Being constipated can be very unpleasant. And while it can be frustrating and painful, it might occur simply because you’re not eating enough fiber or are dehydrated. In this case, all you need to do to get your bowels back on track is to slightly tweak your diet.
At Bright Side, we hope you never have to suffer from constipation, so we want to tell you about 6 quick ways that will help you visit your bathroom again with pleasure, not pain. And don’t miss the bonus section to find out what most of us have been doing wrong in the bathroom!
1. Drink honey-lemon tea.
Make a tea by adding honey and lemon to water. Honey is a laxative and also helps to reduce the sourness of the tea caused by lemon. Lemon acts as a natural stimulant for the digestive system and helps in flushing out toxins from the body.
2. Drink a lot of water.
Men should drink at least 3.7 liters and women, 2.7 liters of fluid a day. This is because hard, dry stool is the most common cause of constipation, and drinking enough water will keep the body properly hydrated and make it easy for the stool to pass.
Water and fruit juices are best for fighting constipation. Pear and apple juices are mild natural laxatives, so you’ll fare better if you choose them. Avoid caffeinated beverages and sodas since they are diuretics — instead of hydrating your body, they’ll actually leach more fluid from it.
3. Eat fibrous food.
Fibrous foods act as a natural laxative. They help your stool retain more water, and therefore, bulk it up. You should include at least 20-35 grams of fiber in your daily diet to keep things flowing freely. Food sources that are rich in fiber include Brussels sprouts, carrots, apples, figs, bran cereal, and black beans.
Seeds and nuts like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, or flax seeds are also good sources of fiber. However, a word of caution: don’t eat flax seeds if you suffer from bleeding disorders, intestinal obstructions, or high blood pressure. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also avoid it.
4. Eat prunes.
Not only are prunes rich in fiber, but they also contain sorbitol, a stool-loosening sugar that relieves constipation naturally. 100 grams of prunes have 14.7 grams of sorbitol.
If you don’t like the taste of prunes, you can quickly gulp a glass of its juice. However, the juice contains less fiber than the fruit, but it should still do the trick.
Remember that prunes take a while to start showing an effect, so take it easy for an hour or 2. Please don’t go overboard!
5. Consume bulking agents.
Herbs like flaxseed, fenugreek, and psyllium have a laxative effect and soften the stool. Eat them and drink a lot of water if you are suffering from constipation. Also, there are teas available with these supplements, you could give them a try as well.
6. Include yogurt in your meals.
Although it’s advised to stay away from dairy products if you suffer from constipation, yogurt is an exception. Yogurt contains probiotics like Bifidobacterium longum or Bifidobacterium animalis which can help you to have a more frequent, less painful passage of stool.
Bonus: There’s a correct sitting position for the toilet.
Sitting with your back straight at 90° with your thighs straight in front of you is very common while sitting on “Western-style” toilets. However, this is the wrong posture. The passage for defecation becomes narrow due to the pull of the puborectalis muscle. It’s a muscle band that rings around the end of the colon. When the thighs and hips make a 90° angle, this muscle is taut and doesn’t allow the colon to open properly.
Do you often suffer from constipation? What do you do to relieve yourself? We are eager to know!