Constipation and how to relieve it?
If you suffer with constipation, we have a few tips to suggest that may help you…
Years ago, when I was dealing with my own IBS issues, my bowel would sometimes oscillate between diarrhoea to constipation. Not being able to go is nearly as bad as not being able to stop the need to go! I was informed back then, by a doctor, of the 3 things needed to relieve symptoms of constipation:
Water, oil and movement
1 – Water – We are approx 70% water and many of us underestimate how much we need and don’t drink as much as we think.
2 – Oil – Think of your intestines like the engine of your car – it needs oil! I think pure cod liver oil is best. My approach is to take a bit more until my bowels function normally, then reduce the amount of oil as movement becomes easier and regular.
3 – Movement – Your body is a muscle machine, it is built to move, so move more! Exercise more if you can.
Recently I have begun to have a more ‘Mindful’ appreciation of the food I’m eating, and I wonder if this too will help anyone suffering with constipation or a sluggish digestion? Here’s what I practice if you want to give it a try:
- Sit and eat at a table for all meals.
- Look at your food (not your phone/TV). Notice the colour and textures of the food.
- Appreciate that someone somewhere in the world farmed and grew the food on your plate. Be grateful you didn’t have to grow or farm the food you are eating – or if you did grow it – appreciate that you were able to do this – what an achievement!
- Take smaller mouthfuls and really notice the flavours of how the food tastes.
- Chew the food well. Chewing well can be a challenge; I know I often scoff food down and sometimes can’t even remember what I had for a meal! By chewing properly, we enable the saliva in our mouths to coat the food and start the process of digestion. Chewing breaks the food down into smaller bits (the job of the teeth!) and the saliva starts the digestive enzymes as the food arrives in our stomach. Interestingly, the layer of internal ‘skin’ membrane of the intestines is only around 0.2mm – although it’s strong, it’s also delicate, so we do ourselves a favour by chewing our food well!
Kefir and digestion:
Kefir made from grains is a great support to your digestion from the first mouthful, as it encourages your natural metabolism to help you digest your food. Due to its slight sour taste, drinking kefir before a meal will activate your mouth saliva and the digestive juices in your stomach.
Kefir is nutritious and full of good gut bacteria and enzymes that will help push out the bad bacteria and replace with the good; these in turn will help the intestinal tract to absorb the nutrients from the food we eat, and in doing so, kefir will support normal bowel functions, which are digestion, assimilation and elimination.
And finally, as we’ve always been told… remember to regularly eat fibrous foods including lots of fresh green veggies and fruits – such as an apple a day!