Fiber works so well at preventing constipation it couldn’t take anything but first place. What is surprising, however, are all the ways people add fiber to their diets. Mixing wheat bran into cereals or juice is an easy way to bulk up , and many people do just that. Other turns to cereals and fruit.
Research shows that both soluble and insoluble fiber play a role in preventing constipation. Wheat bran is mostly insoluble fiber, meaning that it doesn’t dissolve in water. It adds bulk to the stool and has been shown to speed up the amount of time it takes food to move through your body.
Oats and fruits, on the other hand, contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs water and becomes soft and gelatinous. It provides some bulk, but more important, it helps to keep stools moist and soft, aiding passage. This sort of fiber also helps to maintain a proper balance of bacteria in the bowel, which also aids in normal digestion, experts say.
Prunes and prune juice have long been considering a sure fix for constipation. Just be careful do not eat too many of them at one time, or you will get the run.
Drink more ( beer works as well :))
If you are sure you are getting plenty of fiber but you still get constipated it is possible that mild dehydration is your problem. Fiber needs to absorb plenty of water to stay soft enough to move along in the digestive tract. Otherwise it balls up and slows down. Sometimes just having one beer doesn’t works. It is the second one that does the trick
Hot coffee first thing in the morning provides a body wide wake up call for some people. Myself i don’t drink coffee butill have a good strong cup if I’m constipated, and believe me, i better stay near a bathroom, because it works fast.
Why? Because Caffeine has a kick that extends to the intestines, stimulating peristalsis the muscular contractions that move food along. To treat constipation, dietitians recommend water and juice over caffeine containing colas and coffee, because caffeine acts as a diuretic and can actually deplete the body’s water supply. They recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water or juice a day. Myself i use coffee.
Exercise like fiber, moves things along faster in the bowels. In fact, it works so well that some long distance runners have to be careful about when and what they eat before a race.
Perhaps because they have so many natural ways to relieve or prevent constipation people don’t consider laxatives as a top choice. One laxative is Metamucil an over the counter chemical free powder meant to be mixed with fruit juice or some other drink.
Metamucil is a bulk forming laxative that contains a water soluble fiber, psyllium. This fiber dissolves or swell in the intestine, forming a gel that aids the passage of tools and stimulates the muscular contractions that push food through the bowel.
Doctors consider this and other psyllium containing laxatives the first choice for constipation. That’ s because the laxative acts only in the bowel. It is not absorbed into the body and does not upset the body’s fluid or mineral balance as chemical based laxatives do. It is considered safe for long term use.
Several people suggest using oil, mineral oil or olive oil to cure or prevent constipation. These oils soften stools by coating them and thus preventing the water they contain from being absorbed through the intestinal walls. In fact emulsified mineral oil which contains a bit of detergent is sold as a laxative and seems to work better than plain mineral oil, because it is dispersed through the stool.
Rhubarb stalks or root is a delicious and effective bowel cleanser. Chop three stalks of rhubarb and mix with one cup of apple juice, 1/4 peeled lemon, and one teaspoon of honey. Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You may want to try only a small amount at first, to see how your body responds and stay close to bathroom.
Several people say they use herbal remedies to relieve constipation. Cascara and senna were mentioned most often. But keep in mind that some herbs can be just a harsh on your bowel as commercial laxatives.