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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 October 16, 2018

                  The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                  The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                  It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                  If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                  One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                  Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                  In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                  Why you can’t sleep through the night

                  The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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                  Stress

                  If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                  Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                  We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                  While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                  Eating close to bedtime

                  Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                  Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                  Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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                  Medical conditions

                  In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                  The vicious sleep cycle

                  The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                  Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                  You get a bad night’s sleep
                  –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                  –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                  –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                    Here are a few suggestions:

                    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                    Sleep better form now on

                    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                    Reference

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