May 06, 2009

Constipation

So I’ve had several people over the past few months ask me about constipation.  I have only experienced the discomfort of this once in my life but I remember researching it back then, trying to find alternative therapies to the typical laxative.  So here’s some tips on the topic as well as some therapies I’ve found to work.  (In some cases, constipation could be an underlying symptom of something else going on, in which you would want to seek medical attention.) 

*You should eat a healthy diet that consists of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, food high in fiber, and foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.  Fish, nuts and seeds are good sources of these fats.
*Try to eat at the same times every day.  Keeping your body on a regular schedule helps your digestive system to work naturally and on schedule.
*Chew your food thoroughly and slowly
*Exercise

Foods that soften the stool:
*Fiber -
  Soluable - binds with fatty acids and prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly
  Insoluable - moves bulk through the intestines and controls and balances the pH (acidity) in the intestines
*Fruits (with the skin), dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds.
*Vegetable juices, freshly made, consisting of apple and spinach (this one worked great, was slow acting and the taste was mild.)
*A good probiotic daily (http://www.drfuhrman.com - Favorite Flora)

Foods to avoid:
*white flour
*fried foods
*sweets
*carbonated drinks
*alcohol
*refined sugars
*cheese
*red meat (or at least in small quantities)

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