Are your bowel movements less frequent than usual – about thrice a week? Do you experience discomfort during bowel movements? If you have answered yes to these questions, you are likely to be suffering from constipation.
It’s important to eat a balanced diet – one that includes all kinds of essential nutrients. Dietary fiber is one among them. It is recommended that an adult eat 25–30 g of fiber a day.1
The most common result of reduced fiber intake is constipation. Fiber regularizes your bowel movements by adding bulk to the food you eat. So, adding high-fiber foods to your diet is an ideal way to relieve the symptoms of constipation.2 If your symptoms aren’t too severe, try these amazing vegetables to relieve yourself of constipation naturally instead of using a laxative.
While a lot of people aren’t particularly fond of this vegetable, broccoli is rich in antioxidants that stimulate the digestive system and in dietary fiber, which makes it one of the best natural remedies for constipation.3 100 g of broccoli contains 2.6 g of dietary fiber.4 It’s best to eat this vegetable raw because cooking it gets rid of most of its fiber content. If you’re not a fan of uncooked broccoli, eat it after boiling.
2. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is another vegetable you can eat when you have constipation. It is rich in dietary fiber and hence can help relieve and prevent constipation. Bake and eat it with the skin because the skin contains most of the fiber. 100 g of sweet potato contains 3 g of dietary fiber.5 Eating baked regular potato also provides relief from constipation.
While spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals, it is also great for constipation. Its fiber content increases the bulk of the stool, thus making it great for even the most severe cases of constipation. It also contains magnesium, which is necessary for proper bowel movements. Drinking half a glass of spinach juice extracted from fresh leaves with half a glass of water for about 2–3 days can ease your bowel movements and work wonders for constipation. 100 g of spinach contains 2.2 g of dietary fiber.6
Carrots are not only good for your eyes but also good for digestion. This is because they’re abundant in dietary fiber and hence promote peristalsis – the movement of smooth muscle tissue to propel food along the digestive tract – and aid in good stool formation.
5. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are abundant in dietary fiber and water, which makes them a perfect natural remedy for constipation. This aids in the formation of soft stools and fast and comfortable bowel movements. However, avoid this vegetable if you’re prone to gas easily. 100 g of brussels sprouts contains 3.8 g of dietary fiber.9
6. Green Peas
Green peas are rich in insoluble fiber, which aids the smooth movement of undigested food through your intestines and hence can relieve constipation. 100 g of peascontainsn 5.7 g of dietary fiber.10 Ensure that you consume green peas in moderate amounts as excess consumption can cause abdominal discomfort and digestive problems.
Eating a lot of fiber can dehydrate you, so ensure that you drink sufficient water when you include these vegetables in your diet. Remember not to eat too much of these high-fiber vegetables and increase your fiber intake gradually else you might possibly experience bloating and stomach ache. Consult your doctor if your symptoms persist.
|↑1||Increasing Fiber Intake. UCSF Medical Center.|
|↑2||Anderson, James W., Pat Baird, Richard H. Davis, Stefanie Ferreri, Mary Knudtson, Ashraf Koraym, Valerie Waters, and Christine L. Williams. “Health benefits of dietary fiber.” Nutrition reviews 67, no. 4 (2009): 188-205.|
|↑3||Plumb, Geoffrey W., Keith R. Price, Michael JC Modes, and Gary Williamson. “Antioxidant properties of the major polyphenolic compounds in broccoli.” Free Radical Research 27, no. 4 (1997): 429-435.|
|↑4||Basic Report: 11090, Broccoli, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑5||Basic Report: 11507, Sweet potato, raw, unprepared. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑6||Basic Report: 11457, Spinach, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑7||Teller, Christopher. The Most Powerful Constipation Natural Remedies Available: Discover a Constipation Cure Using Herbs, Juices, Fruits, Vegetables, and Food. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.|
|↑8||Basic Report: 11124, Carrots, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑9||Basic Report: 11098, Brussels sprouts, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑10||Basic Report: 11304, Peas, green, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|