Constipation treatment at home through diet

Constipation treatment at home through diet

Constipation treatment at home through diet

The intestinal rhythms of each person are different and can vary a lot. What is meant by constipation ? Having difficulty to evacuate: make stools less than 3 times a week and with very dry or rigid consistency. It greatly influences the everyday life of people altering their quality of life. In addition, it is associated with many other pathologies such as diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and colon cancer. That is why it is of vital importance to fight it with an adequate diet.

Types and causes of constipation

It is considered normal to go to the bathroom three times a day (person with a fast transit) up to three times a week (person with a slow transit), as long as the consistency and color of the stools are correct and there is no difficulty to evacuate.

Constipation is more frequent in older people and there are more women than men who suffer this type of problem. Although it can occur in any person (men and women) and at any time of life (children, adolescents, adults and seniors). Most of the time, its main cause is improper nutrition and lack of regular physical exercise.
Constipation can be occasional due to stress situations, changes in schedules and routines, travel, fasting, pregnancy, menopause … or become a chronic disease that usually begins in childhood or adolescence. In this case you should always be attentive to food to get combat and evacuate regularly.

Beware of laxatives for constipation

Most times, the use of laxatives is used to improve the discomfort caused by this problem, but we must try to avoid it. Why? Most laxatives act by irritating the intestinal mucosa (the intestine wall inside), this causes a destruction of the flora (set of intestinal villi and beneficial bacteria that protect them) and does not favor the restoration of the natural movements of the intestine. Its consumption is harmful in the long term since it causes total dependence, that is, the intestine becomes “vague” and it is very difficult to evacuate without its supply. With good eating patterns and new habits, this situation can be reversed and the independence of laxatives returned to the intestine.

What to take for constipation

If you want to take something to relieve occasional constipation it is best to resort to glycerin suppositories. But to improve chronic constipation will require a persistent performance, for example with fiber supplements, which are helpful and do not have the negative effects of laxatives.
It is important to keep in mind that whenever the consumption of fiber is increased, either through food or a supplement, it is necessary to increase the intake of water and liquids as well. For fiber to do its function of increasing volume and fecal weight it needs to absorb a lot of water. Otherwise, it could produce an undesired inverse effect.

End constipation

The healthiest and what works best is facing constipation from a more global point of view. This is where the person’s lifestyle becomes very important.
Physical activity is essential, being the most effective to walk several times a day. 
The nutritional approach is also essential to combat constipation. There are certain ingredients, foods and recipes that are key to achieving it. Which are?

Foods for constipation

Relieving constipation with natural remedies is possible with changes in diet.
In the first place, it is necessary to increase the volume and the weight of the feces through the consumption of:

Fiber:

  • Reach recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption per day (3 servings of fruit and 2 of vegetables). If they are ingested with skin, the amount of fiber increases.
  • Consume whole grains, that is, whole grain. They can be in the form of bread, pasta or rice.

Liquids:

  • Water
  • Infusions
  • Fruit juices
  • Broths
Second, the intake of fats should also be adequate. It is very common to find people who suffer constipation when they start a diet of weight loss. This is due to the restriction of fats (especially oil) that they carry out. The olive oil performs a function of intestinal lubricant favoring transit. Take a tablespoon of virgin olive oil on an empty stomach is a trick that works very well.
Third, we must increase peristalsis (the natural movements of the intestine). It’s a great help:
  • Take a glass of warm water or hot drink on an empty stomach.
  • Become abdominal self-massage following the shape of the intestine. See the drawing: ascending colon, transverse colon, descendant colon.
Fourth, eat foods that enhance the secretion of bile . The liver secretes bile to help carry out digestion in the intestine and this has a great laxative effect. The foods that help to achieve it are:
  • The fats. They are advised between 2 and 3 tablespoons a day of olive oil (including those of culinary preparations) for its lubricating action at the intestinal level. However, the presence of other types of fats such as saturated fats and especially hydrogenated fats, is not recommended due to its relationship with poor digestion and diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes , etc.
  • Artichokes, escarole, endive and eggplant.
  • The orange (especially in juice).
Fifth, a healthy and strong intestinal flora should be favored . The intestinal flora facilitates a correct absorption of nutrients in the intestine and normalizes transit. The foods that strengthen it are probiotics. Probiotics are foods that contain live milk bacteria that are beneficial to the body, such as yogurt and some fresh cheeses.
On the other hand it is important to monitor not excessive consumption of :
  • Foods with an irritative effect of the intestine that produce an unwanted laxative effect: coffee, tobacco.
  • Strict astringent foods: rice, tea.

Foods to avoid in case of constipation

Especially dry cheeses and non-whole farinaceous foods such as rice, pasta or white bread should be avoided. Quince and tea should also be avoided because of the presence of tannins that are astringent. In general, the use of these foods, has to be rather casual (maximum 2-3 times per week)
You can replace the banana for the recommended fruits and consume the apple with skin
Avoid alcohol that dehydrates mucous membranes and foods with too many fats or fries that can cause heavy digestion.
Practicing physical activity is very positive in this sense since it helps to strengthen the muscles of the abdominal wall that intervene in the expulsion of feces.

Personalized recommendations for constipation

When you suffer constipation, it is best to go to a nutrition professional to study the specific case of each person and make personalized guidelines. In this way, aquatization through feeding is much more effective and safe. This will be adapted to the needs of the person, since they will take into account the habits of each one, their constumbres, their tastes, the medications they may take and other diseases that may exist.
In Alimmenta we carry out dietary guidelines to reduce constipation and reeducate the intestine into a new routine . Thanks to our team of dieticians – collegiate nutritionists, we work on people’s eating habits to achieve their well-being and improve their health through good nutrition, promoting healthy lifestyles.

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