Fiber from plant foods forms a gelatinous mass in the intestine (soluble fiber) or traps water and bulks up the stool (insoluble fiber) . Both facilitate evacuation and their inclusion in the diet is essential . Without a doubt, fiber is an essential element when it comes to improving constipation, but it is not the only one and there are many foods that can help us go to the bathroom thanks to other factors. If fiber, mainly vegetable, is so useful, it is because, although it has no apparent nutritional value, it stimulates intestinal transit on its way through the digestive tract until it is completely eliminated in the feces. Apart from foods with fiber (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts), there are other foods that are effective against constipation thanks to the fact that they contain substances, in some cases still to be investigated, that have a moderate laxative effect . Among these most recommended foods are plums (fruit or dried), figs, kiwis or grapes. In this video we highlight some of the foods that you should not take if you suffer from constipation:
THE FOODS RICHEST IN FIBER
We can find a large amount of fiber in all kinds of natural foods:
- Legumes. Lentils, chickpeas, white beans.
- vegetables. Leek, celery, cardoon, asparagus, borage, cauliflower, potato, sweet potato, green bean, fresh pea, pumpkin, zucchini, pepper, aubergine, cucumber, tomato.
- Salad leaves. Escarole, lettuce, spinach, watercress, chard, artichoke (raw hearts), endive, chicory.
- cereals_ Whole wheat, rye or flaxseed bread.
- fruit. Kiwi, plum (fresh or dried), fig, grape (or raisin), orange, peach, dried apricot, pippin apple, or other sour apple.
- seeds. Almond, walnut, pistachio, pine nut, flax seeds.
- algae. Hiziki, kombu, wakame, nori, agar-agar…
- Fermented and probiotics. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut.
A MENU TO COMBAT CONSTIPATION
We can combine these foods throughout the day to favor intestinal transit with each meal and avoid constipation. An example menu would be:
- Breakfast: Apple, orange or seasonal fruit. Almond milk or tiger nut milk. Bread with marmalade.
- Food: Salad with sauerkraut. Brown rice with vegetables and seaweed. Almond dumplings. Apples or sweet fruit in season.
- Dinner: Chard with potatoes, raisins, pine nuts. Agar-agar flan, with almond milk.
BENEFITS OF EATING WHOLE GRAINS
Several observational studies have shown that a low-fiber diet is associated with a higher frequency of constipation; on the contrary, diets rich in fiber increase the volume of stools and speed up intestinal transit. One of the best diets in this regard is vegetarian . Fiber supplements of 25-30 g/day have long been recommended in patients suffering from constipation. This measure is more effective in people who follow low-fiber diets as long as they do not lack movement in the colon or suffer from pelvic floor disorders. When using high-fiber foods to gain mass, the typical recommendation is to have a half cup of a whole grain cereal , increasing the dose to one and a half cups after several weeks . Whole corn is more effective than whole wheat, while whole oats are less irritating and absorb fat better. For best results, a sufficient amount of liquid should be ingested with the cereal. On the other hand, rather than taking wheat bran, wholemeal bread made with sourdough is recommended . This facilitates intestinal transit, while it does not prevent the absorption of calcium and iron produced by the phytates of the bran, since fermentation with said yeast transforms these phytates.
FOODS THAT HELP A GOOD INTESTINAL TRANSIT
Take note of these 10 constipation remedies that you will find in your pantry:
1. OLIVE OIL
Extra virgin oil and healthy fats generally lubricate the fecal bolus . Dressing your salads or vegetables with plenty of oil helps improve intestinal transit. Extra virgin olive oil: 4-6 tablespoons a day , first cold pressing, for seasoning.
It is rich in carbohydrates in the form of soluble and insoluble fiber. The first favors the effect of dragging and increasing the volume of feces, and the second acts as a prebiotic. It is also rich in healthy fats . Include half a ripe avocado in salad or vegetable creams in your daily diet .
3. SEA WATER
Among the multitude of properties it has is that of improving intestinal transit . For this it is better to take it undiluted. Take 150-200 ml of sea water on an empty stomach , if you wish with a little lemon juice.
This fermented cabbage acts as a probiotic that improves digestion and provides bacteria to the intestine. Try to buy it unpasteurized. You can also use water kefir or apple cider vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut daily to your midday salad.
They are ideal for enriching the daily diet in fiber and nutrients. You can take them hydrated or without hydrating, but look for those that are not smeared with sunflower oil. Take 2 prunes a day , soaked or not soaked.