Natural laxatives

As a person gets older their metabolism tends to slow down. Something that goes along with that is constipation. Constipation can be a very uncomfortable even miserable feeling for the average person. Most people do not realize how much this can affect them until they have experienced it for themselves.

There are many things that people can do to alleviate constipation. Many foods can be considered natural laxatives. These foods can be added to the daily diet in order to get rid of constipation problems. This is one of the best solutions as most of these foods are nutritious as well and add many other health benefits in addition to relieving constipation issues.

The best natural laxatives are those foods that are full of fiber. Soluble fiber is much better than insoluble as it pulls water into itself and helps to soften up the stool in the intestines making it easier to pass later. Insoluble fiber is fiber that is not digestible fiber. It remains the same form and passes through the body unchanged.

One of the best known foods that works as a laxative are prunes and prune juice. Prunes are full of soluble fiber. They also have high levels of Vitamin A, iron and potassium. Eating a few prunes or drinking a glass of prune juice once a day usually will take care of any problems a person has with constipation.

Other vegetables and fruits that are considered natural laxatives include grapes, figs, apricots, turnips, endive, watercress, coconut, avocados, rhubarb and soybeans. In fact, rhubarb contains a natural chemical that has laxative qualities. Rhubarb is considered to be a very powerful laxative. It might be wise due to this to eat rhubarb in small amounts. Otherwise adding two servings of any of the foods above should alleviate any problems a person has with constipation. It is also recommended to eat vegetables and fruits raw when possible and to eat the peelings as well. They add to the roughage or fiber of the food item.

Whole grains are full of soluble fiber that will help to keep the digestive tact healthy and keep the stool soft. There are many cereals and other foods that are made with whole grains that fall into this category. Look for whole grains on the label. It is recommended to eat four to five servings of grains per day for a healthy diet and to keep the digestive tract moving along.

Other seeds that are considered natural laxatives include psyllium and flaxseed. Psyllium husks come from the seeds of the plantain. They contain a gel like substance called mucilage. This substance swells when it is mixed with water. It also pulls water into it. This helps to soften the stool as it passes through the intestinal tract. Linseed or flaxseed works on the same premise as psyllium husks. Licorice is another herb that contains mucilage. Please note that licorice should not be used long term as it can raise the blood pressure. Olive oil can also be used as a laxative.

A person being sedentary or not getting the right amount of exercise can lead to constipation. Increasing activity levels including taking regular walks or implementing an exercise routine can help to increase the digestive process and move food and nutrients more quickly through the digestive tract.

Keeping the body hydrated is another way to keep constipation away. The intestines need water to mix with the stool in order to keep it soft and pliable. If the body is dehydrated the stool will become hard and dry. It will make it much harder to pass. Drinking large amounts of water each day will keep constipation away.


Last updated on Sep 16th, 2009 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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