health & wellness

Nine Foods That Help To Ease Constipation

Sheena Joseph | Jul 18 2019
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Fighting constipation is way easier than you think. All you have to do is drink enough water and make some changes in your diet. Depending on laxatives to deal with constipation is not a sustainable solution. But enough water and fibre content can compensate laxatives. Eat the right foods, and you shall have no trouble in bowel movement. As you know, vegetables are high in fibre. But many of us cringe at the sight of a plate full of greens. The good news is those other foods out there are rich in fibre and capable of saving you from constipation. Here are the top nine foods that will help in relieving constipation.

1. Chia Seeds

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Chia seeds are a widely accepted superfood. It is known for the high level of omega-3 fatty acids that the human body needs but seldom synthesise. While it is known for containing antioxidants, fighting inflammation, and promoting cardiovascular health, they have instant positive impacts on digestive health. Chia seeds are high in fibre. And much of this fibre is soluble fibre. These soluble fibre absorbs water and binds with fatty acids. This will end up forming a gel-like substance which will keep the stool bulky and soft. This will make bowel movement much easier. Chia seeds are rich in calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus too.

2. Flaxseeds

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This nutrient-rich seed with a nutty taste is one of the best things you can include in your diet. It can be a quick fix for constipation as it is high in fibre, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. You will be getting 2.8 gram of fibre from just one tablespoon of flaxseed. While they can be eaten as a whole, ground flaxseed will help the body to absorb the benefits better. Ground flaxseed is better for the absorption of fibre. They can be added to smoothies, salads, yoghurt, or granola mix. Start by taking them in small doses to allow the body to adjust. Regular consumption of flaxseed will stabilise the makeup of the stool.

Also Read: 10 Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Working Women

3. Oat Bran

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While oatmeal is considered a safe choice, oat bran is also linked to a bunch of health benefits. Oat Bran is the outer layer of oat groat, which is processed to make oatmeal. It is sold as a separate product and is known for encouraging healthy bowel function. Oat bran is a rich source of dietary fibre. One cup of raw oat bran contains 14.5 grams of fibre. Oat bran has both soluble and insoluble fibre. While insoluble fibre forms a gel-like substance, insoluble passes through the gut intact. You can easily replace laxatives with oat bran cookies.

4. Legumes

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Legumes are an easy way to score protein, which is essential for your health. They are also packed with fibre. Half a cup of boiled lentils has 8 grams of fibre. And beans are slightly ahead of pulses. While half a cup of black beans has 7.5 grams of fibre, navy beans have 9.5 grams of fibre. Legumes are known for reducing bloating and gas too. If you are suffering from constipation, you have more reasons to choose pulses than beans. Regular intake of lentils will increase the production of butyric acid. It is a type of short-chain fatty acid found in the colon. Butyric acid can increase the movement of the digestive tract and promote bowel movements. 

5. Sweet Potato

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Sweet potatoes contain insoluble fibres like cellulose, lignin and pectin. You can eat them mashed, baked, or roasted and reap the benefits. Adding sweet potatoes to your diet will bring regularity in bowel movement. These starchy roots are rich in minerals too. One cup of sweet potatoes will supply your body with 769% of the daily value of vitamin A, 65% of the daily value of vitamin C, 50% of the daily value of manganese, 29% of the daily value of vitamin B6, 27% of the daily value of potassium, 18% of the daily value of pantothenic acid, 16% of the daily value of copper, and 15% of the daily value of niacin.

6. Leafy Greens

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Leafy green vegetables are the most obvious solution for almost every health issue out there. Constipation is no exception. Include spinach, kale, lettuce, and broccoli into your diet. Eat at least one meal that includes half a plate of greens. You can eat them as salads, pie, sandwiches, or soup. This will not only supply the body with fibre but tons of vitamins and folate. Just one stalk of broccoli contains 3.6 grams of fibre which is 16% of the recommended daily intake. And one cup of cooked spinach has 4.3 grams of fibre, which is 17% of the RDI.

7. Papaya

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This tropical fruit is high in both water and fibre. Papaya has an enzyme called papain. It can fix the consequences of whatever 'wrong' food you ate. If you ate too much red meat or fried food, drink a glass of papaya juice before going to sleep. You are not likely to be constipated the next morning. In short, papaya is a natural laxative. It also promotes the general health of the digestive tract. While relief to constipation is an instant benefit of eating papayas, it has many other incredible health benefits like lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and balancing blood pressure. 

Also Read: Six Breakfast Juices That Will Improve Your Health

8. Citrus Fruits

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Citrus fruits can replenish the body with water, and they contain a good amount of fibre. Both of which are key in relieving constipation. Besides, a flavonol called naringenin in citrus fruits supposedly increases fluid secretion into the colon. Most citrus fruits are rich vitamin C too. You can add them to salads, smoothies, or simply drink them as juice. An orange has 3.1 grams of fibre, which is 13% of the recommended daily intake.

9. Apples

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An apple a day can make constipation go away. Again, the fibre content is the star. One apple will supply the body with 4.4 grams of fibre which is 17% of the RDI. It contains a good amount of pectin, which is dietary fibre. Pectin can fix the low water content in the GI tract. Pectin is quickly fermented by gut bacteria and it will be converted to short-chain fatty acids. This will pull water into the colon and soften the stool.