Constipation is characterized by certain problems of the digestive system that bring about inconsistent bowel movements, incomplete evacuation of the bowel, or no bowel movements for several days. Furthermore it could also lead to bowel movements which are painful, difficult to pass, uncomfortable and/or infrequent. Constipation is caused by improper dietary habits, excessive eating of non vegetarian food, fried fast food, insufficient consumption of water, and indigestion of food products.
All these factors cause hard and dry stools, which are difficult to pass. Along with the above mentioned causes, there are other secondary causes as well, like immobility (lack of exercise), hemorrhoids, anal fissures, hypothyroidism, and hormonal changes that come about especially during pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome. However, lack of fiber in diet and less consumption of water or fluids are more or less the main culprits of this health condition.
The most effective way of curing constipation is to consume a diet that is rich in fiber. Fiber helps in stimulating bowel movements and ensures timely and regular emptying of bowels. Food like corn, cereals, vegetables, and fruits contain high fiber. Along with fiber, it is important, that a person consumes at least 10 to 12 glasses of water everyday. Drinking warm water before going to bed, is also a great way to cure this problem.
Including natural fats in one's diet is also important for leading to proper bowels. Less fat makes the stool hard. Include foods like fish, almonds, olive oil, nuts, sunflower seeds, avocados, eggs, spawn and, flaxseed oil in your diet. These also provide relief from inflammation of the digestive system.
Irregular meal timings could also lead to this health condition, so make sure that you follow regular meal timings. It is advised that one have 5-6 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones--this will ensure that the digestive system is not taxed. Facilitate bowel movements by including fiber in your diet.
Certain foods are known to cause this problem--these include refined sugars, candies, pastries, sodas, hamburgers, pizzas, and fried foods. These should ideally be eliminated from the diet to prevent the same. Along with that, exercises should be made a part of your daily schedule. Exercising helps stimulate the intestines to work more effectively and hence counteracts this problem.
Fennel seeds are also an excellent cure for constipation. Simply add a few seeds to lukewarm water and consume this every night before going to bed.
If babies are constipated, it is advisable to increase fluid in their diet. Give your child fruit and vegetable juices--apple or prune juices are known to be most effective. Similarly, if children are constipated, along with an increase in fluid, the fiber content should also be increased. Try and consume strained prunes, spinach, apricots, and varied fibrous cereals to cure constipation.