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Natural Cures For Constipation
What Is Constipation?
Constipation is defined as a condition where bowel movements are not regular or when the bowels are not completely emptied through regular waste elimination. Constipation is one of the most common gastro intestinal problems suffered by both adults and kids in America and the world over.
What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation?
Constipation is identified with infrequent and irregular bowel movements and characterized with hard fecal matter that is difficult and painful to eliminate. Most people suffering from chronic constipation also have a foul breath and a tongue that is coated with white matter, especially when they wake up. Dizziness, loss of appetite, headache, nausea, depression, under eye circles, insomnia, acne, varicose veins, acidity, stomach aches and a feeling of having a full abdomen are other symptoms of constipation.
How Can Constipation Harm The Human Body?
When waste matter and toxins are not eliminated through regular bowel movements due to chronic constipation, then these toxins are eventually carried into the bloodstream, where they become an important predisposing factor in causing ailments like headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, appendicitis, acne and high blood pressure etc. Chronic constipation has also been linked to colon cancer as well.
What Causes Constipation?
After digested food is passed from the stomach to the colon, the colon absorbs water and nutrients from the food as it passes through it before it is eliminated out of the body. This digested food is then eliminated out of the colon through muscle contractions that help in the movement of food through the colon to the rectum. Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water, due to which waste matter gets hard and dries up. The colon finds it extremely hard to eliminate this type of dry and hard waste matter through muscle contractions, resulting in constipation.
An unhealthy lifestyle and a diet that lacks in fiber and water are the main causes of constipation in the majority of people suffering from this ailment. Constipation is also caused due to certain medications, hormonal disturbances during pregnancy and deficiency of the thyroid hormone. A sedentary lifestyle, frequent traveling over different time zones, excessive consumption of laxatives, anti depressants, iron supplements, pain killers and antacids are other predisposing factors.
Often emotional stress and depression also contribute towards constipation. Meat, tea, coffee, aerated drinks and refined and junk food, when taken excessively, also cause constipation.
Natural Cures For Constipation
Most people suffer from constipation as a result of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. On the other hand, constipation is generally chronic, and people who treat it using over the counter laxatives often find their bodies getting dependent on these substances. Therefore, the best and the only cure for constipation is through natural methods, which involve a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes and constipation remedies concocted out of non habit-forming, natural ingredients.
Changing the way you eat and what you eat are the best natural cures for constipation. No matter how many constipation remedies or medications you resort to, you will never be free from constipation unless you incorporate some basic changes in your diet and lifestyle. Once you start living and eating healthy, using even a simple home made constipation remedy will cure you of the problem. Some dietary changes that can help a person become totally free from constipation are:
Increased Intake of Fiber: Fiber is that part of your food that cannot be digested by the human body. Unfortunately for carnivores, fiber is only found in plant foods and fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains are the main sources of fiber in the human diet. Fibers are divided into water soluble and insoluble fibers. Both these types help in digestion, with soluble fibers slowing down digestion to aid the absorption of nutrients from food and insoluble fiber providing bulk to waste products, helping it move quickly and easily through the colon.
The best fiber sources which will help in aiding constipation relief are fresh fruits and vegetables. This is because they not only add bulk to food, but most of them also contain enzymes that aid the digestive system in working efficiently. Apples and pears with their skins, oranges, berries, grapes, figs, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, peas, carrots and different types of beans are known to aid constipation relief by stimulating the growth of good colonic bacteria which aid digestion. Whole grain cereals like brown rice, whole wheat bread, wheat bran, oats and other similar foods add bulk and help in retaining water within the waste matter that needs to be passed out of the body.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends a consumption of 9 servings or two whole cups while the FDA mandates at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables for maintaining good health. Make sure that you increase your fiber intake slowly in order to avoid digestion problems.
Drinking Plenty of Water: Fluid in this case unfortunately does not refer to coffee and cola. Dehydration is a major cause of constipation, with a dehydrated body soaking up all the moisture from the waste that is left behind in your intestine. This results in dry stools that are hard, tough to move and difficult to pass-- in one word—constipation. While we all know about the eight glasses of water adage, you will in fact need to consume more water if you want to get rid of constipation for good. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends a consumption of at least 16 glasses (125 ounces) for men and 11 glasses (91 ounces) for women per day. If you cannot drink a lot of water, make sure that you drink clear vegetable soups and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices to make up.
Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle is another main cause of constipation and exercising regularly can greatly help in curing chronic constipation naturally. This is because exercise helps in moving food faster through the colon, which in turn leads to lesser absorption of water from waste resulting in easy to pass, soft stools. Even if you find exercising hard, then try to incorporate at least half an hour of walking into your daily schedule. You can even break this up into two to three workouts of ten minutes each.
Aerobic exercises like running, speed walking, swimming, step aerobics, dancing and sports help in intestinal muscle contractions, which ease the swift movement of stools out of the body. Do not indulge in anything more strenuous than a slow walk at least till an hour after meals to avoid indigestion and flatulence.
Natural Remedies And Cures For Constipation
One may suffer from constipation now and then even when following a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet. But instead of trying out an over the counter laxative, using one of these natural cures is a better alternative because they are totally natural, easy to use and absolutely non-habit-forming.
Psyllium Husk: Psyllium husk powder is one of the most effective ingredients for curing constipation. While you are suffering from constipation, take a teaspoon of Psyllium Husk mixed in a glass water thrice a day. Make sure that you drink at least three to four liters of water during the day while taking Psyllium husk for constipation relief. Within a day or two, you will be rid of constipation.
Prunes: Prunes or dried plums are nature’s remedy for constipation. Snack up on prunes or drink a glass of prune juice first thing in the morning and another one at bed time. You will find that you are free from constipation within a few hours. You can also try drinking apple juice in between for faster results.
Papayas: Papaya is a well known laxative that has been hailed as a constipation cure for ages. The best effect of papaya as a natural constipation cure is achieved when it is combined with fresh or dried figs. Take a breakfast of half a papaya and five to six figs and say goodbye to constipation.
Spinach: Spinach is nature’s storehouse of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Drink half a glass of spinach juice extracted from fresh raw leaves with half a glass of water twice a day for two to three days. Apart from getting an altogether better constitution, you will find that this is the home remedy to tackle even the most severe cases of constipation.
Oranges: Orange juice is known to increase peristaltic activity (the contraction of muscles in the colon, which helps in bowel movement), and drinking loads of freshly squeezed orange juice is an easy and tasty way of combating constipation. In order to take advantage of the fiber in oranges, you may consume a couple of oranges first thing in the morning and a couple more at bed time.
Other natural cures for constipation involve the consumption of flax seeds; a solution of salt and lemon in warm water; pears and pear juice; honey in warm water; guavas; grapes; aloe vera and other medicinal herbs.
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