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Just Eating More Veggies Isn’t Enough To Prevent Constipation, Here’s Why

Just Eating More Veggies Isn’t Enough To Prevent Constipation, Here’s Why

Do Vegetables Really Cure Constipation?

Constipation is no fun. It can leave you feeling bloated, tired and uncomfortable. Most of us will have heard that the best way to develop better bowel function is to eat a lot of vegetables. According to conventional wisdom, vegetables are high in fiber and so prevent constipation. However, this is not always sufficient to maintain regularity. Some popular vegetables are not actually high in fiber. For example, there are only 1.3 grams of fiber in a portion of lettuce, while recommended daily fiber intake is 25-30 grams per day for an average adult. (Imagine if you only rely on eating more veggies, you’ll have to eat 25 bowls of lettuce!)

The Best Way Is A Holistic Approach

Rather than making superficial dietary changes, the best approach to prevent constipation is to make a series of lifestyle adjustments. Take the following five steps and look forward to better bowel health.

Step 1: Get Into A Morning Routine

Try and get into the habit of going to the bathroom early in the morning. According to expert Dr Kenneth Koch, this is the best time of day to move your bowels. As you sleep, your small intestine and colon work to process the food you ingested the day before. This means that when you wake, your body is ready to release waste products. Moreover, our bodies like routine. When you make it regular, your bowel will get used to it and function better.

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Step 2: Change Your Position

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    credit: http://www.dailyviralupdates.com/how-does-the-toilet-bowl-destroy-your-health/

    Did you know that the posture most of use when sitting on the toilet increases the risk of constipation? In a traditional sitting position, the colon is shortened, which does little to encourage the body to release feaces. Humans are physiologically designed to squat rather than sit as they use the toilet. Products such as the Squatty Potty can help by encouraging you to adopt a safe, more natural position.

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    screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-15-48-32
      Credit: Video still from https://youtu.be/5P8L0r4JVpo / Squatty Potty

      Step 3: Take Care Of Your Posture

      Research shows that the healthiest posture to maintain when eating is one in which your shoulders are relaxed, with your feet in full contact with the floor. In this position, your body can make use of gravity in digesting your food. When you adopt a good posture, you also maximize the amount of oxygen that you take in via your lungs, which also helps your body achieve maximum digestive efficiency.

      Sitting upright also encourages a confident, relaxed mood. Since the brain and the gut are intimately connected, any action that helps you stay relaxed will exert a positive effect on your digestive health.

      Step 4: Replace White Carbs With Wholewheat Alternatives

      White rice, pasta and bread may well be delicious, but they contain very little fiber and therefore increase the risk of constipation. For example, a portion of white spaghetti typically contains only 2.5 grams of fiber versus more than 6 grams for wholewheat versions. A 60 gram portion of wholewheat pasta contains over 9 grams of fiber, the equivalent of three oranges. You should also consider switching breakfast cereals. For example, bran flakes are a better, higher-fiber choice compared to regular corn flakes.

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      Step 5: Include Apples, Bananas, Papaya and Dragonfruit In Your Diet

      Vegetables may have a reputation for preventing constipation, but certain fruits contain significant quantities of fiber and should therefore be included in your diet on a regular basis. Papaya is a great choice for several reasons. Not only is it high in fiber and water, both of which prevent constipation, but it contains an enzyme called papain which helps your body undertake the digestive process.

      A typical apple contains around 7 grams of fibre (while an orange only contains around 3 grams of fibre). Given that the recommended daily fiber intake is 25-30 grams per day for an average adult, eating a couple of apples per day could be a great way to help cover your needs!

      Preventing constipation needn’t be difficult. Just by making a few simple lifestyle and dietary changes, you could soon be spending much less time in the bathroom.

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      Featured photo credit: Dailyviralupdates.com via dailyviralupdates.com

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      Jay Hill

      Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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