10 Simple Tips Recommended By A Dietician To Relieve Constipation
Do you have less than three bowel movements per week?
Do you take time in emptying your stomach every morning?
Are your stools hard and lumpy?
Do you have the unwanted feeling of not cleared your bowels?
If your answer is Yes to one or more of these questions, then you might be constipated. However, older people are more likely to get constipated than younger ones . It is characterized by stomach ache, bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps, acidity, bad breath, loss of appetite, depression, acne and mouth ulcers too!!
So, before rushing to the medical shop for a quick-fix laxative, you can try some simple home remedies to relieve this discomfort and keep it from coming back.
1. So, Get your Fibre Fix!!
Incorporating a high fibre diet makes your stools softer and easier to pass!
Go natural (lots and lots of fibre)
Raw salads are high in fibre which relieves this problem. Fibre holds water and increases bulk and consistency of stools, making them easier to pass.
Regularly consuming cut salads with beans, carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach etc adds volume to the stools. However, vegetable soups also can be of a great help. Also, salads including lentils, peas and beans are also very beneficial.
2. Drink more Water
Dehydration causes constipation. So, make sure you drink enough water (approx. 2-2.5 Litres /day) apart from tea, milk and other fluids. It helps rehydrate and get things moving again.
To reap maximum benefit, put water inside a copper vessel overnight and drink it first thing in the morning. You will see good results within a few days.
3. Grease your system
It is equally important to oil and grease your digestive tracts, and so Dieticians suggest you to add more ghee and castor oil to your diet. Castor oil helps clean your system too.
You can drink 2 tsp castor oil followed by 1 glass warm water for effective results. To improve the taste, you can also take it with fresh orange juice
4. Papaya and figs
These fruits are one of the easiest home remedies for constipation. Papaya contains a digestive enzyme called papain, which wanes constipation. The greener the papaya, the higher the papain content. So always prefer partially ripe fruit.
On the other hand, high water and fibre content of figs adds bulk to the faeces and enables it to pass through the digestive tract faster and quicker.
5. Bacteria is necessary
Probiotics (good bacteria) may help prevent chronic constipation. A study in 2019 review found that consuming probiotics for 2 weeks increases stool frequency and consistency (Department of Microbiota Research, Tokyo). They produce short chain fatty acids which improve gut movements.
Probiotic foods entails-
6. Don’t forget the Warm milk with ghee
Most of us are aware of India and its love affair with a glass of milk. It is almost like our desi magic potion to heal anything and everything.
Taking 1- 2 teaspoonfuls of ghee in a glass of hot milk at bedtime is an effective way of reducing constipation next morning. It soothes digestive processes and enables smooth bowel movements
Raisins act as a natural laxative. They loosen your stool movements and prevents constipation. It is freely advisable to kids, adults, old people and Pregnant and lactating women without any side effects.
Another addon- it reduces the bad bacteria and maintains a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria which improves intestinal functioning.
Raisins can be soaked overnight in water and consumed the first thing in the next day morning. They can also be used in salads, sweets, cakes and laddus
8. Sprouts, sprouts and sprouts!!
Almost everyone must have had whole moong or sprouted lentils as they are widely used ingredients in a variety of recipes in India. The most common ones include “Matki usal”, “Moong dal Halwa”, “Moong dal tadka “or “masala sprouts”.
Also, in severe constipation, you may not like these spicy sprouts. So, then you may eat Khichdi without any spices. Just a pinch of turmeric, salt and ghee and you are sorted
Filled with soluble fibre- pectin, Pears improve digestion. This lovely green fruit contains high levels of water which helps to hold with the fibre and ease digestion.
To get the maximum health benefits, it is advised to consume them raw and whole, preferably with the skin
10. Get moving
The more you sit, the lesser you keep your food moving in the intestines, and the more the constipation. Light walks, swimming, cycling or yoga is very well known to improve our body metabolism
If constipation still persists, you can talk to your doctor to identify the cause and start with the treatment. Constipation is not something to be embarrassed about, and if you have had it, it is no laughing matter- in fact it can be downright debilitating!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sneha Jain, Dietician
Sneha is a Post graduate with specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a university topper and holds 5+ years of experience in Apollo hospitals, VLCC, slimsutra and first cry fit-kids . She has successfully counselled clients all over India for weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, PCOD, hypothyroid, Pregnancy and lactation and growth charts for children. She has her own diet consultation e-clinic (diet_diariez)
She believes in customized diets and eating local and seasonal foods. Her counselling not only involves diet planning, but also lifestyle modification and stress relief strategies.