A person is considered constipated when their bowel movements have become infrequent and/or difficult. A telling sign a person is constipated is if they have not had a bowel movement in three days. This is extremely unhealthy because stool that has not passed will become harder and more difficult to pass, leading to problems like abdominal pain and nausea and vomiting. Constipation has a number of causes, including inadequate water intake; the overuse of laxatives; irritable bowel syndrome; colon cancer; stress; and having an irregular diet.
The good news is that you have the ability to change your diet in order to facilitate more frequent and easier bowel movements. Here are foods we recommend:
Fruits/Vegetables: Packed with fiber, fruits and vegetables will help loosen your bowels. Fiber-rich foods include prunes, apples, broccoli and carrots.
Apple juice: Apple juice and cider are natural laxatives that will aid your need to evacuate.
Beans: Another fiber-rich food, beans like black and red beans are also an excellent addition to your diet. While dry beans are the way to go, properly cooked beans will also work.
Vegetable oils: Soy bean and similarly vegetable-based oils act as lubricants for the intestines and will make bowel movements that much easier to perform.
Water: Water is the universal solvent. Water lubricates the intestines and consuming water while eating will moisten the food and make digestion easier.
For more information on constipation and digestive health, contact your physician at InSite Digestive Health Care!