by Tulasi putcha | 23 June 2018
Constipation is a common problem faced by many but less spoken about when in a group. Around 22 percent of Indians are reportedly suffering from this problem, where a majority of them are found to be urbanites.
Constipation is associated with some unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal bloating, Stomach-ache, losing appetite and discomfort during movement of stool that can cause pain if the poop is hard, dry and can even end up in hemorrhoids. It even afflicts one’s physical and mental health, which was well picturized in the movie Piku by Shoojit Sircar.
Here are some natural ways to help relieve one of constipation which can be tried conveniently at home.
Drink plenty of water
To prevent constipation, one should know what causes it. The water content in the food gets absorbed into the body as it passes through the colon and what has left forms into the stool. The muscles slowly move the stool to the rectum from where it is passed out of the body. When the movement of the stool slows down, the colon draws too much water making it dry and hard, leading to constipation. So be sure to drink more fluids and stay hydrated. Choose low or no-calorie beverages.
Add fiber to your diet
Increase fiber content in your diet as it would keep the stool soft and also hasten digestion. Non-digestible carbohydrates in plants are called dietary fiber. It can be found in all plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts.
As fiber can’t be broken down by the body, it forms extra bulk making the stool soft and easing its movement. Fruits, vegetables like ridge gourd, bottle gourd, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and beans have fiber. Apart from these, overripe fruits -- guava, banana, and papaya would also help reduce constipation. Slimy food substances like the soft center of cucumber, along with the seeds, can be eaten to aid the movement of stool.
Fiber is categorized into two groups based on its solubility – Insoluble and soluble, both of which help in relieving of constipation. Insoluble fiber bulks up the stool and helps it move through your intestine to get everything out. The soluble fibers absorb water and form a gel-like substance to help pass stool smoothly.
Sedentary lifestyle would also make one constipated. Physical activity would stimulate intestinal muscles and also reduce the time needed for food to move through the intestines, leaving the stool moist. It helps the food move quickly through the colon. Exercise at least thrice in a week for half-an-hour or more to improve the physical activity.
Epsom salt helps in softening the stool so that it is easier to pass. Add two teaspoons of Epsom salt to a glass of fruit juice or water and drink it. It will aid the bowel muscles to contract.
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