Fiber, prunes and water: Try these 7 tips to conquer constipation

If you haven’t been “going” as often as you would like, and you’re feeling bloated and uncomfortable, there is no reason to feel embarrassed

Racha Adib
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If you haven’t been “going” as often as you would like, and you’re feeling bloated and uncomfortable, there is no reason to feel embarrassed. Constipation may not be a pleasant condition to talk about but if you’ve got it, you’re hardly alone. A lot of people deal with constipation on a regular basis. In fact, women are the most frequent constipation sufferers, which may have to do with the effects of female hormones on their gastro intestinal tract.

So what can you do if you just can’t go? We’ve collected a number of home remedies that can help keep you regular. On the other hand, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor especially if you’ve been suffering for a while.

Start your day with a fiber-rich cereal

The lack of fiber in your diet is the leading contributor to constipation. According to the Institute of Medicine, women require 25 grams of fiber per day, and men require 38 grams per day. That’s where high fiber cereal comes in, and most brands can meet half your needs in one serving. Today there are so many wonderful options of high-fiber cereals that no longer have to taste like cardboard. Take for example the cereal brand Fiber One. In one half cup serving, this cereal provides 14 grams of fiber and only 60 calories. Mix in some dried fruits and nuts for an added fiber boost.

Don’t forget the prunes

Not only do prunes have high amounts of fiber, they also work as natural laxatives due to its sorbitol content. What’s even more effective than prunes is prune juice because it has more concentrated amounts of fiber and sorbitol. Simmer five parts filtered water to one part prunes for three to four hours. After removing any pits, puree the mixture and enjoy.

Drink water

You can literally wash down your bowel blues by simply drinking plenty of water. It also helps fiber do its job effectively. When you increase your fiber intake, your water consumption becomes even more important. Most adults need around 8 to 10 glasses of water per day, but if you’re suffering from constipation try to up your water intake a little.

Schedule it

We’re very good at allocating time for meetings and seeing friends. Scheduling time each day for a bowel movement is as important. Often are morning are spent running to the office to make it on time or dropping off the kids to school and as a result we miss the opportunity for a bowel movement. Wake up a little earlier, before the mad rush of the day begins, and make room for some relaxing down time.

Use a step stool

The position you take in the toilet can make a difference. When you sit on the toilet seat, supporting your feet with a small step stool, about 15cm high, can make it easier to pass complete stools. That allows your knees to be above your hips, allowing the puborectalis muscle to relax and no longer get in the way of the flow of your stool.

Rye Bread

It’s no surprise that whole grain breads are a great option for people who suffer from constipation because they increase your fiber intake. However, a great option for relieving constipation is whole grain rye bread. Researchers at the University of Finland in Helsinki found that whole grain rye bread beat white wheat bread and laxatives in constipation relief.
Researchers believe the secret is arabinoxylan — a component of fiber that may be especially abundant in rye bread.

Get active

A little exercise does a lot to relieve constipation. f your bowel habits are sluggish, getting active may help speed things up. Exercise helps constipation by decreasing the time it takes food to move through your large intestine, thus limiting the formation of hard stools as a result of too much water being absorbed. In addition, exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate which helps to stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles that also allow stools out quickly.

Begin with walking and gradually increase your exercise intensity. Incorporate aerobic exercises, squatting, stretching, swimming, jogging for improved GI health.

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