Things To Eat & Things To Avoid If You Have Constipation
Having trouble pooping? You’re not alone! Constipation is one of the most commonly reported digestive issues, with more than 10-15% of the world’s population suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and up to 20% from chronic constipation.
Constipation is an uncomfortable, inconvenient, and frustrating problem that affects millions of people. While it’s normal to have the occasional back up in the bathroom, especially when stressed or traveling, it’s another thing to have it negatively impact your everyday life.
It’s not new news that having daily bowel movements is a good indicator of good health, but with today’s fast-paced modern world, poor dietary choices, and high levels of stress and travel getting in the way we’re starting to see that more people are experiencing troubles in the loo and thus more health issues.
The good news is that there are ways to prevent constipation and there are many natural constipation relief remedies available that can help relieve the discomfort if you are suffering. After years of battling digestive issues and IBS-C (Irritable Bowel Syndrome constipation), I’ve experienced my fair share of needing quick relief and needing it fast.
What is constipation?
Poop is the body’s natural way of getting rid of the leftover waste and toxins. After your body has absorbed the nutrients that it needs from the foods you’ve eaten, it needs to get rid of them. If this doesn’t happen, the toxins are reabsorbed back into the body and can lead to a plethora of other issues such as leaky gut, autoimmunities, , fatigue, and other illness.
Although it’s normal to experience tummy troubles from time to time, if your regular isn’t easy to pass first thing in the morning or you need stimulants such as coffee, you’ll want to start looking for some solutions. Constipation is when a person has fewer than three bowel movements a week. Stools are usually hard, dry, or lumpy, and may be difficult or painful to pass as opposed to a healthy stool which is easy to pass and looks like a banana.
Constipation is usually caused from a combination of different factors, such as diet, level of activity throughout the day, and also stress levels. Keep in mind that constipation is the symptom not the cause and it’s when you get to the root of the issue is when you start to figure out how to get things flowing again- pun intended. (NHP) founded by Naturopath Amanda Teh can also help. Amanda guides us on how to make simple effective remedies using home ingredients to better your constipation and boost your immunity. Another great way to help ease your digestive discomfort is by the regular consumption of which is known to aid digestion and encourage detoxification.
Foods to gut in
High fiber foods:
Your gut loves fiber! To get things moving along, you need fiber and many different varieties of it. Focus on consuming high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables both raw and cooked, beans, nuts, ancient grains and seeds in your daily diet. The goal is to have half your plate made up of vegetables that are rich in color and textures. This helps to ensure you’re getting a wide variety of fiber into your diet.
Your body is made up of a balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria called . When the body is in balance, called homeostasis, everything runs as it should and energy levels and bowels are top notch. Due to modern living, this usually isn’t the case which is why our gut needs a little assistance in maintaining balance. To ensure that your gut is healthy and happy, you want to make sure you’re helping it out with consuming at least one serving of fermented foods a day to get in those probiotics.
Pineapple and Papaya:
These foods are the tricks I tell my students to keep in their back pocket. They have natural digestive enzymes in them that help to move things along. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which is a protein that makes it easier to digest and has been shown to improve constipation and other symptoms of IBS. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is said to have anti-inflammatory and digestive properties, which is found in the core and in the juice. If you’re feeling bloated, trying to make a smoothie with one or both of these with some ginger.
Water and warm liquids
Fiber needs water to pass through the digestive system to form stool. Warm or room temperature liquids, especially when consumed first thing in the morning, help to wake-up digestion. When your bowels are backed up, you need hydration to loosen up the stool and get things moving. A tool I like to use when a flare-up occurs is “water therapy”, which is drinking 50 oz of water first thing in the morning and waiting 1 hour before consuming any foods. This concept helps to flush out toxins and relieves symptoms such as migraines, inflammation, and chronic fatigue along with constipation.
Foods to avoid
Fried foods and fast food snacks like chips, cookies, chocolate, and ice cream are high in fat and low in fiber, a combination that can slow digestion. On top of this, these foods are also rich in salt, which lowers the water content in stools and furthers the backup. Snacking in large quantities of these foods often replaces the high-fiber foods in a person's diet such as fruits and vegetables.
Refined flour, carbohydrates, and processed grains, such as white bread, white rice, baked goods, and white pasta, have been stripped of the bran and germ parts of the grain. These components were the bits that made them nutrient dense in the past, but due to the desire for longer shelf-life they have been removed. Removing this lowers the fiber content of these foods, which is what creates the bulk in the stool to get things moving along. This is what results in back up, bloat, and constipation.
Recipe to gut unstuck
Recipe: Gold Juice: Beat the Bloat + Boost Immunity
- 8 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice (about 5 oranges)
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 cups pineapple
- 1 cucumber
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 inch turmeric
- Cut ingredients into chunks and place into juicer. I recommend starting with the ginger and turmeric root so the juicier ingredients will flush them through completely.
- Pour juice from juicer plus orange juice into a jar and enjoy!
- If you do not own a juicer, you can also blend all ingredients and strain with a fine mesh strainer.
- Will last in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours in an airtight container, but tastiest and most nutritious when fresh.
This article has been republished with permission from PurelyB.