Constipation is characterized by less than three bowel movements per week. In most cases, it occurs when you’re not eating enough fiber, are dehydrated, or aren’t getting enough exercise.
There are many natural ways to help relieve constipation. You can do these in the comfort of your own home. Without further ado, here are 10 ways that we think can relieve your constipation naturally and effectively.
Being dehydrated regularly can make you become constipated. To prevent this, it’s important to drink enough water and stay hydrated.
When you’re constipated, you could try finding relief by drinking some carbonated (sparkling) water to help you rehydrate and get things moving again. Some studies show that sparkling water to be more effective than tap water at relieving constipation.
However, don’t start drinking more carbonated drinks like sugary soda, as they’re a bad choice for your health and may make your constipation worse.B
Increasing the amount of physical activity you perform daily will not only help treat symptoms of constipation but it may also help you in the fight against what was leading you to take laxatives to begin with.
One movement that is particularly effective for stimulating bowel activity is rebounding off of a small trampoline. This light bouncing motion helps to stimulate intestinal contractions and move fecal material.
Exercise has countless other health benefits including combating fatigue, relieving stress, reducing signs of depression and anxiety, lowering pain sensitivity and improving the frequency of your bowel movements.
For some people, coffee can increase the urge to go to the bathroom. This is because coffee stimulates the muscles in your digestive system.
In fact, one study found that caffeinated coffee can stimulate your gut in the same way that a meal can. This effect is 60% stronger than drinking water and 23% stronger than drinking decaffeinated coffee.
Coffee may also contain small amounts of soluble fibers that help prevent constipation by improving the balance of your gut bacteria.
Just as many people are convinced to hitch up to the diet craze bandwagons that flood the markets around us, perhaps you thought you should be avoiding salt altogether as well. Salt is a life-sustaining nutrient that promotes thyroid function, adrenal health and electrolyte balance.
Research supports that we should be consuming 1.5 to 3.5 teaspoons of salt per day. You can consume the some of the salt you need from natural sources such as beets, carrots, spinach, turnips, fish and sea vegetables.
The body demands fat for the optimal functioning of our organs and cellular processes. Fat helps regulate hormone function and is also partly responsible for intestinal motility. One clinical study showed that consuming a high fat diet for only three days decreased the time frame for which food remained in the stomach.
The study also indicated that cardiovascular health also improved following a high fat diet indicating that fat is essential to the overall function of the human body. Good fats to consume include coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flakes, grass-fed butter or ghee, avocados, olives and olive oil.
Aloe vera has been traditionally used as a natural laxative treatment and is well supported by research. Aloe vera is compact with gut healing compounds and nutrients including vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and enzymes.
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that stimulate digestive secretions, regulate pH, enzyme activity and support healthy bacteria. Part of its laxative effect is a result of the anthraquinones found in aloe. These compounds enhance intestinal hydration, mucus secretion and intestinal peristalsis.
Constipation can be a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The low-FODMAP diet is an elimination diet that’s often used to treat IBS. It could be effective at treating your constipation if IBS is the cause.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-saccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. The diet involves limiting high-FODMAP foods for a period of time before reintroducing them to determine which ones you can tolerate.
However, if you have constipation-predominant IBS, the low-FODMAP diet alone is often not enough. You will probably need to pay attention to other aspects of your diet, such as getting enough water and fiber, to experience relief from your symptoms.
Prunes and prune juice are often touted as nature’s remedy for constipation – and for good reason. In addition to fiber, prunes contain the natural laxative sorbitol. This is a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect.
Studies have shown that prunes may be more effective than fiber. If you’re constipated, prunes could be the easiest natural solution available. The effective dose is thought to be around 50 grams (about 7 medium-sized prunes) twice a day. However, you may want to avoid prunes if you have IBS, as sugar alcohols are known FODMAPs.
A diet rich in magnesium has been shown to have tremendous anti-inflammatory abilities. Magnesium is one of the most popular supplements used to treat constipation for its ability to relax the muscles encouraging the movement of stool.
Adding a high quality magnesium supplement to your diet and increasing your uptake of magnesium rich foods sources can help you overcome constipation. Excellent plant sources include green veggies, nuts and seeds.
People who have chronic constipation have been shown to have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut. It’s thought that probiotic foods could help improve this balance and prevent constipation.
They could also help treat constipation by producing lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids. These may improve gut movements, making it easier to pass a stool.
To include probiotics in your diet, try eating probiotic-containing foods, like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, which contain live, friendly bacteria.
Constipation is an uncomfortable problem with a number of underlying causes.
If this is a problem for you, then you should definitely speak to your doctor to identify the potential cause and find an effective treatment protocol.
That being said, we definitely hope many of the natural home remedies highlighted in this article can help provide significant relief to you.