The Best Foods for Treating Constipation
Moderate-to-severe stomach pain, an inability to empty your bowel despite the desire to do this, fatigue, and straining while cleansing the colon – these are the signs of constipation that are more than familiar to most of us. However, if you have chronic symptoms of constipation and this condition is always accompanied by a severe pain or bleeding, you may ask a medical advice because this can be an alert that you have a more serious digestive disorder. But, statistically, one of the main constipation causes is that your diet requires more healthy fiber. A lack of activity and slow bowel movement are also common triggers of constipation.
How can you prevent constipation?
According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, constipation is very common among Americans, about 42 million suffer from this condition at one point or another. Yes, constipation can be caused by medical conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and hypothyroidism. But, in most cases when you are wondering what to do for constipation, you just need to add to your daily diet more healthy fiber. The experts of the University of Pittsburgh claim that eating more fiber is one of the most powerful remedies for constipation. Your daily “dose” of healthy fiber has to be just 15 grams, while the recommended one for adults is 25 grams, at least. Also, you need to drink plenty of fluids to help fiber go through your digestive tract faster.
Adding more fiber to your diet can additionally prevent stomach cramps and bloating if you want to treat constipation in children.
The recommended foods for a constipation relief
Don’t’ rush to take a pill, especially as a baby constipation remedy. Start with changing the diet by adding these groups of foods for a constipation relief recommended by the WebMD experts:
High-fiber cereal for a breakfast
Instead of fried bacon, consider eating a high-fiber cereal with, at least, 5 grams of fiber per 1 serving. You can add a few tablespoons of flaxseed to your favorite cereal if it initially doesn’t contain much fiber.
Immediate fiber boost with beans
Providing twice as much fiber as most veggies, most beans can serve as the instant constipation relief. For example, consuming a half cup of navy beans can offer no less than 9.5 grams of a healthy fiber, while the similar amount of kidney beans can provide 8.2 grams of a fiber. Besides, beans can be added to many meals, including soups, salads, pasta, and casseroles.
Popcorn for losing weight and normal bowels
Air-popped popcorn without salt and butter can be great for those people who seek the easy and tasty ways of how to treat constipation and lose weight. The thing is that air-popped popcorn belongs to the whole grain products. And all whole grain foods like oat or bread can be recommended as the natural constipation remedies. Switch to the whole-grain bread because it is high in fiber and can keep constipation under control.
Replace sugary snacks with healthier berries
Berries like strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and blackberries can be used for the natural constipation relief. All these berries are the good sources of fiber, according to the experts from WebMD team. For example, a half cup of fresh strawberries can provide 2 grams of fibers, while the same serving of blackberries offers 3.8 grams. And eating only 10 grapes can provide 2.6 grams of fiber. Also, berries are very low in calories, so you can eat a big bowl of them with a low-fat whipped cream. Or mix them with your cereal or pancakes in the morning.
Dried fruits instead of snacks
Figs, prunes, apricots, raisins, and dates can also be recommended to people who suffer from constipation. If you are also wondering what to take for constipation, try dried fruits instead of sweets and processed snacks. For example, prunes contain the components sorbitol that serves as a natural laxative.
Broccoli for getting many nutrients and relieving constipation
The best thing is that broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked to avoid constipation and extra calories. You can mix it with a small amount of salt, pepper, and olive oil for the taste. But keep in mind that cooking broccoli can reduce the fiber content.
Literally. If you consume Brazil nuts, walnuts, and peanuts, you will stuff your body with dietary fiber. Other nuts can be good for your stomach as well – a 1-ounce serving of almonds can provide 3.5 grams of fiber, while the same amount of pistachios offers 3 grams of fiber. But, bear in mind, that most nuts are calorie-dense, so avoid eating more than a palm-sized amount per day.
Artichokes – the hidden source of fiber
Even a cooked artichoke can provide 10 grams of fiber, according to the research published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. The thing is that enzymes in artichokes can stimulate the digestive system and help to keep dietary fiber.
An apple a day can save you from constipation
During the apple-picking season, consider eating apples because they are the solid fiber source. For example, taking a medium-size apple a day can provide your body with 4.5 grams, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The foods that can’t be used for constipation remedies
The experts at Mayo Clinic are sure that there is a certain group of foods that may result in constipation. If you are prone to this condition, you need to avoid certain foods. For example, red meat that is high in iron can cause constipation, as well as fried foods. Some people may experience constipations from taking dairy calcium-containing foods like cheese and milk. Proteins and fats in processed foods can also stimulate the release of gut hormones that can’t relieve constipation because they slow down the gastrointestinal functions.
If you have constipation more often than normal bowel movements, don’t hesitate to consult a professional health care provider.