Sometimes, all it takes to solve the problem is a few changes to your diet. And the key word is ‘fibre,’ which is what you might be missing. Here are five foods that could help bring some relief.
“There are two types of fibre – insoluble and soluble – and they can both help with constipation,” explained Dr Nitin Kumar, a weight-management physician and gastroenterologist. Oats contain both, but are an excellent source of the soluble kind in particular.
Soluble fibre can provide relief by helping your food pass more easily through the intestines as it softens it. Insoluble fibre is said to play a role in promoting bowel regularity by bulking up the stool.
You may be happy to hear that the low-calorie, fibre-rich snack is also something you can indulge in. A single cup of air-popped popcorn contains 31 calories, 1 gram of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 1.2 grams of fibre.
But make sure to exercise caution with butter toppings and sugary varieties. Since they tend to contain trans fats and artificial sweeteners, even a small portion can significantly increase your calorie intake.
Prunes or dried plums are, perhaps, the most popularly recommended food for those seeking relief. They are not only rich in fibre but also contain fermentable sugars, both of which could help promote good gastrointestinal function.
In a 2014 study, participants who have been experiencing constipation were instructed to eat around 10 prunes (100 grams) per day. After three weeks, their stool frequency showed a good deal of improvement.
Beans can promote a healthy digestive system, though they may initially provoke symptoms like gas and bloating. “Increase your intake of fibre-rich foods gradually. You may feel worse before you get better,” said Dr Elizabeth Blaney, a gastroenterologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
Prefer a milder alternative? Blaney recommends trying green beans instead. While they don’t contain as many nutrients and fermentable sugars, they can still add some fibre to your diet without the side effects mentioned above.
Rich in antioxidants, the likes of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries can help induce some much-needed relief. “You are eating tiny seeds in each bite, so it increases your fibre,”said Sharon Palmer, a registered dietician with an expertise in plant-based nutrition.
They can make a sweet addition to your breakfast, be it pancakes or cereal. Since contractions of our colon work at their highest level during the morning hours, make sure to include a good amount of fibre in your first meal of the day.
Source: Medical Daily