If you’ve been feeling blocked-up and dreading your trips to the loo for what’s to come – or not come – fear not, we’ve got a few simple, affordable and side effect-free dietary additions that could offer some much-needed relief.
Dealing with constipation can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Constipation usually occurs because of a dehydrated colon – this means your stool will be loose and watery, and much harder to pass. This condition will affect most of us at some point in our lives, and considering 24% of Aussies are chronically afflicted, a lot of us are looking for answers and seeking natural remedies that can offer gentle relief without the need for harsh laxatives.
Of course, there’s no replacement for a check-up with your doctor when you’re having unusual symptoms and bowel changes. Having said that, a gut-healing diet is an essential part of having regular bowel movements, and we’ve got three simple foods to add to your meal plan that can help ease your discomfort, promote healthy digestion, and keep things moving smoothly.
Slippery elm, derived from the inner bark of the slippery elm tree, has been used for centuries to support gastrointestinal health. This natural remedy is known for its mucilage content—a gel-like substance that becomes slippery when mixed with water. When consumed, slippery elm forms a protective and soothing layer along the digestive tract, easing irritation and promoting a smoother passage for stool.
How to Use:
Mix a teaspoon of slippery elm powder with water to create a soothing drink or add it to smoothies. You can also find slippery elm capsules or lozenges for convenient consumption.
What to expect:
- Gentle relief from constipation discomfort
- A healthier gastrointestinal lining
- Reduced inflammation in the digestive tract
Prunes, or dried plums, have gained a well-deserved reputation as a natural remedy for constipation. Packed with dietary fibre, prunes help soften stool and encourage regular bowel movements. Additionally, prunes contain phenolic compounds that support overall gut health, making them an effective choice for maintaining digestive regularity.
How to Use:
Enjoy prunes as a snack or incorporate them into your diet by adding them to oatmeal, yogurt, or salads. But just be sure you’ve got a toilet nearby, you might say these fruits are something of a laxative! But they’re very mild and gentle on the stomach in comparison to medications.
What to expect:
- Rich in fibre, prunes promoting healthy digestion
- A mild laxative effect
- Offers antioxidant compounds that support gut health
Flaxseeds are a nutritional powerhouse renowned for their high fibre content and omega-3 fatty acids. Their soluble and insoluble fibre components work together to improve digestion and prevent constipation. Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance that softens stool and aids in its passage, while insoluble fibre adds bulk to stool, promoting regular bowel movements.
How to Use:
Add ground flaxseeds to your breakfast cereals, smoothies, or yogurt. The ground form is better for digestion, as whole flaxseeds might pass through undigested.
What to expect:
- High fibre content supports healthy digestion
- Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties
- Aids in maintaining gut health and regularity
When dealing with constipation, turning to natural remedies like slippery elm, prunes, and flaxseeds can offer relief without the side effects of harsh laxatives – not to mention the stress that comes with needing to use the loo when you’re out and about. Incorporating these gentle aids into your diet can support healthy digestion, promote regular bowel movements, and bring back the comfort and ease that come with a smoothly functioning digestive system. It’s also important to make sure you’re staying hydrated – this digestive issue is related to a dry, dehydrated colon, and one important step to take is to check on your water intake. While that theory about getting 8 glasses a day hasn’t actually been proven, studies show drinking water when you’re thirsty is a more useful way to stay hydrated without overdoing it. When your body is hydrated, less water will be taken from your colon, meaning easier loo trips. Another simple tip is to add some citrus fruits like lemon or lime to your water, this could help get your colon moving. For more successful results, make it warm water – studies have found that warmer water helps to break down food better and reduce constipation. As with any health concern, it's important to consult your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet or routine.
Remember, these foods will work best – and long term – if you’re adding them to a balanced diet, rather than an ultra-processed diet. This means healthy fats, protein, fermented foods and lots of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. But it’s not always easy to cut the sweet, processed stuff out – we get it. Sugar is crazy addictive. It also wreaks havoc on our digestion. So, what can we do? If you’re struggling to get into a healthy lifestyle, we’re here to help. Join us for our ALL NEW 21-Day Gut Rebalance Program with nourishing recipes and exclusive expert content to support you on your way to better health. Whether it's constipation, bloating or even stress that's got you down, it could be your gut warning you that you're missing out on the gut-nourishing foods that help us thrive. We'll show you the ins and outs of healing, from the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics to the inflammation-busting foods you should be eating. Take a look at some of the exciting new recipes on the program:
- Pork Kimchi Dumplings
- Homemade Sourdough Bread
- Miso-Baked Salmon
- Tempeh Satay
- Chinese Beef + Broccoli
- Chocolate Chia Smoothie Bowl
And that's not even scratching the surface! We're selling out fast so don't wait, sign up now!