Constipation

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It is an unbearable thing to have difficulty in relieving your bowel. Constipation is one ailment that is dreaded by all, but even when most people dread it, it is still a common ailment that people suffer from frequently.

Constipation is an ailment which is characterized by infrequent bowel movements and stools which are small and hard to pass. When a person has constipation, the bowel movement are tough and do not happen as frequently as normal. There are several causative agents of constipation and proper knowledge of these causes can help in the effective treatment of constipation. Some causes include;

  • Not taking enough water
  • Inadequate fibre intake
  • Eating high amount of dairy products
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Overusing laxatives
  • Eating disorders
  • Some medications (most commonly pain drugs)

Generally, constipation is not a severe ailment i.e. it is not fatal, but it is one of the most uncomfortable ailments there is. Some notable symptoms of constipation include;

  • Hard and small stools
  • Bloated belly
  • Having trouble with your bowel movements
  • Sensing that all the stool didn’t come out

There are few ways with which constipation can be duly relieved. Few foods have the ability to relieve constipation quickly and easily. Food treatment for constipation has shown to be the most effective. The key element in foods that help relieve constipation is fibre, so it is important to go for food which are rich in fibres. Such foods include;

  1. FRUITS

Not all fruits are rich in fibre, so it is necessary to go for fruits that have high amount of flesh. Fruits like peaches, berries, strawberries, pineapples, pear, pawpaw and grape are some of the best high­-fibre fruits. It is necessary to eat the peel/skin for a better fibre boost .

  1. VEGETABLES

The fibres in vegetables are found in the leaves, stalk and roots of the plant. So, any type of vegetable will give the desired fibre need. Examples of some vegetables are; water leaf, spinach, carrots, cabbage, spinach, onions etc.

  1. NUTS

Nuts contain very high content of fibre, which makes it a suitable diet for constipation treatment. Some nuts that can be used are, walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts etc.

  1. WHOLE GRAINS

Whole grains are those cereals that still have their bran or outer covering.  Whole grains are rich in fibre because the higher fibre content of grains is in their outer covering. So such foods like white rice are not suitable whole grains. Whole grains include; oats, barley, rye, whole wheat and brown rice.

  1. BEANS AND LEGUMES

Legumes are very rich in fibre, same goes for beans. Legumes such as kidney beans, soybeans and lentils can serve as a good source of fibre in the diet. Remember to take them with caution because they have high tendency of causing flatulence.

  1. SEEDS

Different kinds of seeds can serve as sources of fibre. You can consume seeds by adding them to smoothies or sprinkling them on yoghurt, ice cream or salads. Ground flax seed or psyllium can be used to in cooperate fibre into the diet.

  1. HOT TEA

Tea obviously does not contain high fibre content like the other foods listed above, but a herbal tea made from fennel might help in easing constipation. Ensure that you take the tea hot.

SCIENCE BEHIND FIBRE’S EFFECTIVENESS IN RELIEVING CONSTIPATION

Some people may wonder how fibre can help in constipation. Fibre is helpful because it helps to add bulk and softness to the stool.  When fibre absorbed by the body, it is digested in the small intestine. Fibre contains both soluble and insoluble fibre compounds. The soluble fibre absorbs the water and binds the fatty acid which then forms a gel-like substance that helps to keep the stool sift. The insoluble fibre which doesn’t dissolve in water provides bulk and moisture for the stool.

However taking too much fibre too soon may be hard for your system and may lead to symptoms of gas and bloating. Therefore, increase your fruits and vegetable intake slowly when treating constipation. It is recommended to increase your fibre intake to 25 grams per day.