Nobody likes to talk about constipation, but it is a natural part of life that pretty much all of us experience at one time or another. Constipation is a condition in which bowel movements are hard to pass, infrequent, or painful. If the condition progresses, it can even lead to life-threatening bowel obstructions.
Symptoms of constipation include an inability to pass stool or gas, abdominal pain, and cramping. Many people reach for laxatives when they feel constipated, but there are also quite a few natural ways to fight constipation as well. Let’s take a look at some of these natural remedies to find relief.
A daily diet rich in fiber is one of the best ways to prevent constipation before it strikes. Fiber is a natural laxative that helps bowel movements pass through the colon. Some healthy foods that are rich in fiber include apples, kidney beans, broccoli, carrots, prunes, collard greens, and raspberries. Dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, and whole unprocessed grains can help you get the daily fiber you need as well.
Baking soda is a home remedy that is used for many dietary, first aid, and cleaning product purposes. It is also a bicarbonate that can help relieve the pain and pressure associated with constipation and rid the body of gas and bloating. Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a 1/4 cup of warm water and drink it to help neutralize acids in your gut help bowels pass through.
Fats are not the enemy in your diet, and in fact, the healthy kind can help prevent constipation too. The type of foods we’re talking about here include nuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and fish. These foods help lubricate the digestive system to keep everything moving smoothly.
Lemon has a way of naturally stimulating the digestive system and even helping to flush out toxins from the body. Simply squeezing some lemon into your drinking water can help remedy constipation naturally.
Molasses isn’t often touted as a health food, but it can really help your digestive system if you’re constipated. Take one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses at bedtime to relieve constipation by the next morning. It’s high in magnesium, which is a mineral associated with constipation relief.
Hydrate with Water
It’s not only food that can stimulate the digestive system, but pure water can too. It’s important to drink enough fluids throughout the day to promote bowel health. Constipation is often caused by hard, dry stools, which means that they will be easier to pass if you drink more water. Skip alcoholic beverages and limit your caffeine intake to prevent dehydration.
Although coffee is packed with caffeine, which can dehydrate the body, it may also help some people with constipation. Stick to one cup in the morning if you’re a coffee-drinker.
Ginger or Mint Tea
As an alternative to coffee, try ginger or mint tea, because both are known to help with constipation issues. Mint has antispasmodic properties that relaxes the muscles in the digestive system, and ginger can help stimulate slow digestion. Choose hot tea instead of iced tea for constipation though, because hot water is beneficial for promoting digestion.
Go for a Walk
Gentle exercise, like going for a walk, can do wonders for your digestive system. Plan to walk for at least 15-30 minutes every day to get your body and your bowels moving. It’s a great idea to go for a short walk after eating a heavy meal to get all that food moving through your digestive system.