Constipation can be chronic in nature, especially in old people. In most cases, a few simple changes in diet and drinking enough water can help you to prevent constipation. Moreover, certain foods are known to add bulk to stools, increase bowel frequency, soften the stools and decrease the gut transit time (which is the time taken by food to move through the digestive tract).
Foods to relieve constipation
Low carb laxatives
1. Flax seeds
One of the commonly used traditional remedies to deal with constipation, flax seeds act as a natural laxative. Studies have claimed that the fiber in flax seeds acts as a sponge retaining water and softens the stools. It also increases motility and stimulates bowel movements. You can add flax seeds to cereals or use it in salads. Flax seeds powder can be added to wheat flour or milk
2. Psyllium Husk
Psyllium is a type of fiber commonly used as a gentle, bulk-forming laxative.
Being a soluble fiber, psyllium is able to pass through your digestive system without being completely broken down or absorbed.
Instead, it absorbs water and becomes a viscous compound that benefits constipation.
Triphala (the three fruits) is an Ayurvedic, polyherbal preparation comprising three ingredients. The ingredients are all fruits, and they’re all native to India:
haritaki, bibhitaki and amalaki.
It’s very important that triphala powder should have haritaki , bibhitaki & amalaki in 1:2:3 ratio respectively to be effective.
Triphala has been used since ancient times as a natural treatment for digestive issues like constipation. It is an alternative to over-the-counter laxatives. It should be taken ½ or 1 teaspoonful with hot water or milk at night.
4. Aloe Vera
You can make aloe vera juice by grinding ½ cup aloe vera pulp extracted from leaf and blend it with water, luke-warm water would be beneficial in constipation.
Some more laxatives
Studies have reported that green kiwi fruit increases the frequency of stools, softens the stools and eases defecation. A 2007 study found that eating two kiwi fruits per day for around four weeks caused spontaneous bowel movements and reduced the use of laxatives. You can peel the fruit, cut it into thin slices and either eat it raw or add to salads or smoothies to fight constipation.
A medium-size banana (which weighs around 100 gm) contains about 3 gm of fiber. The role of fiber in preventing and relieving constipation is tried and
tested. It not only absorbs water to soften the stools but also improves the movement of stool through the intestinal tract. Eat a banana every day for regular bowel
movements and prevent chronic constipation.