Constipation is a very common problem and many people suffer with this debilitating condition. The importance of an efficient digestive system cannot be overestimated and yet in this country the average rate of elimination of waste from the body is every three days. If we do not eliminate effectively at least once each day then toxicity builds up in the body and this can cause health problems.
The symptoms of constipation can range from gastrointestinal pain and discomfort to lethargy, headaches, irritability, feelings of depression, and lack of appetite. There are many causes of constipation which include; low fibre diet, lack of fluids, lack of exercise, change of routine, pregnancy, menopause and menstruation, stress, aging, medicines, and Irritable Bowel syndrome which often alternates with diarrhoea.
My philosophy is that if you want to feel great you need to eliminate every day. How do people who have struggled with a sluggish system and problems with constipation achieve this goal? My experience with Clients has made me realise that there are two main components to improving your digestion, the need for dietary fibre and fluids.
The intestines and bowels work in a rhythmic action, called peristalsis, moving food through the body to eliminate waste. To support this system in its action we need plenty of dietary fibre. Over-processed “junk food” is low in fibre and results in a sludgy, fatty or creamy mass which cannot be moved easily through the body so please ditch those processed foods.
Eat plant foods which contain fibre; our main sources are whole grain cereals, vegetables, fruits, pulses, nuts and seeds. Most cereal fibre is found in the outer layer of grains which are removed when grains are refined and this is why a diet high in refined foods often results in constipation. There are two types of fibre which are both important in the diet: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre passes through the system whole, and acts as a sort of scrubbing brush cleansing the colon as it binds to waste and helps propel it out of the body. For example brown rice, nuts, wholemeal bread; all add bulk to stools which in turn helps stimulate bowel contractions. Soluble fibre soaks up water like a sponge, which helps to plump out the stools and allows them to pass through the gut more easily. Most fruits and vegetables are soluble fibre. Fibre helps keep the digestive tract healthy; so by eating more fibre, you will improve your digestion and avoid constipation and importantly you will reduce your risk of bowel cancer. If you find it difficult to eat enough fibre we need approximately 30g each day then I recommend a fibre drink either LOCLO or TNT (Total Nutrition Today) you can buy it here.
It is essential for health to drink plenty of good fresh water. Alcohol, coffee and tea which contain caffeine are all diuretics and cause the body to lose water and should be avoided or at least reduce your consumption of these drinks. To ensure you do not become dehydrated and to avoid constipation ideally we need to drink around two litres of water each day. Fluids soften food, bulk it out and make it more comfortable and easy for waste to leave the body naturally.
Fruit and vegetables contain the two most essential components you need to avoid constipation that is fibre and fluid. By ensuring you include these in your diet you will reduce constipation and feel much healthier.
Live with joy and health.