3 Ways Your Diet Can Combat Constipation
Fiber refers to the parts of plant foods that the body can't digest. Fiber therefore passes through the colon and keeps the excretory system functioning in a healthy manner. Experts recommend taking in 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day, far beyond the 15 grams per day that the average American eats. Add the fiber gradually, as to avoid putting an unexpected strain on your intestines.
To add fiber to your diet naturally, toss some berries into your morning high-fiber cereal, or eat some dried fruit as a snack. Add raw veggies and fruits to your snack regime, aiming to consume about 4 to 5 cups a day. Another great snack choice is popcorn, which is a whole grain; choose an air-popped variety to keep your consumption of oils down. Beans of every sort contain a great deal of fiber. Replace your regular breads, baked goods and cereals with whole grains to increase fiber intake; rye bread is often particularly good at relieving constipation.
The digestive process relies on a constant flow of water. If you're not taking in enough fluids, constipation can be one result. Eight glasses a day of clear, calorie-free fluids are recommended. Sodas and sugary fruit juices may provide fluids, but they come with extra calories that you don't need.
Avoid Constipating Foods
Some foods have a constipating effect, shutting down your digestive system just when you need it working well. Chocolate is particularly problematic for people with irritable bowel syndrome, who experience constipation as a regular symptom. The lactose in dairy can cause gas and bloating and may be a culprit in causing constipation as well. Red meat in large quantities also tends to have a constipating effect. Watch out for unripe bananas and caffeine as well, especially if you're already dehydrated; both can increase your dehydration and exacerbate constipation.
Though most people experience constipation at one point or another, in many cases, it's a temporary problem. Changing your diet can help relieve constipation and the gas and bloating that typically accompany it. Here are some diet tips that can get rid of your constipation without the need for over-the-counter or prescription medication.
If your constipation recurs frequently despite changes to your diet, or if you experience bleeding or severe pain, see your doctor to discover whether your constipation is a sign of a more serious ailment. Adding exercise to your daily routine also helps relieve constipation. If you require extra help to beat constipation, consider taking a fiber supplement rather than picking up laxatives at the local drugstore.