Constipation. It’s one of those common things that most of us don’t like to talk about. Frequently I find clients come in, and it is often only through very direct probing (pardon the pun) that they are willing to share how blocked up they are feeling.
Luckily enough, there are some easy, sure fire ways of getting your bowel health back on track, and reduce constipation! See below for some of the most effective suggestions:
In one 15g serve of chia, you can get 5.6g of fibre. This is a substantial contribution to your daily intake. I usually suggest starting off with 2 tsp, and slowly working up. Plus, chia has heaps of other health benefits as well!
Do not underestimate the power of fluid! Being dehydrated can result in harder stools, ensuring that you consume a minimum of 1.5L of water, plus other drinks (or water) will assist you with not only staying adequately hydrated, but helping make sure everything moves through smoothly as well.
1 tablespoon provides 4.9g of fibre. Similar to chia, I suggest using 2tsp, and slowly working up, as you don’t want to over do it! Psyllium works by absorbing fluid and helping move everything through. Remember to drink a big glass of water before and after you use this, as otherwise you put yourself at risk of stomach cramps!
Nope, it’s not an old wives tale! We’ve all heard of our grandma’s putting prunes on their breakfast, and yes, it does work incredibly well! Prune juice, drunk in a shot of 50-100mL twice a day, or dried prunes are fantastic for getting the bowels going.
Fresh fruit and veggies:
Yes yes yes, you’ve heard it before. Eat your veggies. Eat fruit. They are full of nutrients and provide a significant amount of fibre your body needs for the day. Enough said.
Wholegrain bread, quinoa, wholemeal pasta, brown rice. Yep, they’re not just good for giving you energy, they’re also great at helping keep everything moving through your bowels, due to their high levels of fibre. When choosing carbs, these are the ones to have.
Making sure you include activity on a daily basis helps to keep your bowels moving. Whether you’re training hard for the next event or only have time for a walk around the block, make sure something is included on a daily basis.
So there you have it folks, some of the best ways of making sure your bowels get moving, without using medications. Where this nervousness from clients of sharing their bowel habits comes from, I am not sure. But remember, when you go to see your dietitian, I can guarantee you they’ve heard it all before; don’t be shy in sharing!
We would love to hear any other strategies you use to keep your bowels working properly!
Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you'd like our help in managing diet-related health issues.