After a summer of traveling, eating strange foods, and changing time zones, I thought I’d hit on the topic of constipation. Yes I know its not glamorous but its real life! There’s a lot of factors that go in to a healthy track system in our bodies and I wanted to share my findings. There are also a few misconceptions that are going around that I wanted to clear up. A regular schedule is a happy schedule ;)
Here are my top tips to keep your insides running regular
1. fiber PLUS water: We’ve all heard that fiber helps us poop right? Which is true, but the second and very important part to this point is that if you are increasing your fiber intake, you need to increase your water intake as well. Fiber increases the bulk of your stool so it can move along on its merry way, but water is crucial for it to move. So remember, if your increasing fiber, make sure your getting enough water as well.
Suggested Fibrous foods:
• prunes• green Veggies• ground flaxseed (can throw into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, etc) • Low sugar Fruits with fiber (kiwi, apple, avocado) • rolled oats
Suggested Water consumption:
• Adult Males: 12-14 Cups/day
• Adult Females: 8-10 Cups/day
2. Natural Laxatives (used the right way): You may have used over the counter laxatives in the past, but did you know that over time those products can cause more harm then good? They can inhibit your bodies natural process creating dependence on them. Here’s some healthy, natural laxatives:
• Chia Seeds - soak them in a liquid before consuming. This creates a gel like coating that can act as a lubricate in your system. (try my overnight oats recipe here)
• Aloe Vera - Aloe vera latex also has anti-inflammatory components that reduce swelling and and improve function of the digestive organs. It also actually helps increase the water content in your intestines.
• Probiotics - or “good bacteria” in your gut that makes your body able to balance various types of “bad bacteria.” They help create a healthy environment in your gut. Probiotic foods include things like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and probiotic yogurt. If you can, try to buy dairy products that are organic, as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, organic kefir, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein. It’s possible that low-quality pasteurized/homogenized dairy, or too much dairy in general (especially if someone has symptoms of lactose intolerance), can cause inflammation and contribute to digestive dysfunction.
3. Regular Exercise: Last but definitely not least, exercise helps get those muscles moving that push your waste through your body. Not to mention it helps with other causes of constipation such as relieving stress! If you’re feeling a little backed up, try going for a run, but don’t go too far ;)
Well there you have it! Here’s to healthy and regular bowel systems, Cheers!