People who suffer with digestive or bowel problems usually have one thing in common: they lack fiber in their diet. A healthy balanced diet with sufficient fiber will produce at least one bowel movement per day, without the need for artificial constipation relief. If your bowel habits are less frequent, you are likely to be suffering from constipation.
You may need constipation relief if you have the following symptoms:
- Bloated feeling
- Small hard stools
- Infrequent or incomplete bowel movements
- Discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen
The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25-30 grams. This may come from cereals and whole grain foods, legumes, vegetables, and fruit. If you eat less than this amount, you probably need to consider some constipation relief. One natural form of relief is to enjoy a regular green energy drink powder mixed with water. This type of health sustaining beverage is a refreshing energizing drink with the equivalent fiber of a portion of veggies, and a whole lot of natural goodness too!
How Much Daily Fiber do I Need?
Studies show that the modern westernized diet falls well short of the recommended figure. A 2003 study of 3,300 middle-aged women found that 87% of the test group consumed less than 20 grams of fiber per day. In the same test, 70% of those surveyed consumed 12.5 grams or less fiber per day – that’s less than half the amount they need to have a healthy functioning digestive system.
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Constipation can lead to more serious health issues if not dealt with in the short term with constipation relief medications; and in the long term by increasing fiber in the diet. Eating a high fiber diet improves heart health, cholesterol levels, and lowers your risk of cancer, diabetes and intestinal disorders.
Tips for Constipation Relief
The best foods for constipation relief are oats and oatmeal. One portion at breakfast can deliver eight grams of fiber. Oats contain 55% soluble fiber and 45% insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber is important for rapid relief of constipation. It absorbs water and passes through the digestive tract to the bowel, producing stools that are bulky, soft and easy to pass. Drink plenty of water to allow the fiber to swell and do its job properly.
Flax is another great high-fiber food. Sprinkle flax on fruit or yogurt, or add it to muffins, bread dough and smoothies.
For fast constipation relief, nothing is more effective than senna. Prepare natural senna leaves in hot water with fennel seeds and peppermint; strain and drink as a tea. Be warned – senna is powerful and may cause diarrhea, nausea or stomach cramps.
Prevention is always better than cure, so when it comes to constipation relief, eat a high fiber diet and you will never have to worry.