Tips to avoid constipation

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Yes, it is an embarrassing problem. But,we all have suffered from constipation at some point in our lives haven’t we? What can be done to avoid it and prevent developing a more serious problem (like piles). Here are some simple tips.

DO’s

Drink plenty of water– You may have heard this a million times-from your family, friends, newspapers/magazines, the internet or even your doctor- “Drink plenty of water” “Are you drinking enough water”? So true. How difficult is it to sip water all day long? This natural remedy not just flushes  toxins from your body and makes your skin glow, but it helps you prevent the dreadful constipation. Water is also beneficial for your overall health.

‘Good food’ for constipation– Fruit, green leafy vegetables and salads( are full of fiber and roughage). Have those in plenty. Beans and cereals are also high in fibre and are an excellent and essential  part of a balanced diet. Fruits which are particularly effective to prevent/help constipation are bananas, figs, sweet lime (do not remove the fibrous threads). When you have fruits like apples, plum and pears, make sure you do not peel off the skin of fruits as they are is rich in fibre.Carrots and vegetable like okra (bhindi) gives fibrous bulk in the stool. Munch or lace your breakfast cereal with dried fruit like dates, raisins, apricots and prunes, which are not only healthy options but taste wonderful as well. A special mention for prunes(and prune juice)- they are a ‘ wonder food’. They are simply great because they are not just rich in fibre, but contain sorbitol which is a natural laxative.

DONT’S

Avoid late nights- Keeping up late would invariably mean you would be having your meals late or eating at odd hours. Plus if you reach out for junk, oily and spicy food and caffeine laden drinks or have heavy meals, you can be sure that your bowel movement would be affected the next day. That is because you are feeding your body  the wrong food -food which has little or no fibre/ food which lacks nutritional value and  food which is damaging to your health. You are also not giving your body a chance to rest and get enough time to digest food while you are asleep. Try to eat light and most importantly eat and sleep on time.

If you work late/ do night shifts or have to stay up, at least make sure you have your meals at fixed times each day and not go to bed as soon as you finish your food. Take some time out to enjoy a little stroll and a breath of fresh air before you say ‘goodnight’

Avoid overeating cheese– Anyone who loves cheese would not be happy to hear this. But overindulging in cheese is guaranteed to cause constipation as it has a high fat content. Enjoy your cheese, but go easy on it.

Avoid wheat flour– One of the biggest ‘culprits’ of constipation is regular /daily consumption of products made out of wheat flour-cakes,pastries,biscuits,pizzas,burgers,doughnuts,white bread,naan and the list could go on. Stay away from processed and refined food.  You can choose healthier options like whole wheat flour. Also, say no to  oily and spicy food.

The causes of constipation can be plenty-a faulty diet, sleep deprivation, lack of physical activity, lack of fibre in your diet,stress or travel to a different time zone. It could also be due to medications or some medical problem for which one needs medical help.

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