Constipation can cause uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and make it difficult to go to the bathroom. It can happen for many reasons such as a change to your daily activity levels, lack of fiber in your diet, inadequate sleep, stress, and even certain medications. Generally, there are dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to get your digestive system moving once again!
Follow our recommendations down below!
Fiber is essential in your routine when you are feeling backed up, specifically, insoluble fiber. This type of fiber is found in plant foods like whole grains, legumes, veggies, and wheat bran. It passes through the body undigested which helps to provide the bulk to your stool. We recommend aiming for 30g of fiber per day.
Some ways you can add fiber include:
Using1 tbsp of chia or flax in your oatmeal, smoothie, salads, or even on top of toast.
Consume plant-based proteins! Plant-based proteins, unlike animal products, contain dietary fiber which contributes to overall intake.
Use crunchy chickpeas or lentils in a salad.
Eating veggies with the peel in your snacks and meals.
Opt for whole-grain crackers, toast, and wraps that contain 3g of fiber or more.
Here is an example of what 30g of fiber looks like in one day:
1 apple + 2 tbsp peanut butter + 1 cup carrots + 100g beets + 1 cup lentils + 1 cup Brussel sprouts.
Did you know that being dehydrated can actually contribute to constipation? Water helps to move your food (and fiber) along the digestive tract and facilitate a bowel movement. Aim to drink around 2L of water per day, especially as you add more fiber to your diet.
Boost hydration by making it fun:
Prepare water infused with fruits and veggies like cucumber and strawberries
Drink non-caffeinated teas
Seltzer water. Just be mindful of these as they do contain a small amount of sodium.
Ever had the sudden urge to go after drinking your morning cup of joe? Coffee can cause the release of gastrin, a hormone produced by the stomach, and can bring on peristalsis (the movement of food and liquid through the body) and cause a bowel movement.
In order for your digestive tract to move, you have to as well! Aim to get 30 minutes of activity daily from walking or weight-bearing exercise.
Need more help? Remember you can schedule your FREE consultation with one of our licensed dietitians!
Written by: Luciana Perasso, M.S, R.D.N
NextGeneration Nutrition Registered Dietitian
Jessica Mantell M.S., C.N.S., L.D.N.
CEO & Founder of NextGeneration Nutrition
NextGeneration Nutrition believes that better health should be accessible to everyone and that we all are able to improve our health through good nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle change. We do not support setting shame-based goals but encourages embracing our bodies, genetics, and personality. Our philosophy is abandoning the “One Size Fits All” mentality to create a personalized wellness plan based on your biological makeup and your lifestyle.
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