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How Do We Get over Constipation When We Say No More Pills?

How Do We Get over Constipation When We Say No More Pills?

Nobody likes to talk about constipation, but it’s actually a huge issue, affecting over 42 million people in the US, according to research. [1]

If this is such a big issue, what’s causing it?

Well, there are some common eating habits which contribute towards poor digestive health, and we’ve listed them below.

Any of these ring a bell?

Not eating enough fibre

Fibre is material that your body can’t digest, and getting enough of it helps prevent constipation, by providing material for a stool to form around. Fibre is found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. You can also take fibre supplements, although incorporating fibre into your diet naturally is normally a better option.

A sudden change in eating habits

Do you regularly experiment with new diets, or dramatically change your what you eat on a daily basis?

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A sudden change in eating habits can contribute to digestive problems as your body struggles to adjust. Avoid this by making any diet changes slowly and gradually, instead of making a big change all at once. This is true even if you’re switching to a healthier diet – even changing to a high-protein or high-fibre diet can cause problems if it happens too fast. [2]

Not drinking enough water

When did you last drink a glass of water?

Are you thirsty right now?

It’s easy to become dehydrated without realising, and this can contribute towards digestive problems. Drinking plenty of fluids ensures that stools stay soft, reducing the risk of constipation.

Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water throughout the day, or keep a large water bottle handy at all times.

Being underweight or overweight

If you’re not at a healthy weight, that could be contributing to your digestive problems. Weight problems also indicate that there may be a problem with your diet. Seeing a dietician to discuss the issues you’re having and come up with a personalised diet plan is a good idea.

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Fibre is a help to relieve constipation

The most important thing to look for is fibre.

There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, and it’s important to get a good balance of both.

Insoluble fibre makes your stool bulkier, which helps it to pass through your system. Soluble fibre attracts water, which makes stools softer and easier to pass.

It’s really important to introduce fibre to your diet gradually, and drink plenty of fluids at all times. If you don’t do this, you could risk making the problem even worse.

Foods that you should eat to avoid constipation

Ready to change your diet and improve your digestion?

Have you ever tried any of these foods that help you poop? Try adding them – you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel.

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Strawberries

Strawberries have edible seeds, which makes them high in fibre and great for digestion. They’re also really tasty, and easy to add to a dessert or enjoy as a sweet snack.

Black beans

Black beans contain plenty of soluble fibre, which makes them a great choice if you need more fibre but aren’t keen on eating loads of fruit and veg. Add black beans to a chilli, or use them to make delicious meat-free tacos.

Prunes

Has your gran ever recommended these to you?

She knows what she’s talking about.

Prunes are high in fibre, and also contain sorbitol, a natural laxative. You can eat prunes whole, add to a smoothie, or drink prune juice. This food is often recommended by doctors – a good indication that it works.

Broccoli

Broccoli includes lots of insoluble fibre, which is essential for healthy digestion. Add it to soups and stews, or steam as an easy side dish. Try to incorporate plenty of vegetables in every meal to keep things running smoothly.

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High-fibre cereal

Next time you go down the cereal aisle, look out for boxes that say ‘high in fibre’ – usually bran flakes or muesli. These cereals are a great way to kickstart your digestive system and set you up for the day.

Oatmeal

Oats contain soluble fibre that will help your digestion, and they also make a super-filling breakfast. Try adding fruit for an extra boost of fibre in the morning.

Constipation is a huge problem for many people, but it doesn’t have to be.

A few simple changes your diet can make a massive change to your digestive health – try it today.

Reference

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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