We all get a little stuck sometimes.
Constipation can be caused by a host of things: A poor diet, a poor exercise routine and often stress can all contribute to discomfort on the toilet.
In most cases, adding a little extra fiber to your diet can help get things moving. The body can't fully digest the nutrient, so it comes out in the stool while promoting a healthy intestine. Fruits and veggies are naturally full of the stuff, but some individual foods can help make you more regular than others. According to the Institute of Medicine, men should consume about 38 grams of fiber a day and women should consume 25. Most Americans fall short, eating only 15 grams or so each day.
The foods listed below can help loosen things up; keep it handy for when things don't come as smoothly as you'd wish. And while an irregular series of bowel movements is not usually something to worry about, if the problem persists for more than three weeks or you're experiencing extreme discomfort, it's definitely time to seek advice from an expert.
All berries boast a mighty fine amount of fiber, but at 8 grams per cup, raspberries stand out. Store a bag of the tart fruit in the freezer and whenever constipation strikes, add them to your fiber-tastic cereal or oatmeal.
You probably drink your routine morning cup to wake up; coffee's natural caffeine content stimulates your brain and prepares you to brace the day ahead. Besides that jolt, caffeine can also offer a laxative effect for some people. As HuffPost previously reported, it stimulates muscle contractions in the large intestines, making things flow. But be careful here: Too many cups will send you running to the bathroom and dealing with diarrhea. Sticking to two to three cups is your safest best.
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for constipation. If you're not drinking much water throughout the day, it's time to get on it. Be sure to drink even more when you work out, especially on hotter days.
Forgo your a.m. cup of juice for the whole fruit. A standard orange has a little more than 2 grams of fiber, while the juiced version contains little to none. Even more promising, a 2008 study found that naringenin, a compound found in citrus fruits, can have a laxative-like effect.
Marketers have been trying to give prunes a more elegant reputation for years now, selling the fruit as "dried plum" in attempt to rid it of its reputation for constipation relief. But there's no shame in getting people back to regular. Prunes really do help you poop, thankfully, due to their high insoluble fiber content. Just one little prune contains a gram of fiber, which is pretty concentrated for such a small piece of food. Other dried fruits like apricots have similar benefits and can provide the same relief.
Isn't it nice to be able to call popcorn a health food? The snack offers about a gram of fiber for every cup. To make the most of popcorn, skip the kind that's drenched in butter and make a plain, all-natural batch at home.
Your body can't digest flaxseed whole, but when you're having trouble with the plumbing, ground flaxseed is worthing adding to already-fibrous foods like oatmeal. A tablespoon of the stuff contains 2 grams of fiber and only 37 calories, meaning it won't add much caloric bulk to your meal. Flaxseed also contains a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help with depression and Alzheimer's disease.
8. Brown Rice
There are 3.5 grams of fiber in a cup of this delicious grain, making it a stellar choice for constipation relief. A 2007 study found that Japanese women who ate the most rice were 41 percent less at-risk for constipation than those who didn't eat as much of the grain. Experts tend to argue that brown rice is healthier than white because it contains more B vitamins, manganese, iron, fiber and fatty acids.
Popeye was right to promote spinach as a muscle-builder, but he should have also touted the leafy green's ability to help you poop. (Strong muscles and a regular bathroom schedule? Sounds like a dream). A cup of boiled spinach has 4 grams of fiber and more than 150 mg of magnesium, a mineral that has laxative powers.
As Jamie Lee Curtis will tell ya, yogurt's probiotic presence can improve the consistency and frequency of your poops. A 2014 analysis found that the probiotics in yogurt helped people poop more often and more comfortably. You don't need to buy Activia to get the benefits.
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