Although occasional constipation is very common, some people experience chronic constipation, characterized by infrequent bowel movements or difficulty having a bowel movement that lasts for several weeks or longer. Failure to have a bowel movement can cause people to use too much force to have a bowel movement.
Signs and symptoms of chronic constipation include having fewer than three bowel movements a week, having lumpy or hard stools, feeling as if there is a blockage in the rectum, or as if you are unable to empty completely.
Although constipation can have a number of causes, including medications and even aging, one way to help the body evacuate is through laxatives that the body can get used to.
Dr. Vikki Petersen, a certified clinical nutritionist and certified functional medicine practitioner, discusses five ways to naturally stimulate digestion.
“You have 10 trillion cells in your body and they all need to ‘eat’ or be fed to function. Add to that, your gut which houses your microbiome, some 30 trillion organisms that help with your digestion, brain health, immunity, and hormonal balance. It is no exaggeration to say that without proper digestion it is impossible to be healthy, ”said Petersen.
Tip 1: Hydrate regularly
Most Americans are dehydrated. Getting about 8 glasses of purified water per day (no more than 1 glass or 8 oz. Per hour) is really critical to optimizing your digestion. It allows better absorption of nutrients and elimination of toxins. Drinking enough water can help you feel better in ways you probably wouldn’t realize.
Tip 2: stay away from processed foods
Processed foods shouldn’t even be called “food” as they provide more toxic exposure and body burden than nutrition. Non-food oils, bad oils, and chemicals in processed foods will “feed” the bad bacteria in your gut and introduce chemicals that literally overwhelm your body’s ability to digest and absorb good nutrients.
Tip 3: Eat more vegetables and fiber
Fiber is a critical component that drives good nutrients to the lower part of the colon, feeding healthy bacteria. Fiber helps with elimination and, therefore, toxins do not accumulate, and is also important for the regulation of blood sugar. Natural fiber, contained in vegetables and fruits, is loaded with phyto (plants) -nutrients and antioxidants that help prevent disease due to its high nutrient content.
Tip 4: Get up and move
Moving your body helps you better digestion. While you don’t want to go for a run or lift weights on a full stomach, waiting an hour after a meal or enjoying a nice walk after dinner are good ways to improve nutrient absorption and keep your weight in check.
Tip 5: chew your food
It is a fact that digestion begins in the mouth. The enzymes in saliva start the digestion process and chewing food well facilitates the stomach’s digestive process. Avoid eating fast and try to chew your food properly to improve your digestion, especially if you have a slow digestion.