Constipation is an incredibly common digestive problem that can cause discomfort and pain. It occurs when bowel movements become infrequent or difficult to pass. While it’s not usually serious, chronic constipation can lead to complications like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and even colon cancer.
Fortunately, there are many natural ways to prevent constipation and maintain regular bowel movements.
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What is Constipation?
Medically speaking, constipation is when you have fewer than three bowel movements a week or have difficulty passing stools. Your stool may be hard and dry, and you may feel like you haven’t fully emptied your bowels.
Common causes of constipation include a low-fiber diet, dehydration, poor bowel habits, lack of exercise, and certain medications.
Natural Ways to Prevent Constipation
1. Eat a High-Fiber Diet
Fiber is essential for healthy digestion and preventing constipation. It adds bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass through your intestines.
Experts often recommend eating 20-30 grams of fiber daily, which you can get from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Some good sources of fiber include apples, broccoli, beans, and oats.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Most of the time, dehydration is the cause of constipation. Staying hydrated will keep your digestive system functioning normally and help you pass stools more easily.
Therefore, it’s essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day. At least 8 cups of water per day are okay. You can also increase your water intake by drinking herbal tea or eating water-rich fruits like watermelon.
3. Get Moving!
Physical activity helps to stimulate your digestive system and promote regular bowel movements. It’s recommended that people with constipation problems should try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling.
Yoga and stretching exercises can also help to improve digestion and prevent constipation.
4. Use the Bathroom When You Need To
Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement can lead to constipation. Make sure to use the bathroom when you feel the urge, and don’t delay.
Establishing a regular bowel movement routine can help to train your body to have regular bowel movements.
5. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods like fast food, packaged snacks, and sugary drinks are low in fiber and high in unhealthy fats and sugars.
These foods can slow down your digestive system and lead to constipation. Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
6. Try Natural Remedies
Some natural remedies may help to relieve constipation. For instance, prunes and prune juice are high in fiber and contain natural laxatives that can help to soften your stool.
You can also try taking milk of magnesia, a saline laxative. Most patients find relief within 6 hours after taking it.
7. Manage Your Stress
Stress can significantly affect your digestive system and contribute to constipation. Find ways to manage your stress, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or taking a relaxing bath.
You can also try yoga or tai chi, which can help to reduce stress and improve digestion.
Constipation can be uncomfortable and frustrating. However, there are many natural ways to prevent it. Eating a high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly are just a few ways to maintain regular bowel movements.
By making these simple lifestyle changes, you can improve your digestive health and prevent constipation.
Also read: 9 Foods that Relieve Constipation Quickly