Constipation is such a common issue. Like coughs and colds, this condition also peaks during the Winter time when we are all inclined to drink less and eat more dehydrating foods. It seems that most people I meet are dealing with constipation issues.
Here's my plan for resolving constipation.
Include more Soluble Fibre
Soluble fibre attracts water to form a gel in the digestive system. This helps to soften digesting food, easing its movement whilst reducing irritation of the digestive system.
- Flaxseed tea (1-3 cups/day). This tea is rich in soluble fibre, extremely hydrating. Provides food for beneficial bacteria and contains essential fatty acid omega 3.
- Cooked apple or pear puree which is rich in soluble fibre pectin
- Cooked fresh or dried fruits like: apricots, figs, plums and dates in water until soft and plump. These fruits provide essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and the fibre has been softened by cooking. The cooked fruit may be cooled and stored in the fridge. Use to add to foods like yogurt, porridge, smoothies or eat warmed.
- Eat pre-soaked porridge for breakfast. (Recipe uses a natural pro-biotic rejuvelac which may be ommitted)
- Drink warm water not cold throughout the day. Aim for 2 litres spread evenly throughout the day and never drink large quantitities in one go!
- Drink a warm glass of water 30 minutes before every meal. This helps to prepare the food for digestion and prevents issues like acid reflux.
- Make soups by combining broth with onion, garlic, meat/fish, sprouted grains/legumes with your choice of vegetables. Have as many portions as required throughout the day. Texture is up to you chunky, smooth etc. Add a teaspoon full of virgin olive oil, coconut oil or clarified butter to this soup. It will help to absorb fat soluble vitamins and is a useful tip for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
- Processed foods/drinks as much as possible including takeaways and fast foods. These foods are very dehydrating and full of salt, sugar, additives and damaged/processed fats which weaken liver functioning in particular.
- Gluten-rich foods like bread, pizza and pasta. These can aggravate and dehydrate digestion further. Choose gluten free grains such as basmati rice, buckwheat, quinoa etc
- The usual dehydrating culprits like alcohol, caffeine, excess sugar and processed salt.
Take a probiotic to help balance your gut flora. Choose one which has proven viablity to survive in the body and offers a range of gut friendly bacteria such as: Bifido bacterium bifidum, Bifido bacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactococcus lactis. You could even try making your own pro-biotics in the form of naturally fermented foods like rejuvelac.
By the way I am a great believer in yoga for balancing the mind, body and emotions. Yoga is great for helping dispel trapped wind and improve movement within the body.
Try this sequence
- Lie on your back, breathe in and draw up your right knee to your chest. This helps to massage the ascending colon. Hold for a count of 5 then release your breath and knee.
- Repeat the movement with the left knee which helps massage the descending colon. Again hold for a count of 5 then release.
- Follow up these movements by breathing in and bringing both knees up to the chest. Hold to the chest for a count of 5 then release and breathe out.
- Finally massage the lower abdomen in a clockwise direction to help improve movement in this area.