Bowel troubles? You’re not alone. Constipation is more common than one would think but because it’s almost a taboo subject, you’re most likely left to suffer alone. But don’t worry, there are some excellent natural laxatives that can leave your bowels working on the clock.
One way or another, your body needs to get rid of that waste product. If not on its own, at least give it a hand with these natural tricks.
6 Natural laxatives for Constipation relief
The natural process of digestion involves a wide range of functions within the body.
Chemically, it includes enzymes, probiotics, electrolytes, circulatory regulation, and hormones. Physically, a regular bowel movement involves the processing of waste within the gut, wherein the body creates a solid mass out of undesirable nutrients, liquid, and other waste to be expelled.
And that can be impeded by any number of factors such as insufficient liquid, not enough fiber, stress, insufficient sleep, dietary deficiencies, and each individual body’s ability to process particular foods.
When going through the colon, the waste loses its excess of water to become solid and a mass.
If you don’t drink enough water to create this excess of water, the stool will harden. This will make it less pliable and more likely to produce pain when going through the colon. In the case of severe constipation, it might not move at all for lack of lubrication.
It’s essential to make hydration part of your daily routine. Try to drink a big glass of water with each meal. It’s helpful to carry a water bottle so that you have continuous, easy access to it throughout the day too.
Prunes and kiwis are famous natural laxatives, but any high-fiber fruit can help you, really. Figs, pears, apples, even most berries can be useful, for instance. You can eat them fresh (and add hydration to their effect) or dried (which means that you can eat more of them, more quickly.)
Pears and apples also contain a particular kind of fiber called pectin, which can also stimulate the bowels.
Fresh fruit is, of course, a source for many important vitamins and minerals and, therefore, an altogether good choice. Plus, most high-fiber fruits are also good sources of antioxidants, which can reduce gut inflammation if constipation has been going for a long time.
Not all bacteria are bad and can make you sick. The so-called “gut flora” is essential to digestion. These are “good” bacteria in your intestines that help with food decomposition and nutrient absorption.
Probiotics – present in many yogurts, especially the Greek variety – tend to concentrate specifically on these “good” bacteria, helping with their well-being and increasing their numbers. Having a fully functional and healthy gut flora is essential to prevent bloating, constipation, indigestion, and stomach aches.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is not often listed among other natural laxatives because its effect is indirect.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it works mostly to prevent and fight any irritations and inflammations that might be blocking the stool. Likewise, it has a soothing effect on the muscles and the mind once consumed, leaving the body relaxed and allowing a better flow of the waste.
Aloe vera is also full of electrolytes, minerals, vitamins, and most of all, critical enzymes necessary for digestion. It can also help bring your acid and pH into proper balance.
5. Fresh raw juice
This goes beyond simply eating fruit. Juicing allows for a larger intake of nutrients that it would be possible if you were to eat them.
Besides, you can combine the juice of several fruits and veggies at once and thus benefits from their nutrients and properties. But here’s a big point. If you juice with high-fiber fruits and veggies, you’re going to have a tremendous positive impact on your body’s ability to end constipation.
Just remember: the fresher, the better!
6. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are one of the most effective all natural laxatives out there because they are packed with fiber and healthy nutrients. It’s no wonder that it became almost a staple food for anyone looking to have a more diverse and healthy diet.
Once you combine them with liquid, you begin to form a jelly-like substance which helps navigate your intestinal tract with ease. Not only are they full of fiber—they also swell the digestive tract, making it bigger, help other foods pass through, and increase the bioabsorption of water.
You can easily eat them by adding some to a yogurt or by using them to prepare healthy smoothies.
How to stay regular naturally
How can you stay regular? Defeating constipation – whether it’s occasional or frequent – is important, but avoiding it altogether is definitely best. Also, bowel movements can be an indicator of overall bodily health. So if you have trouble with them, you might have a larger problem.
What creates great regularity? Some of it’s genetic; some people just have more digestive enzymes, and some people have more stomach problems. But most often it is a consequence of your own habits and behavior.
1. Watch what you eat
There are plenty of foods which lend themselves to easier bowel movements while other restrict them.
A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources is a powerful hedge against any digestive difficulty.
Be careful when eating large amounts of red meat as this food takes longer to be digested and processed. Likewise, avoid eating too much cheese. While yogurt’s enzymes help you, cheese can “bind you up”. Starches can also slow down the digestive response.
2. Avoid dehydration
You need to drink plenty of water to keep your bowels working easily, as mentioned before. Nevertheless, you also have to fight off dehydration.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine as they have a diuretic effect. Also, adjust your intake of water to your own context. For instance, you need to increase it if you’re sweating more than usual or if you’re facing a really hot weather day.
If your urination is scarce and infrequent, it’s another good sign that you might be at risk of bowel difficulties or constipation.
Exercise keeps the oxygen moving inside of you, and keeps your blood circulating properly. It elevates your cardiac response in healthy ways, and it helps you flush toxins out of your body through sweat. It’s a natural detox.
In addition, exercise burns fat and builds muscle. All of these factors can help the body process food more quickly as it accelerates the metabolism. This can assist in letting you get rid of toxicity before it can set in and take root.
It also makes you feel good about yourself, and that sense of well-being can help you relax tension in your stomach and chest. Again, when those muscles are clenched, they can interfere with digestive capabilities, with unfortunate consequences.
Constipation is a real and serious problem causing discomfort and unhappiness. It can even evolve to be health-threatening and toxins accumulate in the intestines.
Bowel problems are widespread in a processed food, sedentary-lifestyle world. But, fortunately, there are lots of excellent natural laxatives that can reduce and prevent it.
Always eat mindfully, and always be aware of what you put into your body. You wouldn’t want to put bad fuel in your car—you certainly don’t want to put it in yourself! You only get one body, so be conscious!
Check out the video below to learn more about what causes constipation and how age or health issues can worsen it.