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You May Not Know These 8 Foods Are Causing Constipation

You May Not Know These 8 Foods Are Causing Constipation

Constipation.

Not a topic that many would like to talk about, despite the fact that approximately 15 percent of Americans experience it.

Constipation is defined by having fewer than three bowel movements per week or painful and difficult bathroom breaks. Diet plays a significant role in constipation, so knowing which foods are more likely to cause this problem and which can limit your risk can provide you with some relief.

1. Dairy

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    A diet high in cheese and other low-fiber/high-fat foods such as eggs, cheese, and meat can impact digestion. Cutting down on the intake of dairy and mixing in salads and other foods with high fiber, can help ease constipation. Dairy can lead to constipation due to the to the high-fat and low-fiber content.

    2. Chips

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      Snacks like potato chips are constipating also due to the low fiber content. Chips, like dairy, are high-fat foods that delay digestion, leading to a full-stomach feeling that mirrors constipation.

      2. Red Meat

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        Though red meat by itself isn’t a specific cause of constipation, the problem is that red meat takes the place of fiber-rich options in our diet when it’s consumed regularly. “Several servings of red meat per week may lead to a backed-up feeling,” Dr. Spielmann says. Instead of adding more foods that cause constipation to your meal, make sure that your steak comes with plenty of fiber-rich foods, like a baked potato (eat the skin) and a large salad for constipation relief.

        3. Bananas

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          Not all bananas are created equal. Depending on the type, bananas can be nutritional or constipating. Unripened, green bananas are constipating while ripe bananas are high in soluble fiber that aid with bowel movement and cleansing. For relief, pick bananas that are ripe.

          4. Cookies

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            Cookies are defined as refined carbohydrates, like pastries, cakes, and many crackers. With this, they are low in fiber and high in fat. It is best to reduce your intake refined carbohydrates in favor of higher-fiber dessert or snack choices, such as fresh fruit.

            5. Frozen Dinners

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              Frozen dinners are very convenient. They can save time in preparing meals, and can be prepared with limited culinary skills. These dinners are almost always low in fiber and often high in fat. Also due to preservation practices for the food, they are usually high in sodium. High sodium content concentrates the water in our bodies, keeping it from pushing waste through the body. Keep these constipating foods to a minimum.

              6. Chocolate

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                Moderate chocolate intake has been shown to be healthy, loaded with antioxidants, and can increase our mood. Although, large amounts of chocolate can slow the digestion process. It is thought to slow down muscle contractions and bowel movements.

                In one study, researchers in Germany asked people who had constipation to name the foods they thought caused it. Large amounts of chocolate was mentioned most frequently.

                7. Bread

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                  Breads made from wheat or rye are rich in fructans. At times the body does not effectively digest and absorb fructan-containing foods and as a result, bacteria in your colon ferment the fructans, start creating gas. Extra water and gas present in your intestines can cause abdominal discomfort, pain, cramping and changes in the regularity or consistency of your bowel movements. Gluten is also a protein found in breads containing wheat flour, rye flour and barley flour. Foods made from gluten-containing grains can be especially problematic for people with celiac disease, which affects 3 million Americans, or gluten intolerance, which affects 18 million Americans, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

                  Avoiding Constipation

                  Make sure to get 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. This is the ideal amount for your intestine to regulate the bowel movement. Also, drink lots of water to help the digestion process. Make sure to consume 64 ounces of water on a daily basis to help prevent constipation.

                  These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before initiating or modifying your exercise and diet plan.

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                  Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                  5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                  5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                  Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                  Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                  Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                  1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                  Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                  This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                  In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                  The result: no more mental stress.

                  2. Unplug

                  Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                  How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                  It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                  Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                  3. Easy on the Caffeine

                  Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                  Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                  4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                  That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                  How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                  While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                  5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                  This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                  The result: mental stress will be gone!

                  So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                  Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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