Next time you feel constipated, you can skip taking a laxative pill and snack on natural laxative food instead. Many have accepted constipation and other digestive problems as part of normal life, but they don’t have to be if you make smarter dietary choices. Your kitchen is filled with lots of foods that act as laxatives and knowing which ones to add to your diet can be the beginning of a regular, healthy digestive system.
Benefits of natural laxative food
Constipation and other digestive conditions are usually caused by fiber deficiency. Fiber helps grind the food you eat and without it, your stomach can’t empty properly and stools can’t move down the tract like they should. Another factor is low water intake. Water helps in the breakdown of food and softens stools. Not drinking enough water can lead to slower digestion.
Other causes include dairy, chocolate, allergies, calcium supplements, iron supplements, antacids, antidepressants, an underactive thyroid, diabetes and high blood pressure. Studies also state that constant use of laxatives can lead to your body unable to produce healthy bowel movement because of dependency on drugs. It is therefore healthier to stick to a diet of natural laxative food.
Which foods are natural laxatives?
Fresh fruit ranks high in the natural laxative category. Apples, bananas, watermelons, cherries and berries contain a lot of fiber and other nutrients to get the bowels moving. They also have high water content, which helps to make stools softer and move digested food along the system.
Prunes are well-known natural laxatives. Apart from their fiber content, they contain special bacteria that reside in the intestines to improve the digestive process. Prunes can be eaten dry as snacks or juiced to make refreshing beverages.
Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons make good natural laxative food for your digestive system. They provide vitamin C which transforms toxic materials in the tract into digestible substances. A glass or two of orange juice in the morning can cleanse your body of backed up foods and waste.
The best vegetables you can eat to solve stomach trouble are tomatoes, garlic and cabbage, which is often the main ingredient in detox drinks and diets. Regular servings of carrots, broccoli, legumes, avocados and flax seed can also clear up your stomach and help you maintain regular bowel movement.
Which foods should you avoid?
Many people find dairy to be the cause of constipation. If this is the case for you as well, it’s best to avoid milk, cheeses, yoghurt and sour cream. Red meat has also been found to lead to digestive complications and disorders.
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Processed foods should be kept to an absolute minimum because most contain a lot of sugar, which interrupts metabolism and bowels. Refined, high-sugar foods also have very little fiber and quickly gets stored as fat in the body because of slow-processing, unhealthy carbohydrates.
If you love coffee, opt for decaf. The same goes for teas with caffeine content. avoid highly caffeinated energy drinks and sodas.