What are The Best Laxative Foods?
By Dimitri Fernando
Many people consider constipation to be a taboo subject. You are far from alone if you're too embarrassed to discuss it. About 14% of adults in the United States are affected by constipation and an astounding 3.2 million medical visits every year are due to constipation related issues. It's a common and widespread issue. For the sake of our health, maybe it's time we opened a dialogue even though nobody wants to talk about it.
Every year Americans spend three-quarters of a billion dollars on laxatives, but still it's not helping. Often constipation is made worse by pharmaceutical laxatives and stool softeners. The problem is that laxative overuse can lead to dependency. without using strong laxatives it may be difficult or impossible to have a bowel movement. Over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives also tend to produce some serious side effects including abdominal cramps, dehydration, dizziness, low blood pressure, electrolyte imbalance, and bloody stool. These are undesirable and unnecessary side effects.
It is a far better plan to create a natural laxative effect by incorporating certain foods into your diet. Explosive emergencies can arise from certain pharmaceutical laxatives but these foods produce a mild laxative effect. They won't send you sprinting for the restroom, but if you incorporate a few of them into your daily diet, you will find that laxatives become completely unnecessary as they should keep things moving regularly. And obviously the even better thing is that, these foods don't come with the unpleasant side effects. Constipation is more miserable than it needs to be because of these side effects so not having them is a big deal.
Natural Laxative Foods
Gut health and regularity of bowel movement is promoted by high-fibre foods, like fruits, vegetables, and beans. You should look for foods that can stimulate the digestive system, encourage enzyme activity, or assist in detoxification in addition to maintaining a high-fibre diet. Always or at least when possible, consume foods that are fresh, organic, pesticide-free, and seasonal, as fruits in season would often be cheaper than when out of season. Avoid big-box grocery retailers and look to your local farmer's market or organic produce store for the healthiest raw fruits and vegetables. Of course in the Sri Lankan context it is rare that you find a farmer's market selling home grown fruits or vegetables. If you find one, patronize it.
A natural laxative effect is produced by each of the following 15 foods products without the unwanted side effects of OTC laxatives. Common symptoms of constipation can be relieved by these foods and they eliminate many other gastrointestinal issues. Try incorporating more of these laxative foods into your diet before you start taking laxatives or stool softeners. You will be surprised at how well they work. Here is a list of the best laxative foods and drinks.
1. Prunes and Plums
The fruit that's most famous for its laxative properties is what we will start off with. Its widely recognized as "nature's laxative."
Prunes and plums are naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, and iron. Their relieving properties are because they are especially high in dietary fibre.
The health of beneficial bacteria in the gut is promoted by prunes, making them a great addition to any colon-cleansing diet. Prunes are one of the best laxative foods for babies, but remember that infants under four months old shouldn't be given solid food.
If you try prune juice, Avoid anything with added sugar and get one that's made only from prunes and water.
Pectin is a soluble fibre that normalizes bowel function, and is high in Bananas. These are a great way to promote easy digestion as pectin makes them a natural bulk-producing laxative. Eating a banana a day will help restore valuable electrolytes to your intestinal tract since bananas have a high potassium content. beneficial bacteria proliferate in your large intestine due to a natural compound contained in Bananas called fructooligosaccharide. Unripe bananas contain heavy starches and can cause constipation so be sure the bananas you pick are fully ripe.
An apple tastes a lot better than a bowl of bran, and it has as much dietary fibre. Its high pectin content provides bulk and stimulates the bowels giving you easier bowel movements. Apples are a good choice if you're looking for laxative foods for children and toddlers. A sweet, tasty apple is usually an easy sell for your little ones who might shy away from prunes.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Don't forget apple cider vinegar (ACV) which contains acetic acid, helping food break down more efficiently in your stomach. Only raw organic apple cider vinegar can be recommended as it still has the "mother of vinegar," the living nutrients and bacteria that provide the bulk of ACV's health-promoting properties.
Berries rank among my favorite foods being high in antioxidants. With their high dietary fibre content. they also help relieve constipation. during any colon cleanse and on a daily basis afterwards. Doctors recommend consuming the following berries – blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, goji berries, and acai berries. In our local supermarkets, you will find strawberries and occasionally blueberries. Make sure that berry juice contains only natural ingredients and no added sugar.
6. Aloe Vera
One of the oldest and most popular medicinal plants known to man is aloe vera. A gel that contains beneficial vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytonutrients, and enzymes is contained inside the aloe vera leaf. Don't use "whole leaf" or "outer leaf" aloe products – these contain a bitter yellow liquid derived from the skin of the aloe leaf called aloe latex. You should be careful to avoid them. Aloe latex can cause cramping as it is a very harsh laxative. inner leaf aloe is what you should look for. It is a much more mild laxative. You can easily find Inner leaf aloe juice or high-quality supplements.
