Constipation is a common medical condition in which a person has three or fewer bowel movements per week and hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. Constipation can cause bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, gas and diarrhea. People who experience chronic constipation often have difficulty maintaining healthy weight because they don’t get enough nutrients from their diet due to the frequency and consistency of their bowel movements. However, there are many steps you can take to alleviate your constipation symptoms and improve your gut health.
Increase fiber in your diet
- Increase fiber in your diet. Fibers are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They help you feel full, which can make it easier to avoid overeating. And because they add bulk to your stool, high-fiber foods also help keep your digestive system healthy.
- Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food that reaches the intestine (about 20% of dietary cholesterol). Fiber may also reduce blood sugar levels by slowing down absorption of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal.
Drink more water
Drinking more water is a simple way to help your gut health. It also helps with digestion, weight loss, and making you feel full.
To start drinking more water:
- Set a goal of eight glasses per day (or 64 ounces). You can do this by drinking one glass in each meal or by adding an extra glass to your routine before bedtime.
- Add lemon slices or mint leaves for flavor if you want!
Eat prebiotic foods
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. They’re found in foods like onions, garlic and asparagus. Prebiotic fibers can also be added to food by adding prebiotic fiber supplements to your diet or foods like bananas and applesauce.
Prebiotics help promote healthy bowel movements by relieving constipation and inflammation associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They may also reduce diarrhea caused by antibiotics or other medications used for treating IBS symptoms
Try a probiotic supplement
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help maintain a healthy digestive system. People who take probiotic supplements may experience relief from constipation, bloating and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Probiotics can also help to improve overall gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria within your body.
There are many different types of probiotic supplements on the market today; some contain just one strain or species while others will include several strains or species in their formulation. Some products contain billions (or even trillions) of live cultures per serving; others have just a few billion living organisms in each capsule or tablet–the amount is largely dependent on what you’re looking for: Do you want something milder that won’t make you sick if there’s an error with dosage? Or do you need something stronger so as not be bothered at all by even minor issues?
You can improve your gut health by eating and drinking healthier.
Improving your gut health is a lot easier than you might think. All you need to do is:
- Increase fiber in your diet – Fiber helps move things along in the digestive tract and promotes regular bowel movements. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes (beans). You can also try adding psyllium husk powder into smoothies or juice drinks for extra fiber content without adding any calories or sugar.
- Drink more water – Drinking enough water will keep everything moving along smoothly and help prevent constipation from occurring in the first place! Aim for eight cups per day if possible–but don’t overdo it; drinking too much liquid can cause diarrhea instead of relieving constipation!
- Eat prebiotic foods – Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that feed beneficial bacteria living inside us known as probiotics (“pro-life” meaning “for life”). These good bacteria help break down food particles into nutrients that get absorbed into our bloodstream through our intestines so we stay healthy from head to toe! Some examples include artichokes (yes please!), garlic cloves, leeks/scallions (especially those green tops), Jerusalem artichoke tubers…
We hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and we encourage you to share it with others who might be struggling with their gut health. Remember that the best thing you can do for yourself is eat a healthy diet rich in fiber, drink plenty of water (and other liquids) every day and try out some probiotic supplements if needed!