Constipation at best is uncomfortable, and at the very least it can become downright debilitating. Sooner or later everyone experiences constipation to some degree and whilst it can be treated with medication, a gentler approach may be turn to food as medicine, some of which may remedy the situation almost immediately.

Constipation can be seen as a blanket term, meaning it is a catch phrase that encompasses a few different things such as stools being too hard, too small, too difficult to pass, or too infrequently.

According to gastroenterologist Niket Sonpal, MD.: “People with constipation may also notice a frequent need to strain and a sense that the bowels are not empty.”

Constipation can be caused by a number of reasons including; diet, or more specifically a lack of fibre or healthy fats; lack of exercise; stress; and dehydration among others. What is considered normal for bowel movements varies from person-to-person, but in general, if you aren’t pooping at least every three days, you’re probably constipated.

Diet is a good first step in trying to deal with backed up intestinal traffic, and adding more fibre to your diet along with water should be considered your go to in most cases.

“Most dietary fibre is not digested or absorbed, so it stays within the intestine where it modulates digestion of other foods and affects the consistency of stool,” explains Dr. Sonpal.

Fibre has 2 forms, and each has it’s benefits:

(1) soluble fibre which is made of carbohydrates that dissolve in water

(2) insoluble fibre comes from plant cell walls that doesn’t dissolve in water.

If you aim to get a good mix of both kinds with some healthy fats and water thrown in, the chances are you will be making that trip to the loo in no time.

Another tip … if you eat something that makes you go to the toilet immediately it may be a sign that you are sensitive or allergic to it, or even that it was bad. While it is a good idea to load up on healthy foods to keep your system moving, you want to avoid anything that will make this happen too quickly.

Water is wonderful. Proper hydration can often solve many issues, constipation being no exception to this rule. Filtered plain water with lemon is a good choice – drinking sparkling water also helps.

Caffeine isn’t drank it’s just rented. This expression is true, because it is a stimulant to the GI system. And while this may be a quick fix, it may not be the best way to handle constipation on a regular basis … be sure to drink water as well due to caffeine being dehydrating.

When you need to go it may be time to pull out the high fruit fibre such as apples, guava, peaches, raspberries, and papaya. As it turns out Nana was right about those prunes too, they can work wonders for constipation.

And while you’re reaching for fruit, don’t forget that veggies are full of fibre too, such as peas, artichokes and broccoli. For a salad try adding some beets and tomatoes for a fibre and hydration boost that should make you good to go fairly quickly.

Oatmeal is another fibre-full helper that may assist you in pushing out your problem. Oatmeal may be a better choice during the day. For evening, fibre-filled quinoa may be a better option.

Nuts and nut butter are healthy fats that are also fibre-packed which may help to grease the pipes for release. Try dipping into some apples or berries for extra fibre.

Olive oil may also help and makes a yummy dressing for salads.

Thanks to its capsaicin content, curry is another natural laxative that may help you to push things through your colon a bit more easily, as it acts to stimulate a receptor that speeds up digestion.

So before you reach for the drug solution, keep in mind that exercise combined with fibre-filled food and plenty of water may be an easier and more gentle solution.

However if you are experiencing pain, it may be best to seek medical attention. And don’t let this issue go on for too long as it could lead to or be a sign of other problems.

*For the full article and references, please visit the below website. We also suggest you conduct your own further research.