Tips for Relieving Constipation

July 2, 2015
It is very important to do some kind of physical activity every day as a way of stimulating your body's different organ functions, including bowel movements.

Constipation can affect you at any point in your life, and at any age, and so some tips for relieving constipation will always come in useful.

If you have less than three bowel movements per week, you may be suffering from constipation. You may also be affected by this disorder if defecating is painful for you.

Best ways of relieving constipation

Let’s start out with a quick review of this disorder. It occurs when fecal matter stays in the colon for a long time, thus making it more difficult to defecate. The main causes for this problem are:

  • A sedentary lifestyle: In order for your body and each of your organs to work well, you need to maintain an active lifestyle and do plenty of exercise.
  • Low fiber diet: This is the most common cause of constipation. Consuming fiber is incredibly important for good intestinal functioning.
  • Change in habits: It’s quite common for people to experience constipation when they move to a new house or go on vacation, as well as when they eat foods that their bodies aren’t used to.

Now, here are a few tips for relieving constipation easily and safely:

Exercise

Two ladies on a bike ride.

As previously mentioned, your body requires constant movement in order to stimulate all the different organ functions, so try to walk, run or swim for at least 30 minutes per day.

Read more: How Much Time Should You Exercise Every Day?

Don’t wait

Constipation can also occur when you know you need to go to bathroom, but instead put it off to go later. Do your best not to wait a long time to go to the bathroom once you feel the need to defecate.

Avoid processed foods

A close up of a hamburger.

Try to completely avoid cold cuts, french fries and other junk foods. These foods may taste really delicious, but, unfortunately, they irritate your colon, which keeps it from working as it should.

Avoid cheese

Dairy products such as ice cream, cheese and milk have a protein called casein which irritates the colon and makes constipation even worse.

Don’t take just any laxative

Although laxatives are generally available at your local pharmacy, the best option is to make an appointment with your doctor so that he or she can recommend a laxative that meets your body’s special needs. This will depend on how advanced your constipation is.

Eat lots of fruit

Some chopped papaya.

The majority of fruits are good at relieving constipation. We recommend eating the entire fruit, because if you remove the peel, you will also lose the fiber.

  • For example, papaya has enzymes that help improve digestion, so eating a piece of this fruit each day (on an empty stomach) will do you the world of good.
  • Orange juice is also great for speeding up digestive function; drink it every day on an empty stomach.

See also: 9 Fruits That May Help Combat Constipation

Apple cider vinegar

This mixture is intended to be a natural laxative. Just mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey and water. Don’t consume this mixture too often, just once a week.

Nuts and dried fruits

Some varied nuts.

Just like fresh fruits, both nuts and dried fruits give your body a great dose of fiber. Try eating dried berries, prunes and raisins to help alleviate your constipation.

Olive oil

People are finding new uses for olive oil every day, especially in terms of making our bodies work better. Try drinking a cup of hot water with a bit of lemon and a tablespoon of olive oil on an empty stomach. This drink will improve your digestion and even help you lose weight.

Beans

A plate of baked beans.

As you know by now, your body needs fiber in order for your digestive system to work properly. Beans have lots of fiber and, additionally, they are a good source of proteins and vitamins such as iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Apples

Eating an apple per day could really help you to defecate on a daily basis. Plus, apple peels are a great antioxidant, have lots of fiber and will clean out your intestines, so we recommend eating apples as often as possible.

  • Aravind, G., Bhowmik, D., Duraivel, S., Harish, G., Jhkl, & Vbnm. (2013). Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Carica papaya. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cclet.2010.09.004
  • Chan, A. O. O., Leung, G., Tong, T., & Wong, N. Y. H. (2007). Increasing dietary fiber intake in terms of kiwifruit improves constipation in Chinese patients. World Journal of Gastroenterology. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v13.i35.4771

  • Mayo Clinic Health. (2012). Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. Mayo Clinic.