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People who suffer from constipation find it difficult to move their bowels. Their stools are often hard and dry. Constipation may be accompanied by stomach pain, bloating, cramps and nausea. The problem is often caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. Oftentimes, a change in diet and lifestyle can bring relief for constipation.

Constipation happens when the movement of food through the colon or large intestine is slowed down or stopped. This can be caused by illness, certain medications, pregnancy, aging, dietary changes, etc.

Over-the-counter remedies can bring relief for constipation, but they are not necessarily the best options. Aside from being expensive, they can have unwanted side effects. In fact, if you use laxatives for too long your body may become reliant on them so that you will find it difficult to have a regular bowel movement without taking a laxative.

Natural remedies bring the best relief for constipation. These remedies will not cause undesirable side effects and are often readily available. They also promote a healthier digestive system.

More Fiber

Eating more fruits and vegetables is one of the best remedies for constipation. The fiber in fruits and vegetables add bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass. You can also increase your intake of dietary fiber by eating whole-grain cereals and dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, apricots and figs. Green leafy vegetables contain plenty of fiber. Have them raw in fresh salads for best results.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Make sure you drink plenty of water and fruit or vegetable juices. Fluids help keep the stools soft. If you are constipated, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. This hydrates your body, allows the proper flow of moisture in the digestive tract, and makes it easier to pass stool.

Add Bran to Food

Your daily diet should include 20 to 35 grams of fiber. If you find it hard to get enough fiber in your diet, you can add small amounts of miller's bran or unprocessed bran to cereals, baked goods or fruit. Some people experience bloating and gas for a few weeks after including bran in their diets. Make diet changes slowly so your digestive system can adapt.

If you are getting sufficient fiber from fruits and vegetables, it may not be necessary to add bran to your food.

Lifestyle Changes

If you lead a sedentary life, you can get relief from constipation by making a few changes in your lifestyle. Regular physical exercise is a very effective remedy for constipation. Also, make sure you don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.

Constipation Relief Foods

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Relief for Constipation - Natural Remedies

Constipation Relief Foods