Constipation is a problem that affects many Americans every day. Constipation is mainly due to poor eating habits, insufficient exercise, not getting enough fiber and not drinking enough water. Constipation is quite uncomfortable and most everyone knows when they have it. Common symptoms include:
Straining to have a bowel movement
Hard stools - pellet like stools
Not having a bowel movement every day
Not totally emptying your bowels each time you have a movement
If you eat right and adopt a healthy lifestyle, you need not every suffer from constipation, but what can you do in the meantime?
One way to help get things moving is to increase your intake of potassium through eating foods it naturally occurs in. You remember your grandmother telling you to eat prunes to relieve constipation, right? Well that is because prunes are high in potassium!
Potassium works wonders on the walls of the colon and helps to stimulate peristaltic action which makes your bowels move. It also helps to clean out layers of mucus and dried fecal matter that have built up along the colon walls.
Other foods that contain potassium include: tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, kale, sesame seeds, wheat germ, brewers yeast, pineapple and cauliflower.
Another natural remedy for constipation is Aloe. This herb that works so good on your outsides can also help your insides too! Aloe and its cousins buckthorn, frangula and senna have natural laxative chemicals and can be very powerful constipation cures It is recommended you take any of these herbs with caution and not for extended periods of time.
Psyllium has long been used to help relieve symptoms of constipation as it is loaded with soluble fiber. Make sure you take psyllium with lots of water.
Flax seed is used in may packaged products that treat constipation. You can buy the flaxseeds and crush them yourself. Take one or two tablespoons a day with lots of water. You will need to make sure you get at least 8 glasses of water a day when using flax.
Rhubarb has laxative properties and is high in fiber. Since the properties that give it it's laxative qualities are similar to those in senna, this can be very powerful so use with caution!
While using natural remedies for constipation is much better then taking laxatives, the best thing to do is to practice prevention by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, getting adequate exercise and drinking lots of water.