Constipation is an uncomfortable condition, and in some cases, it can start to interfere with your daily life if it is not brought under control. It can be caused by a variety of things, including inadequate water and fiber consumption, routine disruption, lack of physical activity, and stress. Fortunately, you can usually treat and reduce the frequency of your constipation with small tweaks in your diet.
Reduce Your Chances
If you are a fruit or vegetable lover, you’re in luck! Both of these food groups are full of the fiber that helps keep your digestive system moving. One of the best fruits to consume on a regular basis to keep your constipation in check is kiwi. Research has shown that eating just two kiwis a day helps increase bowel movements in adults who are suffering from constipation. Another great fruit is the pear. Be sure to eat the skin along with the flesh because it contains quite a bit of fiber as well.
One of the greatest foods to help ease your constipation is prunes, especially if your discomfort is brought on by a lack of fiber. Prunes work great to provide your digestive system with the jump-start that it needs since they are chock full of fiber and the natural laxative, sorbitol. You can also find relief with high-fiber, whole grain breads and cereals. Start your day with whole grain cereal and milk or a piece of whole grain toast with blackberry jam, or simply eat them as a snack for immediate relief.
Chocolate is a huge culprit of constipation. Researchers haven’t completely made the connection as to why this particular food affects the digestive system the way it does, but it is suggested that the high fat content of chocolate slows down muscle contractions in the digestive system. Dairy products in general have been shown to cause constipation in many adults. You don’t have to completely eliminate them from your diet, but try to limit them and use some alternatives, such as almond milk.
Remember that if your body isn’t used to consuming a lot of fiber on a daily basis, up your intake slowly. Otherwise, you may experience bloating and cramping if you don’t give your body time to adjust. 25-35 grams of fiber a day is ideal for preventing constipation, so if you are eating less than that, increase your consumption in about 5 gram increments while giving your body a week in between to adapt.