A Holistic Approach to Relieving Constipation: Hydration, Walking, Probiotics, and High-Fiber Diet

Mon, 11/06/2023 - 09:47

Constipation is a common digestive issue that can make your life uncomfortable and affect your overall well-being. While occasional constipation is normal, chronic constipation can be a distressing persistent problem. The good news is that there are several natural and effective ways to alleviate constipation, and this blog will explore a holistic approach that includes hydration, walking, probiotics, and a high-fiber diet.

1. Hydration: The Foundation of Digestive Health
Water is the essence of life, and it plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Insufficient water intake can lead to dehydration, which can cause stools to become dry and difficult to pass. To combat constipation, it's essential to stay well-hydrated. Here's how you can make water work for you:

  • Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
  • Start your day with a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon, which can help kickstart your digestive system.
  • Herbal teas like peppermint or ginger tea can also aid digestion while providing hydration. 

2. Walking: A Simple Yet Effective Exercise
Exercise, especially walking, can stimulate bowel movements and promote regularity. A sedentary lifestyle can slow down your digestive system, so incorporating regular physical activity is essential in the fight against constipation. Here's how walking can help:

  • A 20-30 minute brisk walk every day can get your bowels moving.
  • The natural rocking motion of walking can help stimulate your digestive system.
  • Include walking as part of your daily routine, whether it's after meals or as a break from sitting at your desk.

3. Probiotics: Balancing Gut Bacteria
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can improve the balance of your gut microbiome, which plays a significant role in digestion and overall health. They can alleviate constipation by promoting a healthy gut environment. Here's how to incorporate probiotics into your daily routine:

  • Consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
  • Consider taking a high-quality probiotic supplement. Check out Alaya Naturals Synbiotic which comes from human resident strains of microbes and includes prebiotic fiber to support efficacy.

4. High-Fiber Diet: Nature's Laxative
A high-fiber diet is one of the most effective and natural ways to prevent and relieve constipation. Fiber adds bulk to your stools, making them softer and easier to pass. Aim to get a minimum of 40 grams a day, but over 70 grams a day could cause bloating. If you aren’t currently eating a lot of fiber, gradually increase your fiber intake to allow your digestive system to adjust.

There are two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. What’s the difference between the two types? Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a thick gel-like substance inside of the body while insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and adds bulk to the stool as it passes through the digestive tract. Here's how you can increase your fiber intake:
1. Consume More Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber creates a gel in the system by binding with fatty acids. Some studies show that it prolongs stomach emptying to allow for better absorption of nutrients. Because it does ferment in the stomach and thus lead to occasional bloating and gas, increase these foods gradually and drink plenty of water.
Examples of foods that contain soluble fiber include:

  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh fruit

2. Consume Insoluble Fiber Foods
Insoluble fiber’s job is to provide bulk in the intestines and carry toxins out of the system while helping balance the pH levels in the intestines. It doesn’t dissolve in water and doesn’t ferment with bacteria in the colon. Insoluble fiber is found in:

  • nuts and seeds
  • legumes (beans, lentils and peas)
  • whole grains like brown rice and Ezekiel bread
  • green vegetables like broccoli and dark leafy greens
  • cabbage and celery
  • bran (wheat bran, oat bran)

Remember that it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional if you have chronic or severe constipation, as it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. In most cases, a combination of these natural remedies can lead to improved bowel regularity and a happier, healthier you.