What Causes Constipation?

Most people don’t like to talk about being constipated but this affects many people every day. The side effects of being constipated are uncomfortable and include feeling bloated and having painful gas. This occurs when all of the water in food consumed is soaked up by the bowel. This makes it difficult to have a bowel movement and can have a number of negative effects on your overall health and happiness.

Diet Matters

One of the most important pieces in the constipation puzzle is your diet. What you eat has a profound effect on your bowels and how you feel. Eating a lot of junk food and foods that are low in fibre can cause constipation; focusing on healthier, more natural foods can ease your digestion and allow your body to stay regular. One great way to include more fibre in your diet is to have oatmeal with fresh fruit for breakfast. This will jump start your day with a healthy dose of fibre that is not only filling but also promotes bowel health.

Some of the foods that you can include in your diet if you are constipated are prunes, fresh fruit, and wholegrain breads. These foods have a lot of fibre and will naturally help your bowels move. Ripe bananas and some dried fruits, such as raisins and apricots, are also great to eat but need to be enjoyed with a glass of water. Eating an apple a day and enjoying fruits and vegetables as snacks instead of foods such as potato chips and crackers will help your body remain regular.

Stay Hydrated

One of the best practices for constipation relief is drinking plenty of water. If you are dehydrated, then your bowels will not move the way that they should. Most people find that they don’t drink enough water throughout the day simply because they get busy and don’t think about it. Keeping a bottle of water nearby you all the time is a great reminder that you need to drink water in order to not get constipated.

Foods to Avoid

While most people are happy to add in fresh fruit and prunes to help ease their constipation, they may balk at having to remove some foods that contribute to this condition. Dairy is high in fat and doesn’t contain a lot of fibre, which is why cheese and yoghurt are so constipating. While you don’t need to remove dairy completely from your diet, it’s a good idea to limit it or avoid it for a short period of time while you clear up your condition. It’s especially important to monitor dairy consumption in children as they are not aware of how it can affect their bowels.

While constipation is a problem all over the world, you do not have to suffer from it if you take care to watch your diet, eat healthy foods every day, and drink plenty of water. While you don’t have to completely overhaul your diet, any changes that include more fresh foods and less processed food will be a step in the right direction.