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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 2, 2018

                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                  Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                  The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                  The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                  Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                  Review Your Past Flow

                  Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                  Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                  Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                  Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                  Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                  Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                  Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                  We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                  Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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