If you feel clogged up, you definitely have company. According to an article in Food Matters, more than one in four American adults suffer from constipation. Women appear to be the most vulnerable when it comes to problems with bowel movements. Constipation — often caused by improper diet, medication, lack of sleep, stress, food sensitivity, hormonal imbalance or inactivity — indicates that our body is not functioning properly and needs help sorting itself out. Although readily available, many over-the-counter treatments can cause side effects and dependency. Thankfully, inexpensive natural remedies offer a gentle cure without all of the harmful side effects. To alleviate uncomfortable constipation symptoms and keep them from returning, incorporate one or more of these easy home remedies into your daily lifestyle.
Maintain proper hydration to prevent and relieve constipation. Having sufficient fluids in your system softens your stools and helps your bowels move regularly. Drinking water, fruit and vegetable juices, clear broths and herbal teas hydrates you, allowing your digestive system to function properly.
Regularly consume healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and flax seed oil, to stimulate your digestive system. Eat fat-rich foods like avocados and nuts to keep your intestines lubricated, thus combating constipation.
Lemon juice, a natural laxative, contains citric acid, which fuels your digestive system and helps flush out toxins in the digestive tract. Drink a cup of warm water with the juice of one lemon daily to get things moving in the right direction and keep you eliminating regularly.
Moving your body tends to keep your digestive system, and in particular, your intestines, moving as well. Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes each day to help stimulate your bowels and relieve stress, which also leads to constipation.
Eat a diet rich in fruits, especially those high in Vitamin C. Additional foods that help fight constipation include:
- Dark, leafy greens
- Other vegetables
- Whole, unprocessed grains
- Plain yogurt probiotics
- Beans and
- Seeds and nuts.
Create a Routine
Our bodies regulate themselves according to our routines. Schedule a particular time each day to use the bathroom, even if you do not have the urge to eliminate. Sit, or better yet squat, to give your body a chance to learn the new habit. By training yourself, your bowel movements will become more regular.
Raw, unprocessed honey, a natural laxative beneficial in relieving constipation, contains minerals and enzymes needed for a healthy digestive system. Take the honey alone or mix it into tea or warm water. Consume honey regularly to help your digestion flow. As a bonus, honey will give you an extra boost of energy for exercise.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains pectin, a water-soluble fiber that supports increased digestive function. Take apple cider vinegar as a natural laxative, and it will work with your body’s normal processes to induce a bowel movement.