Constipation can occur for many reasons, and if you experience it often, it can be a frustrating thing to live with.
Common causes of constipation include low fiber intake, low water intake, having a food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), side effects of medications, lack of physical activity, overuse of laxatives, and changes in diet and activity levels.
Although in desperate times, we may be inclined to grab laxatives to obtain relief, this isn’t a wise decision. Not only does laxative use lead to more constipation, but your colon can become weaker as a result of the laxatives. Thus, your ability to hold in your bowels becomes greatly reduced.
Opting for nature’s best laxatives rather than those over-the-counter options is a better choice. Below you’ll discover some natural laxatives that are worth a try to get you going once again.
Best Natural Laxatives for Constipation
Overtime, ingesting coconut oil can help soften stool along with improving digestion. Furthermore, improved digestion boosts nutrient absorption which further helps reduce future constipation.
Dried plums and prune juice
Prunes are high in fiber, which is essential to relieve constipation. They also contain sorbitol, which is another ingredient to relieve constipation. You can eat the fruit or drink the juice to get things moving again.
Parsley is an ancient remedy for constipation, especially the juice. So, pull out your juicer and throw in some parsley to help relieve constipation.
These are high in protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids that all work to improve digestion along with boosting overall health. The fiber in flax seeds helps to bulk up stools and move them through the colon more effectively. Flax seeds can be easily added to smoothies to make them healthier and relieve constipation.
Berries contain soluble and insoluble fiber, making them a great food to relieve constipation. They also contain vitamins, which helps food move more quickly throughout the digestive tract. Lastly, they are packed with antioxidants that work to improve overall health.
Sweet potatoes are gentle on the digestive system, contain fiber, and are high in antioxidants. For added fiber, consume them with their skin. To really give them constipation-relieving power, cook them in coconut oil with some cinnamon.
They naturally occur in fermented foods including sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and some pickles. Consuming these foods regularly can help keep your gut healthy along with your bowels moving smoothly.
Chia seeds are known to be high in soluble fiber which is necessary to keep things moving along.
Legumes are high in fiber and help the body produce butyric acid, which is a natural laxative. It can also act as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Kefir is a fermented milk product and fermented foods contain naturally occurring probiotics. Kefir is also known to naturally add moisture and bulk to stool making it easier to pass.
Consuming castor oil releases ricinoleic acid, which is a type of unsaturated fatty acid that has a laxative effect. Ricinoleic acid works by activating a specific receptor in the digestive tract, which increases intestinal muscles to induce a bowel movement.
Leafy greens are high in nutrients, which can promote regularity along with being high in fiber.
Apples contain three grams of fiber per cup along with being high in pectin, which is a natural laxative.
Olive oil acts as a lubricant laxative by coating the rectum, allowing for easier passage of stool. Studies have also shown olive oil to be effective at relieving symptoms of constipation.
Oat bran contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. In a study comparing the effectiveness of oat bran and laxatives, 59 percent of participants stopped using laxatives as oat bran was effective at relieving constipation.
Kiwifruit is high in fiber, both insoluble and soluble. Similar to apples, it also contains pectin, which keeps things moving along smoothly.
For some people, the moment they drink coffee, they begin to experience an instant feeling of needing to pass a bowel movement. This is because coffee stimulates the muscles of the colon causing the sensation that you need to go. Furthermore, coffee affects gastrin, a hormone released after consuming a meal. Gastrin helps release gastric acid which helps break down food in the body, so waste can be expelled.
When your colon is dry, then stool can stick around. When there is moisture, stool can bulk up and move more easily through the colon. This is why drinking plenty of water can help relieve constipation.
Figs are high in fiber, water, and antioxidants. Figs actually contain more fiber than prunes do, making them a great fruit to consume to keep you regular.
Instead of opting for over-the-counter laxatives, incorporate these natural laxatives into your daily diet instead to enjoy the benefits of overall good health.
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