How To Prevent Constipation, That Embarrassing Elephant In The Room And A Social Disaster?

Constipation is a common problem, affecting women in ways that can be troublesome. Here is how to prevent constipation.

Constipation is a common problem, affecting women in ways that can be troublesome. Here is how to prevent constipation.

Yes, certainly an embarrassing and uncomfortable problem to talk or write about. But, such a common condition which affects us irrespective of age! In women, it might be more of a problem as it can cause more suffering and inconvenience during menstruation, or during a pregnancy.

Haven’t we all have suffered from constipation at some point in our lives ? What can be done to avoid it and prevent developing a more serious problem (like piles)? Here is how to prevent constipation, using these simple tips.

The DOs

Are you drinking enough 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.” 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 dreaded constipation. Water is also beneficial for your overall health.

‘Good food’ for constipation

Fruit, green leafy vegetables and salads (are full of fibre 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.

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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) is a must in any list that tells you how to prevent constipation – 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.


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 processed wheat flour

One of the biggest ‘culprits’ of constipation is regular /daily consumption of products made out of processed wheat flour -cakes, pastries, biscuits, pizzas, burgers, doughnuts, white bread, naan… and the list could go on. But these are often things that the younger generation uses as staples. How to prevent constipation in such a scenario?

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 to seek medical help.

Published here earlier.

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