15 Jul 2021: #HealthBytes: Best home remedies to naturally treat constipation
When a person experiences three or fewer bowel movements in a week, they are said to be constipated. This can often lead to excessive straining and painful passing of stools. Constipation can have a negative impact on the quality of life and can affect the person's physical and mental health. However, there are natural ways to relieve it at home. Here's more on that.
Hydration: Drink lots of water to get your bowels moving
Proper hydration is the first step toward treating constipation. If you are constipated and notice that you haven't been consuming sufficient amount of water, drinking a large glass of water may help trigger a bowel movement. While normal water is always your safe bet, some studies show that sparkling water is more effective when it comes to relieving the condition.
Fiber: Increasing the intake of dietary fiber can help
Dietary fiber helps in increasing the consistency of bowel movements. There are two main types of fiber - soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers are present in oats, nuts, seeds, beans. They soften the stools and improve their consistency. Insoluble fibers present in wheat and whole grains add bulk to stools and help them pass more easily through the digestive system.
Coffee: Coffee can help stimulate the muscles in the digestive system
Coffee is known to increase the urge to go to bathrooms as it stimulates the muscle in the digestive system. A 1998 study found that coffee stimulates the gut in the same way as a meal. It was also observed that compared to drinking water, its effect was 60% stronger. However, coffee can make the condition worse for people suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome.
Probiotics: Having probiotics can help improve the gut microbiome
Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that are present in the gut and they are necessary to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. People suffering from chronic constipation often have an imbalance of gut bacteria. Eating natural foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi that are rich in probiotics, will help ease constipation. You can also check with your doctor before trying probiotic supplements.
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