Published: 10/02/2013 - Updated: 11/24/2016
Constipation is a common disorder today: It is usually related to having difficulty in bowel movements and according to medical research, around one in three people suffer from it. Stress and poor diet can be causes of constipation.
What is it?
Constipation is defined as a difficulty or delay in the evacuation of stools. In a normal situation, there should be at least five bowel movements a week, so the condition is considered constipation when you evacuate 3 or less stools per week.
It can occur at any age, and other symptoms are irritability, bloating, headaches, abdominal pain and fatigue.
Constipation is usually treated with laxatives, but this is not the best measure. Unfortunately with the use of laxatives, it is possible to develop a dependency, even when it is a relatively mild laxative, i.e. a person using laxatives as a solution to constipation gradually increasing the dose required will possibly have to increase the dose every time.
Apart from the possibility of developing a dependency, using chemical laxatives can often lead to the irritation of the intestinal mucose, meaning that their continued use can lead to colitis or chronic irritation of the intestinal mucosa.
To prevent and manage constipation it is important that you follow the following recommendations:
While fasting, drink a glass of cold water
Never push back the urge to defecate
Consume about 5 glasses of water to prevent constipation and help the body to purify toxins
Do regular physical activity (walking, swimming, cycling)
Massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction
Make a habit to go to the bathroom in the morning before breakfast or in the evening before bed, and take the time necessary.
Food for constipation
Diet plays an important role in our digestion, but it is essential to form eating habits that may eventually fully correct constipation and not only provide a temporary solution.
Include fresh juices in your diet: Juices are purifying and also have a healing effect on the intestines: the most effective juices are horseradish, celery and onion. Avoid draining them so that they retain their fibre.
Rice and breads: It is important that you replace refined grains with wholegrains: It is recommended to eat brown rice at least three times a week for the diuretic effect, as it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B which acts as a natural laxative .
Do not eat too much protein: Animal proteins when consumed in excess can disrupt the proper functioning of the intestinal mucose and produce toxins in the intestine.
Eat raw foods: Salads and fresh fruits are rich in fibre, which help in the evacuation of stools. In addition, a diet rich in raw foods such as vegetables provides trace elements, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
Include vegetable oils: These contribute to good digestion, helping to lubricate the bowel. The most recommended oils are sunflower, sesame oil, pumpkin seed and grape seed oil. The body requires a daily serving of fats to perform its normal functions.
Eat apples: They are a rich source of pectin which is considered a type of soluble fibre that contributes to good digestion. Eating an apple at night is a natural remedy for constipation and you can eat them roasted too!
Include vegetable protein sources: If you are not vegetarian, try to reduce your consumption of red meat. You can replace it with vegetable proteins, such as those in legumes e.g. soybeans, lentils, etc.
Consume fish: Fish is also a good source of protein with very healthy fat, which is recommended in your diet, especially oily fish like tuna or mackerel.