Constipation is one of the most common gastric ailments faced by people of all age groups. It is the infrequent, irregular, and difficult passage of feces. It can occur due to several causes, which include faulty dietary habits, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, anxiety, poor hygiene, and much more. Symptoms like headaches, foul breath, a bloated stomach, cramps, a lack of appetite, and restlessness often accompany constipation. Despite the irritating symptoms that accompany constipation, people tend to ignore the condition and continue to suffer. Many people hesitate to discuss their bowel routine with a doctor and try to find instant home remedies.
Here is a list of some natural laxatives that can help cure your constipation if incorporated into the daily diet.
1: Yogurt: Yogurt is a fermented product that acts as a probiotic (lactic acid and bifidobacteria). The good bacteria help maintain the gut microflora and prevent diseases. Yogurt relieves constipation by normalizing the volume of stool and relieving other symptoms. It helps in IBS patients as well.
2: Flax seeds and chia seeds: Flax seeds and chia seeds are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Flax seeds have been reported to reduce gastric emptying time and ease the motility of the stools through the intestine. Chia seeds play the role of natural laxatives as they swell up in the presence of water and increase the fecal volume, facilitating easy passage of stools.
3: Prunes and prune juice: Prunes help in gastric emptying and increasing the motility of food through the gastrointestinal tract. It is one of the most famous natural laxatives.
4: Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is a fermented dish. It contains cabbage and salt fermented by lactic acid bacteria and is therefore considered a source of probiotics. Apart from this, it is also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins B, C, and K. Sauerkraut reduces inflammation and enhances immunity.
5: Oat bran: Oat bran contains soluble fiber which swells and increases the volume of the food. This stimulates peristalsis and decreases the transit time. It is also claimed to manage diabetes and reduce cholesterol.
6: Bananas: Bananas contain a soluble fiber called pectin which provides bulk to the stools. Bananas are also a ‘prebiotic’ as they are rich in fructooligosaccharides which promote the growth of good gut bacteria.
7: Apples: Just like bananas apples are a source of pectin. They increase the bulk and motility of the stools.
8: Ginger: Ginger reduces inflammation, stomach pain, and other GIT-related symptoms. It is also present in many commercial laxatives.
9: Turmeric: Turmeric has many therapeutic uses just like ginger. Curcumin, a phytochemical present in turmeric, has been claimed to heal gastrointestinal diseases like constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
10: Ajwain (carom seeds): Ajwain seeds have been known to cure gastric diseases like constipation, flatulence, and indigestion. It also relieves menstrual cramps in women.
Apart from these natural cures one has to be considerate of the overall food habits. Avoid deep-fried foods, refined cereals, pureed fruits, and packed juices. The diet should be rich in fiber and probiotics. An intake of approximately 30 g of crude fiber per day is essential. Daily intake of 8-10 glasses of water is beneficial as it helps regulate the bowel. A glass of hot water early in the morning has been proven to stimulate defecation.
People who have IBS should avoid coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks. Constipation is common among elders due to loss of muscle tone in the colon, therefore their diets must be made fiber-rich, and adequate fluids must be provided. Talk to Gytree Experts to have a non-judgemental conversation about constipation and IBS. A sedentary lifestyle is the major cause of constipation among individuals. Daily physical activities like walking, yoga, dancing, and cardio exercises significantly improve constipation incidents.