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Foods That Relieve Constipation

Constipation is a condition in which waste does not pass through the body as it should, causing fewer bowel movements than are necessary for the body's proper functioning.

What is an Average Bowel Movement?

The average human being should pass a bowel movement between 3 times a week and 2- 3 times a day. In order to keep our bodies regular we need to eat the proper amount of fiber and drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of exercise, and avoid eating too much of certain foods (like yogurt, milk, ice cream, fried foods, sugary foods, protein, bananas, cheese, and carbohydrates.) When we don't eat the right amount of these things the body's digestive system wears down, the colon and intestines can absorb too much fluid from the waste to make up for what it isn't getting and the stool will become hard and dry. When this occurs it becomes difficult to pass a bowel movement, we become constipated.

What Foods Can Help?

Improving your diet is the first step to relieving the symptoms of constipation. Adding these foods to your daily intake should have you better soon.

Fruit: Berries, Apples (leave the skin on), Cherries, Oranges, Apricots, Grapes, Guava Fruit, Figs, Dates, Papayas, and Prunes are all very high in fiber. It's best to eat them fresh to get the full benefit of nutrient and vitamins along with fiber.

Veggies: Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Carrots (raw is best), Squash, Cabbage, Beets, Zucchini, Brussel Sprouts and Green Beans are also high fiber foods.

Leafy Greens: Turnip, Spinach and Kale greens are great for this.

Nuts: Walnuts and Peanuts are great sources of fiber.

High Fiber Bran: Eat cereals that contain a lot of fiber like bran flakes and raisin bran.

Oatmeal: It's not only great for your heart it's great for yoru digestion as well.

"Whole Grains: White four is processed and therefore has less fiber, anything made with it can contribute to constipation. A good whole-grain bread will have plenty of fiber as will brown rice.

Herbs: These are all effective but always consult with a physician before using them. Flax Seed oil, Aloe Vera juice, Dandelion, Phyllium Seed (this is often found in fiber supplements like Benefiber), Ginger, Rhubarb Root, Cascara Sagrada, and Yerba Mate.

In order to get the most benefit from a higher fiber diet follow these guidelines:

Eat 25-35 grams of fiber every day
Spread your high fiber foods out over the course of the day to help it work on your bowels
Drinks lots of fluids as well. Water is the best source
Don't drink caffeinated beverages, they dehydrate

Never disregard constipation; it can develop into a serious problem if it isn't taken care of quickly. You may develop hemorrhoids, prolapsed rectum and impaction of the bowel or require the removal of sections of the intestines thus requiring a colostomy surgery. You can also be at a great risk of obesity, hernia, insomnia, appendicitis and colorectal cancers.

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