Statistics show that over 4 million people in the country suffer from mild to moderate symptoms of constipation. It is a health condition wherein the bowel movements become uncomfortable and it is hard to pass stools as they are hard, dry, and small.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of constipation. Some may be side effects of medications or health complications while others can be problems resulting from an improper diet or poor nutrition. Even not drinking enough fluids throughout the day can cause trouble in bowel movements.
The good news is that you can manage the condition and the symptoms at home by incorporating certain foods and beverages to your diet.
If you are on an extremely low-fiber diet, the food that is being digested will be hard to pass through the intestine and the colon. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables help break down the bulk of the food to encourage bowel movements.
When it comes to natural laxatives, nothing beats castor oil. It is a home remedy for constipation that has been handed down from generation to generation. Castor oil is rich in a compound that stimulates the small and large intestines to encourage bowel movements. You can have a couple of teaspoons of castor oil on an empty stomach. It is a great alternative to store-bought laxatives that may have some side effects.
You can have dried prunes or drink a glass of fresh prune juice as a home remedy for constipation relief. It doesn’t matter how you have it, as this fiber-rich fruit is easy to incorporate in your daily diet. One prune has a gram of fiber so take a good handful of dried prunes to help with your digestion. Prunes also have compounds that trigger intestinal contractions to speed up the process of bowel movement.
Naturally high in fiber and tartaric acid (nature’s laxative), raisins make an excellent choice for constipation relief. A handful of raisins consumed on a regular basis will help you digest your food better and quicker. You can also add a handful of cherries and apricots to a mixture of raisins and yogurt to further improve digestion. Yogurt is naturally rich in gut-boosting microbes that combined with the natural laxative compounds of these fruits, promote healthy bowel movement.
The citric acid in fresh lemons can help your body flush out toxins and stimulate digestion. Though it is not a quick home remedy for constipation relief, it will gradually improve bowel movements. You can also add lemon to your tea or simply squeeze half a lemon into hot water and drink it a couple of times during the day. Lemon also increases your need to drink more water and staying hydrated naturally provides constipation relief. Staying hydrated ensures the body doesn’t draw water from the foods being digested to avoid the hardening of stools.
The healthy fats in avocados, nuts, and olive oil lubricate the intestines and help move bowels smoothly. They also induce contractions in the intestines. Healthy fats are extremely important for basic body functions. Other good and natural sources of healthy fats include coconut, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, flax, and chia seeds.