Nutrients Help Improve Occasional Constipation Naturally

June 4, 2018 | Wellness Resources

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 Nutrients Help Improve Occasional Constipation Naturally
The bathroom is often thought of as a topic to avoid, but there is hardly any topic of greater importance to your health than digestion. At least one bowel movement per day is necessary for good health. It is important to move digestive contents along in a timely manner to facilitate the clearance of toxins and avoid gastrointestinal (GI) irritation. Ideal transit time is about 24 hours. Think about this, if you are eating three meals a day but only having one bowel movement every three days that consists of small or hard-to-pass stool, waste clearance is far from ideal.

Occasional constipation can happen for many reasons.  Sedentary lifestyles, dehydration, high sugar intake, low fiber intake, pain medications, hormonal imbalances, stress, and more may also compromise healthy bowel motility.

Getting regular, moderate exercise will help digestive health. Eating a healthy diet with adequate dietary fiber and water that is low in sugar is also necessary for staying regular.

Certain dietary supplements can be helpful for bowel regularity. If you have ever dealt with the discomfort of occasional constipation, forget about processed fibers and harsh laxatives and give these natural solutions a try.

1. Magnesium: Magnesium is a well-known natural laxative. Magnesium helps relax muscles, including the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. It also helps stimulate the nerves that signal the muscles of your small and large intestine, a process that regulates bowel motility daily. If you are even slightly deficient in magnesium, a very common nutrient deficiency in America, you may experience constipation as a result. It is difficult to get too much magnesium, but start with a dose of 200-600mg before bed and increase the dose as needed to find relief. Magnesium can be used every day to stay regular and keep muscles and nerves in a relaxed state.

2. Probiotics: Probiotics are the friendly flora that line your digestive tract by the trillions. They play a vital role in digestive health. They help us digest food, reduce inflammation and enhance repair in the GI tract. Studies support the use of probiotic supplements for helping to relieve constipation. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, probiotics that contained Bifidobacterium appeared to be the most effective. For best results, take probiotics with fiber on an empty stomach when the acid of the stomach is lowest.

3. Fiber: The best way to improve transit time is to add dietary fiber. Many American’s don’t get the recommended 25-50g needed to stay regular because they do not eat enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber is very important for maintaining regularity and bulk of stools. Soluble fibers allow more water to remain in your stool, making stool softer, larger, and easier to pass. Insoluble fiber provides bulk and can activate stretch receptors in the intestines that signal better motility. Another way fiber fosters regular bowel movements is by acting as a “prebiotic” or food for healthy probiotics.

4. D-Limonene: Nutritional oils can be used to help relieve constipation because they help to alleviate stool dryness and can be used as a solvent of fatty sludge. D-Limonene is one such oil from the peels of oranges. It helps to improve peristaltic muscle movement in the digestive tract and support gut lining health, detoxification, gallbladder function, metabolism and immunity. Take 1,000 to 3,000mg with meals.

5. Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid has a low pH (acid) which signals water to be drawn into the colon when taken in supplement form. This softens the stool, making it easier to pass. Taking ascorbic acid in doses of 1,000-4,000mg is a natural way to maintain regularity while also supporting the health of your adrenals, immune system, skin and more.

6. Cleansing Herbs: Herbal aids have been used for centuries as very effective natural laxatives. Some traditional colon cleansing herbs that can be used to move the bowels when you get backed up include senna, cascara sagrada, psyllium seed, slippery elm, barberry and turkey rhubarb. These herbs help to add bulk to stool and maintain healthy bowel motility. They are best used occasionally or in low doses for maintenance. The need for higher doses more often is an indication that more digestive support is needed.

Normal motility requires a healthy digestive system, but a number of factors can upset the balance once in a while. The right nutrients can help to keep the bowels moving regularly. Stop straining and give some of these natural options a try.

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