7. Ginger (Inguru)
An important ingredient in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Indian medicine (and cuisine) for hundreds of years, ginger is one of the best laxative spices. many commercial laxatives contain ginger extracts because the piquant root is known for effectively relieving gastrointestinal distress. Many laxative teas use dried ginger as an ingredient. elimination proceeds smoothly due to the action of ginger which works by relaxing the intestinal tract
8. Turmeric (Kaha kudu)
Many Eastern cultures have been using turmeric throughout their history both as a culinary spice as well as a medicine. a natural phytochemical compound called curcumin gives turmeric both its rich golden colour and its healing properties. Many gastrointestinal issues, including irritable bowel syndrome and constipation are significantly relieved by taking turmeric in food, or as a supplement.
9. Bitter Melon (Karawila)
A vegetable grown in tropical regions around the world, bitter gourd, is also known as goya, bitter melon and balsam-pear, is and appreciated for its health-boosting properties. constipation relief is just one of bitter melon's many uses as it is loaded with beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients. The vegetable is also used for dozens of other applications including eczema, weight loss, kidney stones, liver issues.
10. Leafy Green Vegetables
Fill your refrigerator with Gotulola, Mukunuwanna, Thampala, Thebu, Kankun, kale (kola Gowa i.e. leafy cabbage), spinach, or other dark leafy greens when you are ready to detox your body. Why? These are high in dietary fibre, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K and act as natural laxatives. These essential nutrients aid your digestion and overall health.
Rich in fibre and vitamins A, C, and K, tomatoes are great laxative food. It protects you from developing colon cancer and prostate cancer as it is also very high in lycopene, an antioxidant. I recommend buying locally-grown, organic tomatoes if possible and affordable.
Providing you with approximately 30% of your daily fibre needs by eating just one a day, avocados are packed with beneficial nutrients such as dietary fibre, potassium, vitamin K, and folate and also contain an antioxidant called lutein along with vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy monounsaturated fats. Furthermore, avocados contain called. Avocado also improves the absorption of nutrients from other foods.
13. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil may help protect the colon and digestive tract from damage, keeping your primary route of elimination clear and in good health according to various studies. Look for raw, organic extra virgin coconut oil. This assures that it's unrefined and contains no harsh chemicals or genetically modified additives.
One of the very best laxative foods are legumes like beans and peas. They are low in both fat and cholesterol, aid digestion, and are rich in fibre.
15. Raw Seeds and Nuts
Your diet should include more raw seeds and nuts. Seeds and nuts are rich in fibre, vitamin E, protein, zinc and other essential nutrients, not to mention tasty. Some great choices would include flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cedar nuts, and sunflower seeds.
Carrots add bulk to stool and can stimulate bowel contractions as they are high in pectin. Eat them raw if you're eating carrots to help relieve constipation. Cooked carrots are not as effective at relieving constipation compared to raw carrots.
Broccoli can help stimulate detoxification enzymes in the digestive tract as they are extremely high in antioxidants and fibre. Broccoli sprouts contain a higher concentration of beneficial nutrients and are more effective than the fully-grown vegetable.
Eating cauliflower will supports the production of enzymes in the liver by increasing the amount of glucosinolate in your system. carcinogens and other toxins get flushed from your body due to the action of these liver enzymes. There are many excellent cauliflower recipes to help you.
Eating cabbage helps flush out toxins and soften stool for easier bowel movements much like other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. To maximize the potential of cabbage, consume it as kimchi or sauerkraut for the probiotic benefits.
Speaking of probiotics...
20. Probiotic Foods
100 trillion beneficial microorganisms live in every normal, healthy human gut. Together, these organisms are called your microbiota, and they are critical to your gastrointestinal system and overall health. these beneficial bacteria thrive and increase by eating fermented foods. Consuming plenty of probiotic foods keeps your microbiota healthy, aids digestion, and eases constipation. Examples of probiotic foods would include yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut.
Watermelon a great healing food as well as a classic summertime treat; High levels of dietary fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and B6 are contained in the large fruit. watermelon as a mild laxative is prescribed by Chinese traditional medicine. Watermelon is also, of course, a great source of water – 92% by volume. Read on to find out why that's important.
One of the best natural ways to relieve constipation is by drinking plenty of purified water. Water makes up 60-80% of your body weight and is vital to all bodily functions. It helps in regulating bowel flow by moistening the intestines. Imagine going down a waterslide, then imagine trying to go down that same slide dry, and you'll see how important water is for easy bowel movements.
Drink half your body weight in ounces every day. In other words, You need at least 90 oz of water daily if you weigh 180 lbs,. if you're doing anything that makes you sweat be sure to add more water to this. Soft drinks, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, caffeinated beverages, and fruit juice with added sugar should be avoided as these dehydrate you, Healthy liquids, like detox water and coconut water hydrate you and so can count toward this total.
Foods That Cause Constipation
Once these healthy laxative food are brought into your diet dont undo your hard work by eating foods that cause constipation. Avoid ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods If you are prone to irregularity. people with irritable bowel syndrome should avoid caffeine as it also triggers constipation. caffeinated products like coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate should be avoided by those with IBS.
A Word of Caution on Laxatives for Weight Loss
Pharmaceutical laxatives, should never be taken for weight loss. trying to achieve weight loss can cause serious issues because they simply don't work that way. It is a type of bulimia to abuse laxatives this way.
Supplements for Gentle Colon Cleansing
The safest, easiest, most sustainable way to prevent constipation and support overall health is a healthy diet. supplementation can help, in extreme cases however.
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