Diet to Avoid Constipation
I was severely constipated as a child, it started at the age of 10 (with bleeding piles) and I carried it into my adult years, pretty much till I was 30 years old. When I finally took the path of Macrobiotics as a career path, I realized a couple of things went wrong and why I had to suffer so much in my early years. Firstly, my mother suffered with candida, and possibly passed a weak gut microbiome to me (gut microbiome is passed on from the mother to her child). Secondly, our eating habits at home were healthy, but being from a North Indian background there was way too much dairy, meats, chicken, eggs, and sugar.
My parents did their best, given the limited knowledge at the time. However, no doctor addressed the real issue, that of nutrition and a weak gut microbiome. So, my condition only got worse. By the time I was 25, I had severe candida (talked a lot about this condition in my books), a leaky gut, also extreme dysbiosis and severe inflammation.These issues also affected my brain; I had mood swings, was angry all the time, could not focus and was generally not a happy person. It would take me hours of potty-time, and a lot of pain to pass my motions. I tried everything, allopathy, homeopathy; but nothing worked except fixing my diet and Ayurveda panchakarma to sort out my digestion. A fewer than 3 bowel movements a week, is a sign that you are constipated for sure.
Causes of Constipation
- Lack of fiber in the diet (too much or too little).
- Breakdown of gut microbiome (dysbiosis).
- Ignoring the urge, when you get a signal.
- Not enough water intake.
- Stressful lifestyle.
- Overuse of medication (especially pain medication, which I did a lot during my periods), or even prolonged use of antibiotics, antacids, iron, calcium or diuretics).
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- Thyroid issues.
- Any disease like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis (involves nerves).
While there are many treatments that aid bowel movements like laxatives, stool softeners, herbs (senna leaves); it is best to fix the problem once and for all with your diet and not be dependent on anything. I did that, and today I have the best digestion ever.
Diet, lifestyle to resolve constipation
Here is are the factors to be kept in-mind when dealing with constipation.
- Always eat at regular meal-times, consistency in timings is the key and it also will keep you in-line with your circadian body clock.
- Make sure your diet is high on fibre: whole grains like brown rice and millets (replace all white carbs for whole grains). You need approximately 25 grams of fiber for women, and 38 grams for men.
- Add a plethora of vegetables, 2-3 cups a day; plus, focus on the leafy greens, as these will help you really cleanse. Leafy greens have the wonderous ability to pick up toxins and eliminate them.
- Replace all meats with more plant-based protein like beans and lentils.
- Don’t forget to have your fruit, at least 2 servings a day.
- Stay hydrated, with herbal teas, or simply water.
- Exercise, it will help food move faster through the colon.
- Engage in many yoga twists, these will promote smooth bowel movements.
- Make sure you have some sort of ritual, what I mean by this is set-aside time to sit on the throne and have the ability to stay there. Often in today’s world we are running to the next thing and do not cultivate the habit of staying.
If you do not feel evacuated after going to the toilet many times, it means you are constipated as well. Please consult your healthcare practitioner.