Natural Relief for Constipation
Jun 13, 2011 01:09PM
Eating dietary fiber and drinking plenty of fluids are the main ways for keeping our digestive tracts active and happy. Thus, the most common reasons for constipation are a diet lacking in fiber and insufficient fluid intake. But other reasons can also contribute, such as inadequate exercise, an unbalanced or changed diet due to traveling, ingestion of medications, or hormonal fluctuations. Whatever the reasons, it’s good to know that natural remedies can provide a viable option, instead of resorting to harsher, chemical laxatives.
Generally, all fruits, except for banana and jackfruit, can help get a sluggish bowel moving. Bael fruit, found in Asian markets, is considered a natural laxative and is eaten to help clean and tone the intestines. Another way to seek relief is eating pears or fresh guavas after dinner or with breakfast. Eating half a medium-sized papaya for breakfast has laxative effects, as do fresh figs. Note that prunes and dry figs should be soaked overnight in a little water and eaten in the morning.
Consider a “fiber day” to move things along, with menus consisting only of steamed vegetables, fruits and salads. Sprinkle various dishes with high-fiber seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin and ground flax seeds.
According to the American Dietetic Association, the average American currently ingests about 11 grams of fiber daily. Women should aim for 21 to 25 grams a day, and men, 30 to 38 grams.
Remember, if constipation strikes, when we literally get moving, so will our bowels.