One of the biggest health issues plaguing people all over the world today is constipation. It is something which affects every single person at least once during their lifetime. As such, bowel movements differ from one person to another, but there should not a gap of more than three days between an individual’s consecutive bowel movements.
Constipation, today, can be chalked up to a number of issues. For instance, some of the most common causes of constipation include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Prescribed medication
- Not drinking enough water
- Not eating enough fibrous and green foods
- Any eating disorder
- A dairy-rich diet
Over the years, the pharmaceutical world has seen a flooding of different kinds of medicines, potions and herbal drugs that claim to deal with constipation in a fast and painless process, but of course, the effects vary from person to person.
So this time, instead of over the counter medication, why not try some home remedies for your constipation. Not only are they very cheap and easy to get a hold of, but since they are completely natural, there are no side effects that you have to worry about.
1. Okra for Constipation
Okra has tons of soluble fibers in the form of pectin as well as gums. This soluble fiber is helpful in reducing blood sugar levels and keeping the heart healthy. Apart from this, okra also has a ton of insoluble fibers, which is what absorbs the water from your alimentary canal, and keeps the stools soft, so that it is easier to pass through the digestive system and expel from the body. If you’re still not convinced, then let us tell you that okra also comes packed with folic acid as well as Vitamin B6.
How to have it: It is bets to have it simply boiled. But if the slimy texture bothers you too much, then you may want to try putting it in various dishes like gumbo. You can always have spicy baked okras with other vegetables if you feel like avoiding the oil that comes with frying it.
One of the wonder fruits is papaya. Not only is it rich in antioxidants that work wonders on your skin and hair, but it also happens to be very good at fighting constipation naturally. It also happens to contain loads of a particular natural enzyme called papain, which is useful when it comes to digesting protein. What happens is this papain acts on the undigested protein left behind in your digestive tract. It is also a very good source of essential fibers that absorbs water in the alimentary canal.
How to have it: It is best to have raw papaya plainly boiled. However, if you prefer, you can always drink some papaya juice before breakfast, but it will not contain as many soluble fibers as solid papaya.
One serving of broccoli, which is about 150 grams of it, consists of approximately 3.8 grams of fiber. It is also a very good source of Vitamin C, and is a good substitute for those who do not like lemons and limes, but still want Vitamin C. However, adding way too much of broccoli into your diet suddenly will cause indigestion and gas formation, which is why you should increase its quantity slowly in your diet and drink lots of water with it.
How to have it: Blanche it in a small amount of oil, add it to your daily soups and vegetables, or simply toss it into your salad, there are tons of ways to eat broccoli during the day.
Not only has pineapple been proven to be a rich source of Vitamin C, but it is also jam packed with a natural plant enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme actually helps in aiding digestion of food in the digestive canal. Apart from this, the bromelain is also helpful in blocking harmful microorganisms like E.coli and so on, which otherwise, when they enter into the body, can cause severe diarrhea.
How to have it: You can always have a glass of pineapple juice to start the day, but remember that any juice will always have lower fiber content than the actual food. Hence, try incorporating solid pineapple into fruits salads and as a part of your daily meal.
You may have heard that carrots are great for your eyes, as a child from your parents, but carrots are also a good source of natural fiber for the body, especially insoluble fiber. Not only this, but carrots are a very good source of Vitamin B, C, and K as well as potassium. The help to maintain the health of your colon as well as make your stool softer, which helps in the movement of them outside of the body.
How to have it: You can always drink carrot juice, as well as incorporate cooked carrots into your side dishes. However, for people with Crohn’s disease, carrots may be a little hard to digest.
6. Aloe vera
Not only does aloe contain tons of folic acid and vitamins, but also a huge amount of other minerals like calcium, sodium, chromium and so on. It contains twelve different kinds of laxatives, including emodin and aloin, which are also antibacterial in nature. Aloe is also essential in the quicker and more thorough breakdown of food in the gut and its proper digestion, normalizing the acidic content in the gut and reducing swelling due to any digestive disorders.
How to have it: Take not more than two cups of aloe gel or juice after waking up in the morning as well as before going to bed. However, if the taste is too strong for you, then you can dilute it with one cup of water.
7. Active Yogurt
There is still some debate surrounding this particular item. Yes, more than necessary dairy products cause constipation, but some studies suggest that active yogurt, that is, yogurt that contains healthy probiotic bacteria can actually aid in your digestion, which in turn will prevent constipation. It also prevents the gas formation and consequently bloating and gastric ulcers.
How to have it: Avoid eating flavored yogurt as it contains too many processed colors, sugar as well as synthetic flavors. Instead, try plain yogurt along with some fresh fruits. You can even use it as a dressing in the place of mayonnaise and ranch dressing.
The high fiber and antioxidant content in spinach is very useful when it comes to maintaining the bowel movement after the food has been digested, as well as promote a healthy homeostasis in the digestive tract, and thereby preventing issues like bloating, gas formation, indigestion and so on. In fact, regular consumption of spinach is essential in the working and maintaining of the intestinal tract in the long run, and it has even shown an effect in helping individuals with diabetes.
How to have it: You can either eat a cup of boiled spinach every day in the morning or toss a few leaves into your daily salad. Spinach soup is also a tasty alternative and it also happens to be a very filling meal.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables that have a high quantity of water in them, cucumber has to be at the top. Not only does it balance the acidity of the stomach, but it also helps prevent the appearance of blood with your stool. Not only that but if you regularly eat cucumbers, you can treat various issues of the digestive system like gas formation, ulcers and so on.
How to eat it: Not only can you munch on cucumber throughout the day, but you can also drink a glass of cucumber juice during the day with a squeeze of lemon. It also makes you feel fuller for longer, and thus curbs your hunger and junk eating tendencies.
Not only does ginger kick up your appetite, but it also “warms” the body and promotes better digestion of the food that you consume during the day. In fact, 100 grams of ginger will give you approximately 14 grams of soluble fiber, which dissolves very easily in water, forming a gel-like substance that soften stools and prevents constipation. It also promotes the frequent movement of intestinal walls that helps in quicker digestion.
How to have it: For most people, ginger tea is one of the favorite options. You can also try chewing on a fresh piece of ginger early in the morning before having your breakfast. Another alternative way to incorporate ginger into your diet is by adding it to a cup of yogurt and fresh fruits.
So there you have it, some essential and easy home remedies to cure your constipation. Did we miss anything? Are there any superfoods for constipation that you love and we did not mention? Leave us a comment in the section below and let us know what you think!