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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 August 13, 2020

                  12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                  12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                  As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                  1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                  I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                  Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                  Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                  2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                  The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                  It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                  Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                  In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                  You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                  This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                  The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                  Less Physical, More Psychological

                  Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                  This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                  The First Benefit of Meditation

                  The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                  2. Relaxation of the body

                  Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                  Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                  That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                  When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                  When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                  Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                  Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                  This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                  Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                  Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                  This benefit takes you to the second one.

                  The Second Benefit of Meditation

                  While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                  2. Observance
                  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                  4. Patience

                  Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                  You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                  This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                  1. Energy

                  Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                  2. Observance

                  The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                  3. Peacefulness

                  Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                  4. Patience

                  The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                  The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                  Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                  Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                  The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                  These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                  Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                  Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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                  Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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