Constipation is a subject we tend to avoid in our everyday lives for fear of being ridiculed by others. While most of the world’s population would be comfortable enough to talk about throat issues, only a few people would admit they are suffering from constipation. Unfortunately, a quick run to the local drug store for a laxative might not be the best solution as it can worsen the case. It is best you fix up some simple home remedies to relieve discomfort and promote good bowel movement. Below are some home remedies that might help you.
14 Home Remedies to Relieve Constipation
1. Add More Fiber to Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to improve digestion is to add more fiber in your diet. Fiber is a natural laxative that increases water content in stool, promoting better bowel movement. However, abruptly changing your diet can cause many negative side effects, including gas and bloating, hence gradually introduce fiber in your diet. Experts recommend you get at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day. Some healthy sources of fibers include dark, leafy greens, berries, beans and whole, unprocessed grains.
2. Avoid Cheese and Dairy Products
Making small changes in your lifestyle can drastically improve your health. To relieve constipation, avoid dairy products that contain high amounts of lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar which most people are sensitive to. This lactose can cause constipation and bloating for some people. If you are suffering from constipation, eliminate cheese, milk and other dairy products from your diet until your start to feel better. Yogurt is the only dairy product you should eat as it contains live probiotics that improve stool movement.
3. Lemon Water
Apart from helping you lose weight, lemon water is also effective for reliving constipation. The citric acid in the lemon stimulates the digestive system, causing the body to flush out toxins. Start your morning by squeezing fresh lemon juice in a glass of warm water every day. You may also add a dash of lemon juice in your cup of tea. The refreshing tart water will not only improve long-term digestion but will also result in a number of health benefits such as weight loss, glowing skin etc.
Prunes are fiber rich foods that will get your digestive system back on track. While prune juice is also a good option, keep in mind that it is filtered and does not have the high fiber content of dried prunes. Eating three prunes a day is enough to trigger intestinal contraction. Other great dried fruit option that may relieve constipation includes figs. Figs are a great choice as it does not cause as much bloating as prunes.
5. Mint or Ginger Tea
A warm glass of mint or ginger tea can also alleviate slow digestion. Both mint and ginger are proven home remedies for constipation and should be included in your diet. While ginger is a “warming herb” that causes the internal body to general more heat and speed up digestion, peppermint contains a chemical known as menthol that relaxes the muscles located in the digestive tract. The hot water in tea will also work to improve sluggish digestion.
6. Castor Oil
1 tablespoon of castor oil can speed up your digestion by stimulating the intestines. Castor oil relieves constipation by lubricating your bowels, resulting in better stool movement. While it is generally safe to consume castor oil, pregnant women should avoid it. Additionally, consuming too much castor oil can result in a number of unpleasant side effects, such as skin rash, diarrhea and nausea, hence only use this remedy once in a while or consult a doctor if you are already suffering from a health condition.
7. Get Moving
Sitting in front of a desk all day long won’t improve your bowel movements. Lack of exercise can affect digestion, cause digestion and also result in weakness. Go out for regular walks or get moderate exercise at least 3-4 times a week. Other great options include yoga, swimming, jogging and walking. Exercising for even 10-15 minutes can help your body stay in shape.
8. Sesame Seeds
The oily composition in sesame seeds moisturizes the intestines which in turn reduces the effects of constipation. For this remedy, simply add the seeds to your daily salad or cereals or pulverize them in coffee grinder and sprinkle it over foods as a seasoning. This home remedy is commonly used by the Amish and the Chinese to combat constipation.
Increasing fiber intake is perhaps the most effective remedy for constipation. Fiber soaks up water and clears away food and waste particles from the digestive tract. Include fiber rich foods in your diet, such as barley, almonds, oatmeal, and vegetables along with fresh and dried vegetables. If you are consuming additional fiber, start drinking more water to keep the stool soft.
Rich in fiber content, raisins also contain a compound known as tartaric acid that has a laxative effect. Raisins contain insoluble fibers that helps stool pass through the body much easily. Include raisins in your diet or simply use them to top off your salads and desserts. Alternatively, apricots and cherries are also fiber rich foods that are known to combat constipation. Eat these fiber rich foods with a bowl of yogurt for added gut soothing properties.
11. Healthy Fats
Include healthy fats in your diet, such as olive oil, nuts, and fats, which can lubricate your intestines and ease constipation. Munch on a healthy salad filled with leafy greens, a handful of nuts, and a simple olive oil dressing to get your daily intake of healthy fats. Healthy fats are necessary even if you are watching your weight as it will keep you energized and satisfied throughout the day.
12. Whole Grains
Whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, bran, and oats, all have a high fiber content that can relieve constipation. Include more whole grains in your diet to relieve constipation and ease stomach problems. The next time you head out to the grocery store, get a loaf of whole grain bread. Not only is it rich in fiber but it is also good for the heart. Whole grains foods are also rich in compound known as Arabinoxylan that keeps food moving through the intestine.
13. Sweet Potatoes
A medium baked potato with skin contains about 3.8 grams of fiber that keeps things moving in the digestive system. It is important you leave the skin on as it contains most of the fiber. You can also use regular potatoes, but remember to ditch the high calorie topping, such as sour cream and butter.
At times, coffee can be beneficial for your health. A cup of coffee stimulates the colon, allowing waste materials to pass out with ease. Other hot beverages work the same way, hence you can also opt for a steaming cup of herbal tea with a dash of lemon or honey to further stimulate your colon. Coffee is a diuretic, so make sure you drink plenty of water or your constipation can worsen.
Follow the above mentioned tips and your digestive system is sure to get back on track. Good luck!