Constipation can lead to a number of diseases. However, constipation itself is not a disease, but a symptom only. Poor diet also can cause constipation. Most of us would have experienced constipation in our life. There are ways to avoid getting constipated. Yes; it is preventable. We can avoid this uncomfortable condition by following a few steps. If the condition does not improve after this also, it is necessary to consult a physician. Sometimes medication also can cause constipation. We should try to avoid getting constipated by adhering to the following steps.
Steps to avoid constipation
Take plenty of fluids: The most important step to avoid constipation is to take plenty of fluids every day. You should take at least 10 glasses of water a day, but avoid taking carbonated drinks. This will keep the body hydrated. Include in your diet foods that are rich in fiber. Fiber is capable of moving food effectively through the GI tract. You can take soluble and insoluble fiber as well for getting rid of constipation.
Take fiber-rich foods: In your breakfast, have cereals containing fiber up to 10 grams per 100 grams of the cereals. However, be cautious about the salt content in them. Include more beans and lentils, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds in your diet on a regular basis. These foods are rich in fiber. They also contain many nutrients including magnesium, which helps prevent constipation.
Whole-grain foods for constipation: Take whole grain foods as they have a good amount of fiber in them. They protect your system against constipation. You can substitute foods such as rice and pasta with these whole-grain varieties, as rice and pasta can provide only carbohydrates. Whole-grain foods are helpful in preventing insulin surges and the risk of diabetes can thus be reduced.
Fruits salad to prevent constipation: Include different kinds of fruits and vegetables in your diet as they have different kinds of fiber in them. They also fight free radicals by providing antioxidants. Such foods can be in dried or canned form also.
Daily exercise to fight constipation: Doing exercise regularly is very essential to avoid getting constipated. Even a walk for 30 minutes can contribute significantly. Be active in the day times. Exercise enhances the levels of nitric acid and this reduces the chances of constipation. Elderly people and pregnant women have more chances of constipation as the nitric acid levels are usually low in them.
Drink plenty of water: Drink 8 – 10 glasses of water every day. Constipation can occur if the feces become dry due to the absorption of its moisture. Avoid intake of caffeine and alcohol. They are diuretics and therefore can dehydrate your system. However, decaffeinated coffee can be taken.
Avoid overeating. Smaller meals can benefit your GI tract more than larger meals as small quantities can be easily digested. Having meals late in the night can also trigger constipation as digesting the food during sleep hours is more difficult for the body.
You can try prunes or herbal teas if your constipation persists even after following the above measures. However, do not use off-label medications without consulting your doctor. Try magnesium supplements if you are magnesium deficient.
If your constipation is very stubborn then the last resort is to visit your doctor, but never ignore the discomfort caused by your constipation. Prolonged constipation can cause much harm to your health.