What is constipation?
It is a condition characterized by several symptoms such as infrequent bowel movement (less than three per week), dry, hard, and lumpy stool, and a feeling of difficulty or pain in bowel movement for passing stool completely or incompletely (Reference A45).
Prevention of constipation using a nutritional approach is simple if you are motivated.
Adopt the following approaches singly or together gradually by making short, mid, and long-term plans. Some of them will prevent while some will relieve constipation problems. So, let’s try using nutritional approaches to get these dual benefits.
- Try to modify your diet (changing the contents of both foods and beverages).
- Avoid monotonous foods consuming regularly. Make it diversified by including foods from diverse groups of foods.
- Get enough fiber regularly by increasing the consumption of fiber-containing foods.
- Regularly drink plenty of liquids with or without fiber-containing food to improve the constipation prevention function of fiber.
- Develop a habit of being physically active to increase your physical activity.
- Do not neglect occasional or frequent episodes of constipation (acute or chronic). Consult with your dietician, nutritionist, or doctor.
- Remember yourself or your family members to use a routine of fecal excretion (bowel moment) at the same time(s) daily.
- You schedule for fecal excretion by using the advantage of the laxative effect when you are in a hurry to complete multiple tasks in a fleeting period such as during preparation for office, school, etc.
- Do not avoid consuming leafy vegetables at night due to the common belief that leafy vegetables produce gases. It is not true as fiber-containing foods like leafy vegetables produce gases as a part of normal metabolism (fermentation). In addition, day or nighttime activities influence the individual’s perception levels. So, the consumption of leafy vegetables should not be influenced by diurnal variation (day or nighttime).
- You should avoid foods with limited or no fiber such as high-fat food, different processed and fast foods, meat, chips, etc. (Reference A45, 46)
Try to change the foods, beverages, and activities that are available and suitable to you. Do not force yourself to buy any recommended foods you cannot afford long-term. Mostly, you must like the food, and beverages and enjoy the changes in physical activities to prevent constipation more effectively.
- Constipation is considered a disease (Reference A45).
- Constipation is common in different age groups, and physiological and disease conditions (Reference A45).
- Fiber, water, and physical activity are the three leading players.
- Frequent consumption of liquid or semi-solid food will help.
- Frequent consumption of solid foods without fiber and liquid for a long time may worsen the situation.
If you are interested to learn more about constipation and its management, please visit the following links:
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