It shouldn’t come as a surprise that what you put in your body has a lot to do with the way it comes out. Constipation is one such thing that 80% of people experience at some point of life. The Symptoms include passing stools less than three times per week, straining, lumpy or hard stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, feeling blocked, or being unable to pass a stool.
Constipation has a variety of causes, but it’s often the result of the slow movement of food through the digestive system.
This may be due to dehydration, a poor diet, medications, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system, or mental disorders.
The good news: Making smart food choices and adopting good habits can make a difference. Foods high in fiber may help keep your bowels working regularly.
Dietary fiber has a numerous health benefits, helps to manage both cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Fiber may also speed up the transit of stool through the digestive system, which can help keep you regular.
The daily recommendation is about 25 grams for women and 31 grams for men per day.
Sources of dietary fiber include:
Fruits, such as oranges, banana, guava, Mangoes, pears, apples with skin on, prunes (dried or stewed) and raisins.
Unsalted nuts and seeds, such as almonds, peanuts, pecans and walnuts, as well as pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds.
Vegetables, such as Cucumber, Spinach, Carrot, green peas, broccoli, sweet potato, and pumpkin.
Whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain bread and rolls, whole grain pastas, wheat bran and bran cereals.
In contrast, a low fiber eating pattern may contribute to constipation. Foods low in dietary fiber include refined grains, such as white bread and rolls, white rice, spaghetti and other pastas, cereals and baked goods made from white flour.
2. Read your food Label:
The amount of fiber in foods is included on the food label under the “Carbohydrates” heading. Your goal is to eat 100% of the recommended daily value of fiber. When selecting products:
Aim for foods with over 5% daily value dietary fiber per serving.
High fiber foods contain 20% or more dietary fiber per serving.
Your Fiber Intake gradually, as it may cause abdominal discomfort. If
you have not been eating foods high in fiber, slowly increase your
3. Include a lot of Fluids
Drink plenty of water or other unsweetened beverages throughout the day. Fluids help you to make your stools softer and helps to pass through much easily.
Higher protein without water can have a contradictory effect to your body thereby worsening your bowel movements.
4. Get Moving
Being active may also help to keep your bowel movements regular. Individuals who do not participate in regular physical activity may be more likely to become constipated. Short, 10 to 15 minute walks after each meal can help keep your bowels working normally.
5. Seek Help, If Constipation Persists
Constipation might lead to uncomfortable bloating and reduce your appetite. If your constipation is not going away, contact your healthcare provider. Ask if an over the counter medicine such as a stool softener or laxative may be helpful for you.