Our body was brilliantly designed to keep us healthy. One of the ways it does this is through detoxing – filtering out harmful stuff it doesn’t need. Your body has 5 detox pathways: your skin, lungs, kidneys, liver and colon.
Since a healthy bowel movement is the ultimate detox for the body, we are going to talk about two strategies to help you avoid constipation:
- eat enough fiber,
- drink plenty of liquids so the fiber works better.
Eat foods high in fiber
Depending on your age and sex, adults should get 22 to 34 grams of fiber a day.
Good sources of fiber are:
- whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal and bran flake cereals
- legumes, such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans, soybeans and chickpeas
- fruits, such as berries, apples with the skin, oranges and pears
- vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, green peas and collard greens
- nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and pecans
If you are transitioning from a standard American diet to a diet rich in whole plant-based foods that are high in fiber, be sure to add these high-fiber foods to your diet a little at a time so your body gets used to the change.
Older adults sometimes don’t get enough fiber because they may lose interest in food. If this is you, or someone you know, talk to your trusted health care provider or functional nutritionist about what steps to take to help get more fiber-rich foods into the diet that you love.
Drink plenty of water
You should drink water and other liquids, such as naturally sweetened fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups, to help the fiber work better. This change should make your stools softer and easier to pass.
Drinking enough water and other liquids is also a good way to avoid dehydration. Staying hydrated is good for your overall health and can help you avoid being constipated.
How much water should you drink?
Well, it depends. The amount of water is based on your size, health, activity level and where you live. If you need help figuring it out, ask your nutritionist.
What should I avoid eating and drinking if I’m constipated?
To help prevent or relieve constipation, avoid foods with little to no fiber, such as
- fast food
- prepared foods, such as some frozen meals and snack foods
- processed foods, such as hot dogs and some microwavable dinners
Why you should care about regular bowel movements
Here are some of the possible side effects of constipation:
- Weight gain
- Acne and skin breakouts
- Brittle nails and thinning hair
- Compromised immunity
- Estrogen dominance
- Fecal impaction
- Anxiety and depression
In addition to these two strategies, managing stress, getting adequate sleep and walking every day can be helpful when dealing with constipation and its side effects. Having a healthy bowel movement is the ultimate detox – fixing constipation is worthy of your time and effort. If you need help figuring it out, go hear to schedule a free 30-minute discovery call with me. I can help you.