useful in relieving constipation. These may stimulate bowel activity and make defecation less of a chore. A different option is to take a probiotic. Four weeks into taking these supplements, some research suggests that positive effects may become apparent. If you suffer from constipation, you might want to try taking probiotic pills or increasing your intake of foods rich in probiotics.
Glucomannan supplements are recommended
A soluble fiber called glucomannan is extracted from the konjac plant’s roots. According to the results of several studies, it can help relieve constipation. Glucomannan may help maintain a healthy gut microbiome in addition to facilitating regular bowel motions. Results from single research in children showed that 45% of those given glucomannan had recovered from chronic constipation, compared to only 13% of those given a placebo.
However, a second randomized controlled trial discovered no such differences. Some people choose to take glucomannan supplements, while others prefer shirataki noodles, often known as konjac noodles. Supplements containing glucomannan are also a viable option. The advantages they provide differ by brand, therefore comparing offerings is recommended. You can find glucomannan pills for sale on the internet. Some people have reported that taking glucomannan helped them with their constipation. Ingredients include shirataki noodles and nutritional additives.
In addition to their high fiber content, prunes also have phenolic chemicals and sorbitol, both of which may aid digestion. Prunes were studied in 2018 for their potential to alleviate constipation in women over the age of 60. The total of 60 people was split in half so that 30 people in each group could participate. Their regular diets were maintained by both groups. The therapy group, on the other hand, consumed 50 grams of rehydrated prunes once a day for three weeks. The intensity of constipation problems was significantly reduced in the treatment group compared to the control group. These alterations started at the three week’s end and carried on until the first week. As a result of their research, the authors reasoned that prunes might be a useful supplementary treatment for easing the serious nature of constipation in women of advanced age.
For 28 days, 19 healthy people took a supplement made from kiwi fruit. Compared to a control group, those who did so had significantly more bowel motions each day. In a separate study, it was revealed that 11 healthy people who ate two kiwis each day for two weeks had more frequent bowel functions and softer stools. And in 2010, researchers fed 54 persons with IBS two kiwis daily for four weeks and found improvement in their symptoms. People reported quicker colonic transit time and more frequent bowel movements after the study was over.
Constipation may be alleviated by eating kiwis, and it’s not only the fiber. Raw kiwis are delicious. They are a fantastic source of fiber and can be added to smoothies or fruit salads.
The Bottom Line
Constipation can be eased by consuming a variety of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and seeds.
Incorporating more fiber into your diet will help you feel fuller for longer, have softer stools, and have more frequent bowel movements. However, a high-fiber diet may exacerbate constipation in some people; therefore, it is crucial to discuss your options with your physician. It’s also important to keep your body hydrated. Remember that your body’s need for fluids will rise in tandem with your fiber consumption. Constipation can be alleviated and healthy bowel habits can be established if you exercise regularly.
You can enhance your frequency, stool consistency, and comfort by consuming more of the items listed above, drinking more water, and getting more exercise if you suffer from constipation.