Constipation. It’s our worst enemy when we’ve been stuffing ourselves silly for days, only to struggle to relieve ourselves on the toilet and let out all that food we’ve been consuming. The easy way out of this situation is to head to the nearest drug store and purchase over-the-counter laxative medicines so that we can finally sit on the throne. But as with many forms of medication, it’s not exactly the best or healthiest way to go.
With everyone going natural nowadays, the best defense against the struggle with the bowels is to go all-natural. Of course, we all know the most popular non-medicinal laxatives are copious amounts of water intake, fiber-rich food like oatmeal and whole wheat food, coffee, and regular exercise. But there are many other natural remedies for constipation, such as the foods listed below. Some are no big surprise, while others are quite unexpected. But they’re definitely worth a shot!
16 Baking Soda Drink
Many people claim that this little drink works wonders for those who want to clear out their system and quickly. All you need is a little Baking Soda and warm water.
-1 teaspoon baking soda-1/4 cup warm water
Mix them together and drink it fast, the faster you drink the better it will work.
15 Sugar-free gum
How many times have we been told that gum is bad for us because it will ruin our teeth, fill our tummy with air, etcetera? Well, it will come as a surprise to some that gum of the sugar-free variety is actually considered a natural laxative. Sorbitol, which is a sweetener found in sugar-free gum, apparently acts as a laxative, according to the website Before It’s News. Of course, as with anything in this world, consuming large amounts can also be detrimental, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and moderate the gum chewing.
14 Coconut Water
Also known as coconut juice, coconut water has many benefits if taken in the right amounts. It aids in digestion and helps cure mild cases of urinary tract infections, as well as brings down cholesterol levels. It also helps in regularizing the bowel movement, therefore serving as a good laxative. However, drinking too much of it can have the opposite of the desired laxative effect. It can cause loose stools if taken more than necessary!
13 Legumes, Beans, Peas
They’re not exactly top of the list of anyone’s favorite foods. In fact, it’s a chore for the average person to have to incorporate legumes, beans, and peas into their meals. But for those who have problems with bowel movements, these vegetables may just be the ones to help them out. They’re low in fat and cholesterol, but high in fiber, so they don’t just help in keeping the weight off; they’ll help you go to the bathroom too!
12 Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is traditionally known to help in treating wounds, dandruff, and many other skin and scalp conditions because of its ability to moisturize thoroughly. This medicinal plant’s leaves contain a gel that’s 99% water, plus helpings of amino acid, minerals, and vitamins, making it the perfect cure for many external ailments. But not very many know that the dried latex contained in the inner lining of aloe vera leaves is also an excellent source of oral laxative.
For the sole reason that they are high in fiber, nuts find their way to this list. Of course, they should be taken in moderation because too much of nuts can cause indigestion, not to mention weight gain—because aside from being fibrous, nuts are also rich in fat and calories. Nuts like almonds, however, are high in omega tree fatty acids, which are essentially good fats. One handful of nuts should be more than enough to do the laxative trick.
10 Olive Oil
Frying food in oil has long since been a controversial topic in health food discussions. Many say that only good oil, such as canola or vegetable oil ought to be used during those occasions where you want to fry your food. But it’s said the healthiest kind of oil is olive oil. Getting the extra virgin kind of olive oil is highly recommended because that’s the olive oil in its most natural form. The Natural News website suggests that one tablespoon of olive oil in the morning can do wonders to stimulate digestion and help your bowel movement.
Traditional medicine and health practices dictated that apples are supposed to prevent you from doing number two, therefore, they’re prescribed to people who are battling with diarrhea or loose bowel movements. But as of late, apples are being viewed as a good laxative because they’re fibrous and laden with Vitamin C, which are said to help in regular bowel movements. Apples also contain pectin, which is known to help effectively eradicate constipation. An apple a day should do the trick.
Any vegetable is considered healthy, especially those in their most natural form. Tomatoes, in particular, have always been a staple in the regular Joe’s everyday meal. Whether they’re used in salads, pastas, or as juice, you can never go wrong with tomatoes because they’re packed with vitamins A, C, and K. They’re also rich in antioxidants, thus helping fight off cancer. A tomato is high in fiber, which does wonders in helping your bowels.
Perhaps it’s one of the more underrated vegetables as compared to lettuce or tomatoes or carrots, but the fact of the matter is, cabbages are said to be extremely good laxatives. The reason for this is studies have shown that cabbage rids your digestive system of most toxins that enter your body. Added to that, cabbage is one of the less expensive vegetables that you can find in the groceries and markets. It’s a wonder how underutilized it is!
6 Sweet Potatoes
Studies have shown that sweet potatoes are a very effective constipation reliever. Potatoes are comprised of water, fiber, magnesium, plus Vitamin B6. It’s a fact that water and fiber are the best aids to melt and push out toxins from the body. Magnesium and Vitamin B6, on the other hand, relax and soften the bowels, hence making it easier for you to eliminate it from the system. Added to that, sweet potatoes are said to also be good for the nervous system, which is ultimately linked to bowel movements.
Pumpkin lovers out there will be happy to know that it has made it to the list of healthy and safe laxatives. Being a vegetable, a pumpkin is already considered a healthy component to anyone’s diet. It’s low in carbohydrates, and like sweet potatoes, a great source of Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Even in its canned form, pumpkins are good laxatives. You don’t have to eat it raw—make it into smoothie, mix it in with your morning cereal, or make it a side dish.
For people who don’t like milk or any form of dairy, a good alternative would be consuming anything that’s probiotic. Examples of probiotics are yogurt and drinks filled with lactobacillus. That’s because probiotics are live microbial organisms that exist in the human digestive system and they fight off harmful bacteria as well. Studies have shown that probiotics have vastly improved bowel movements for those struggling with constipation.
For those not familiar with this type of natural cure, acupressure is a non-medicinal way of healing certain parts of the body through the application of finger pressure on focal points of the body. To be able to address constipation, acupuncturists recommend putting pressure on large intestine number 4. It may not work for all people (and should definitely be avoided if you’re pregnant), but it’s worth a shot. It’s simple enough: put your thumb and forefinger at a 90-degree angle to the skin above the large intestine and apply pressure for three minutes.
It’s already known to have numerous health benefits and is considered a natural remedy for cough, not to mention a more nutritious alternative to sugar. An added quality that will make you love honey even more is the fact that it’s also known to be a safe and natural laxative, thanks to its moisturizing properties. All you have to do is take one tablespoon of honey and chase it down with a glass of warm or hot water first thing in the morning. This revs up the digestive system effectively.
You’ve heard about it, but never actually laid eyes on it. What exactly is Kefir? It’s a kind of grain that is used to culture any kind of milk. Taken in its purest form, it can reap an impressive number of health benefits for the body. Firstly, it’s full of organisms that are more effective than yogurt when it comes to replacing the good bacteria that antibiotics kill. Kefir is also a mild laxative and many attest to the fact that taking it can help you go to the toilet after every meal.