Constipation is defined as a symptom, not a disease. Before constipation turns into a more serious, chronic, or even lethal disease, it’s important to address the root cause of it, as well as primary prevention options, in order to implement real solutions that work!
With that in mind, a great starting point would be to avoid any foods that cause constipation. This works great at targeting the source of the problem.
Why You Might Ask?
Every single day, your body absorbs millions of toxins from genetically modified foods, pesticides, meat, dairy, soy, white flour, table salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), microwaved foods, refined sugar, and artificial sweeteners. You also receive toxins from caffeine, alcohol, electromagnetic radiation, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, and prescription drugs. These impurities contaminate nearly everything we eat, drink, touch, or breathe and they are the root cause of conditions and disease!
The best starting point for addressing the root cause of constipation is targeting a list of foods that cause constipation. When we choose to eat in excess, have a diet lacking in fiber or fluids, skip meals, not chewing your food properly, and having meals at unusual times like at late night you may be causing constipation.
For the purpose of this article, I will focus more on dehydrating fluids and low fiber foods that may cause constipation, along with good, natural alternatives to help provide constipation relief. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Americans eat an average of 5 to 14 grams of fiber daily, falling short of the 20 to 35 grams recommended by the American Dietetic Association.
Types of Foods that Cause Constipation
Fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel-like texture in the intestines. Insoluble fiber passes through the intestines almost unchanged. The bulk and soft texture of fiber help prevent hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.
Fried Foods, Fatty Meat & Fast Foods
Examples of deep fried foods, fatty meat, and fast foods are french-fries, chips, hamburgers, beef, pork, pizza, hot dogs, and foods high in saturated fats, low in fiber. These foods, when consumed excessively, will considerably slow down your digestive process and cause constipation.
On the other hand, good fat and great sources of protein can be found in avocado, egg whites, lean poultry (chicken and turkey), fish and fish oil, unrefined raw organic vegetable oils like olive oil and coconut oil, raw nuts (almonds), raw seeds, and natural nut butters, just to name a few. Beans, peas, and legumes are low in fat and cholesterol. Beans and legumes are high in fiber and protein, and are a great substitute for meat.
Milk, frozen yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, and cheeses, including cottage cheese, can cause constipation. Dairy foods, in general lack in fiber, with the exception of natural yogurt products made with “probiotics”. These types of yogurt made with probiotics may help relieve constipation. Why? Simply put, probiotics are living microorganisms that assist your bodies natural balance. They can be delivered in a number of ways, but most often are found in live fruits and vegetables, liquid or capsule forms. One of their most popular functions is the promotion of intestinal balance and general digestive health, which means they also make a great compliment to your colon cleansing routine.
Refined and Processed Foods
Foods containing white flour and white sugar, including but not limited to white bread, breads containing bleached flour, white pasta, white rice, cookies, pastries, cakes, pies, and junk foods in general can cause constipation, because they lack in fiber.
- Corn Syrup
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Crystalline Powder
- Date Sugar
- Carob Powder
- Corn Starch
- Malts of any kind
High Sugar, Caffeinated, Carbonated, Non-Nutritional Fluids
Caffeinated Drinks, coffee, sodas, manufactured fruit juices, and alcohol, are non-nutritional fluids that can cause constipation. These drinks and the like dehydrate your body. When the body does not consume enough water, the excrement hardens, leading to constipation. When choosing to consume carbonated or caffeinated drinks, please be sure to have your 8 glasses of purified water a day. Water will help moisten the intestines, so that the bowels will move easily.
Other great nutritional fluids include green tea, pomegranate juice, and various home made, organic fruit juices. Green tea is packed full of antioxidants to help flush out toxins. I highly encourage you to purchase a juicer if you already don’t have one. You can make delicious drinks with organic fruits and vegetables that are both nutritious and high in fiber and antioxidants, that will help relieve constipation rather than aggravate it.
Instead, try using these all-natural alternatives — Zylitol & Raw honey
How to Prevent Constipation
Other than avoiding the foods that cause constipation, here are a few suggestions of other things you can do to prevent it from ever becoming a problem in the first place.
- Eat More Foods High in Fiber – By increasing your intake of foods high in fiber, you can greatly reduce your chances of developing constipation and other colon related problems.
- Drink nutritional fluids – water (8 glasses), green tea, organic / home-made fruit juices. When drinking water, be sure to drink purified water NOT tap water!
- Exercise Regularly – the more you move, the more your bowels will move.
- Stress Less – when was the last time you took some time off and did something you enjoy, whether fishing, camping, painting, dancing?
- Take a Probiotic Supplement – Probiotics will help introduce beneficial bacteria to your colon, which will help aid digestion.
If you are still experiencing constipation, you can try taking an oxygen based intestinal cleanser. It has been clinically proven to relieve the symptoms of constipation, and help keep your bowels moving regularly. Take a bite out of life and strut with confidence, constipation free!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
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