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3 Top Tips for Curing Constipation

By sandraljames, May 19 2016 01:42PM

Constipation is one of the most common health complaints I hear about when speaking with clients. From a natural health perspective, you’re considered constipated if you’re not having one to three quality bowel movements per day! What are my top tips to help?

Constipation is a digestive symptom that prevents you from daily bowel movements and may be accompanied with abdominal pain and discomfort. It's typically linked to dietary factors, such as eating too many processed foods and sugar or not drinking enough water but can also be caused by emotional distress.

Even though laxatives can trigger a series of spasms in the colon to eject the stool, they don’t actually address why constipation is occurring in the first place. They can do your colon more harm than good and using laxatives on a regular basis can create a dependency on them.

So I recommend avoiding them and trying natural cures for constipation instead. Here are my top three cures for constipation while improving your overall health.

1. Increase Your Fibre Intake Through Fruits and Vegetables

Fibre is found in all plant foods. It’s the nutrient that “sweeps” your intestinal tract clean and forms the stool in your digestive tract to be eliminated.

You can get both soluble and insoluble fibre in fruits and vegetables. Aim to eat 2-3 portions of fruit and 5 portions fresh vegetables every day.

I recommend eating fruits and vegetables over taking fibre supplements because they also contain water, which helps hydrate the colon (as well as a wealth of phytonutrients, vitamins & minerals!)

A few other great sources of fibre include ground flaxseed, chia seeds and green smoothies – all of these can be included as part of your daily breakfast.

2. Increase Your Water Consumption

The other main cause of constipation is dehydration.

In order for waste to move through your gastrointestinal tract and be eliminated, it needs water – otherwise it gets stuck.

This is why you may still experience constipation even if you have enough fiber in your diet. When you increase the fiber in your diet, be sure to increase your water at the same time. Both nutrients work together to promote healthy and regular bowel movements.

Drink lemon water first thing: not only does having a glass of lemon water on an empty stomach increase your daily water intake, it can be helpful for promoting intestinal peristalsis, improving digestion and encouraging regular bowel movements.

3. Increase Your Essential Fatty Acids

Healthy fats have the ability to relieve constipation because their natural oils provide lubrication to your digestive tract. This helps the stool pass through your colon much easier.

Essential fatty acids, especially omega 3s, must be regularly eaten because the body can’t produce them on its own.

One of the highest food sources of omega 3 essential fatty acids is oily fish (salmon, mackerel, trout etc.). If you’re vegan, you can get essential fatty acids from flaxseed, coconut oil and hemp hearts.

So an abundance of fruit & veg, water and healthy fats are the first places to look to when relieving constipation naturally but also consider :-

Aerobic Exercise

Sometimes, all it takes is a little movement to get things moving. If you’re in a sedentary position for most of the day, this is especially important.

It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, even a brisk walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator counts.

Stress & Emotional Baggage - From a holistic standpoint, each health symptom has an underlying emotional component. It’s suggested that constipation may be a sign of holding on to old resentment, experiences, or negative emotions. The process of finding out whether emotional pain is a contributing factor to constipation will be different for each person, a good place to start is to consider keeping a journal or try more holistic forms of exercise such as yoga.

Hopefully this helps!

If you’re still experiencing issues then it’s a good idea to look at other potential causes of constipation - these include magnesium intake, thyroid function, overall gut health and stress levels.

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