Prevention is the best medicine with most conditions and constipation is no exception. One of the easiest ways to prevent constipation is to sure you get enough fiber in your diet, drink an adequate amount of water and to exercise regularly.
Current guidelines recommend that adult men and women should consume 20 to 25g of fiber each day. Getting the recommended amount of fiber in your diet can be easy if you focus on adding a couple of these high fiber foods to your diet. For instance, just one cup of kidney beans, a cup of peas and a bowl of oatmeal will easily get you to the recommended amount of fiber for the day. Here are the best foods for fiber;
Lentils, red cooked 1 cup: 16 g
Black beans, cooked 1 cup: 15 g
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup: 13 g
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup: 13 g
Avocado 1 medium: 12 g
Oats, rolled dry 1 cup: 12 g
Peas, cooked 1 cup: 9 g
Raspberries 1 cup: 8 g
Rice, dry brown 1 cup: 8 g
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup: 8 g
Kale, cooked 1 cup: 7 g
Flax seeds 3 Tbs: 7 g
Grapefruit 1/2 medium: 6 g
Sweet potato, cooked 1 cup: 6 g
Winter squash, cooked 1 cup: 6 g
Pasta, whole wheat 1 cup: 6 g
Garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup: 6 g
Apples with skin 1 medium: 5 g
Pear 1 medium: 5 g
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup: 5 g
Carrot, cooked 1 cup: 5 g
Corn, sweet 1 cup: 5 g
Potato, baked w/skin 1 medium: 5 g
A bowl of bran cereal can add a whopping 20 grams of fiber to your diet. However, it is best to get your fiber naturally in your diet from high-fiber foods instead of through bran and fiber supplements and other over-the-counter constipation remedies.
Drinking an ample amount of water is another component to the prevention measure. Liquids add bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Keep in mind that water does not promote normal bowel function by itself. It is beneficial when combined with a high dietary fiber. A simple way of avoid constipation is to drink a couple two to four extra glasses of water each day on top of the already recommended 8 to 10 recommended daily glasses of water. This can be a chore considering most people do not drink the recommended amount of water, much less extra water.
The third component to relieving constipation is exercise. Moving your feet is an excellent way to get your bowels moving. Inactivity is a key risk factor for constipation which is why a regular exercise regime is the remedy. You can help your digestive system function better by adding as little as 15 minutes of walking time twice daily.
Anyone who has ever suffered through a bout of constipation knows the value of an effective way to get things moving. Most, if not all, of your troubles can be relieved simply by adding more fiber dense foods to your diet, drinking an ample amount of water and getting regular exercise. The bonus is that three remedies are a great part of most health plans.
Julie Carlson is a freelance writer who focuses on health-related topics. Carlson is a contributing author for http://theHealth411.com, a site dedicated to presenting health information in an unbiased format.