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Best Foods for Constipation

Some people are lucky to have regular pooping routine, while others experience frustrating elimination habits. Constipation, these days, is becoming increasingly common, probably because of unhealthy lifestyle practices. Inability to poop at least three times a week is already considered as constipation.

According to Daily Mail, “At least 16% of Americans – including a third of people over 60 – experience chronic constipation.” Constipation is a digestive condition that most of us, at some point in our lives, experience. Instead of relief, we feel the opposite when visiting the toilet. Every day is a struggle to successfully get rid of wastes in the body.

In addition to this, it causes discomfort and other digestive problems. If this is your case, and it’s not adequately treated, it can lead to severe complications and even death. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the worst case scenario to happen.

There are many reasons why we experience constipation. Some of the factors that can lead to this are a sedentary lifestyle, desk jobs, genetic makeup, food preferences and medication. Fortunately, there are effective and natural ways to help with constipation. Aside from taking over the counter laxatives, drinking lots of water and choosing the right foods to eat, will largely impact your digestion. Here are some foods to add to your diet when you are constipated.

Coffee

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Photo by Danielle MacInnes / Unsplash
Coffee is known to perk you up in the morning because of its energy boosting caffeine content. Luckily, this breakfast favorite is beneficial for those with pooping problems. It is a good way to stimulate bowel movement and promote peristalsis. Though it has positive effects on constipation, this does not mean that you can drink coffee several times a day. Coffee has a diuretic effect, so it is important to drink lots of water. It may also lead to increase urination, which is very uncomfortable especially at bedtime.

Papaya

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Surprisingly, this sweet and tropical fruit has a natural laxative effect. It is also known as a folk remedy used to treat constipation and helps clean your colon. It is sweet and yellowish in color and has several healing effects. It is rich in Vitamin C, which is helpful in fighting infection. It also contains a high amount of Vitamin A, known for its benefits on your skin and vision. Papaya contains the enzyme Papain that helps in digestion and aids in breaking down of protein. You can drink papaya juice or eat at least 2-3 cups of papaya a day to relieve constipation.

Moringa

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Also known as a drumstick tree leaves, Moringa Oleifera has been grown and made into tea or capsules because of its countless health benefits. Also known to treat various forms of diseases, moringa is helpful for constipation. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals. It aids in the movement of bowel and makes pooping less of a hassle. It is considered as a mild laxative that contains a high amount of magnesium and fiber.

Oatmeal

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Oatmeal contains insoluble fiber that absorbs water and bulks up, making your poop larger and softer, thus facilitating its passage out of your body. Oatmeal is a healthy, well-loved choice for breakfast. It helps lower cholesterol levels and controls blood sugar. You can enjoy this delicious food by adding fruits, milk, and raisins. You can also make oatmeal cookies that you can eat any time of the day.

Prunes

Best Foods for Constipation
Photo by Monika Grabkowska / Unsplash
Eating prunes is an effective and natural way of managing constipation. It is also rich in iron, phenolic compounds, potassium and boron which help prevent certain diseases. One way to experience its benefits is by drinking prune juice, 4 to 8 ounces in the morning (for adults). You can also eat the dried plum and add it to your cooking, or bowl of goodies.

Legumes

Best Foods for Constipation
Photo by Edgar Castrejon / Unsplash
This plant-based food includes nuts, beans, lentils, and peas. The wide variety of legumes entails various nutritional benefits. Legumes are one of the staple sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians. But, people on a meat-based diet can also benefit from this food source. It is also rich in fiber and you can add it to different recipes, depending on the type of legume you will be eating.

What To Avoid

Best Foods for Constipation
Photo by Michael Mroczek / Unsplash
Choosing the right foods to eat will help improve your condition if you are constipated. It is advisable to avoid processed and fatty foods such as french fries, pizza, chips, bacon, hot dogs etc. These foods stay in the intestines a little longer than fiber-rich diet, leading to reabsorption of water and hardening of stool. Now, if you are feeling hungry, think again before ordering from your favorite fast food chain.

Dairy products such as cheese, butter, milk are also known to cause constipation, especially in children. This slows down digestion leading to the irregular passing of stool.

Eating too much red meat is also constipating. It is hard to break down, high-fat and contains iron (which hardens poop). So instead of eating meat, you can try the vegan or vegetarian diet to help improve your digestion.

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