Before you start looking for foods for constipation, you need to determine why you’re suffering from bloating and constipation on a regular basis. In modern popular culture, constipation or irregularity is often the result of people not eating enough vegetables, fruits and whole grain foods. Combined with drinking plenty of water, better integrating these foods for constipation into your diet will often make a greater difference than many people realize.
Beyond diet, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the common causes of constipation. So don’t blame your diet entirely if you spend all your time split between a computer desk and the couch in front of your television; your lifestyle may be part of the problem as well.
Of course, there are other things that can lead to a greater likelihood of constipation as well, such as pregnancy.
Gluten Intolerance and Constipation
Gluten intolerance often leads to bouts of constipation and diarrhea. It may seem confusing that it can cause both extremes of digestive disorders, but gluten intolerance and celiac disease remain a little mysterious and they can manifest a little differently in everyone.
No matter the severity of your gluten intolerance — and there is a wide range of severity — constipation and celiac disease bloating is something someone who is gluten intolerant will likely suffer as they are two of the earliest and most common gluten intolerance symptoms. Often times people who are experiencing gluten intolerance or celiac disease may not even realize it because they’re only experiencing an earlier, mild symptom like occasional constipation. There are over 250 gluten allergy symptoms so don’t exclude the possibility of celiac disease just because your symptoms don’t perfectly match some list found on the Internet.
However, if after evaluating your diet and determining you consume plenty of foods for constipation you still experience constipation symptoms fairly regularly, you should really see your doctor and explore the possibility of having some form of gluten intolerance. Even if you test negative for celiac disease, you might try a gluten elimination diet to see how your body reacts. If you experience greater regularity and energy after a few weeks of completely eliminating gluten from your diet, it might not be a matter of consuming the right foods for constipation as it is about avoiding the wrong foods for constipation in your specific case.
Good Foods for Constipation
So the first thing you need to do is integrate more vegetables, fruits and water into your diet. Try to consume at least 20 grams of fiber every day. Beans and other legumes are an excellent and nutritious way to increase your fiber intake and you will find a wide variety of beans to work into your diet. If you’re concerned about the stereotypical flatulence associated with beans, just gradually integrate them into your diet. As your body acclimates itself to consuming more and more beans over time, you will experience far less gas and bloating.
And again, try to drink plenty of water and increase your physical activity level. Even walking just 20 minutes or so each day can make a big difference if you’ve been leading an overly sedentary lifestyle.
There are a few foods that are specifically good for relieving constipation. Prunes and figs are both pretty well known for their ability to help increase regularity. Eat foods that are easy to digest focusing on fresh foods that have more naturally occurring enzymes; for example spinach salads with fresh fruits. Foods that aid in digestion like ginger and papaya can also be of help when you are trying to get relief from constipation.
Bad Foods For Constipation
Overly processed foods are often a cause of constipation. Try to consume fewer packaged foods and read labels to spot excess fillers and preservatives. Avoid foods with too long and complex of an ingredient list, especially those littered with terms like high fructose corn syrup and various hydrogenated oils.
Highly processed white flour will often lead to constipation. If you’re gluten intolerant, of course, you should be avoiding this flour, but even those who aren’t gluten intolerant should avoid these empty carbohydrates and simple sugars. Choose whole grain foods like brown rice instead of white rice, and other whole grain gluten-free foods for constipation.
Even if you’re not clinically gluten intolerant, you might experiment with some gluten free bread recipes or gluten free bread machine recipes in place of your usual breads just to see how your body reacts to consuming less gluten.
Dairy products like ice cream, cheese and milk are also common causes of constipation. In many cases it just means you need to consume them in moderation and in other cases you may be suffering from lactose intolerance, one of the more common adult food allergies.
And last but not least, you might cut down on the beef (or eliminate it entirely). Our intestines simply don’t process red meat very well, and sometimes it can sit in the colon for a while causing problems.
In the end, the best thing you can do is to learn to integrate more simple, natural foods with a higher fiber content into your diet, with plenty of fruits and veggies playing a larger role. Those are the foods for constipation that you need to live a more healthy and comfortable life. If you still have problems with bowel regularity you may want to try some natural or herbal remedies for constipation. You might also have some success in relieving constipation if you supplement your diet with probiotics and enzymes.
Drink plenty of quality liquids (avoiding soda and other sweetened beverages) and try to get more exercise. If you still suffer regular constipation, please see your doctor as there could be something serious as the underlying cause such as celiac disease constipation. You must diagnose and treat such conditions before too much damage is done to your digestive tract.