What Is The Best
Diet for Constipation?
The best diet for constipation is focused on eliminating the foods that cause constipation.
If you aren't familiar with them, click
for a quick overview of the foods that cause constipation.
Remember: START LOW AND GO SLOW.
Make changes slowly to allow the body a chance to respond. Overdoing, moving too fast to make changes and implementing too many options at the same times can lead to intense abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
The goal is balance, meeting nutritional and fiber needs, eliminating refined and processed foods and increasing whole grains and fruits and vegies. Just take your time to reach your goal.
Trust me ... you elderly loved one will greatly appreciate that you make these changes slowly. Too much too fast is going to lead to a very uncomfortable situation for you both.
The best diet for constipation, in my opinion, involves just three main components: fiber, water and flaxseed.
List of High Fiber Foods
Begin by incorporating as many high fiber foods into your standard diet as you can. Go slow, add a few servings every day and wait for the body to respond. Some good ideas include:
- Whole Grains, dried fruits and oats. Try adding a granola with nuts and fruits as a breakfast meal.
- Fresh fruits. Eat the skin as well. Any time you will be eating the skin of a fruit or vegetable, try buying organic. Avocados and bananas, where you peel and discard the skin, are not as important to be organic.
- Apples, blueberries, raspberries and pears all have over 4 grams of fiber.
- Cooked black beans, lentil beans, kidney beans, bran cereal and rolled oats all have over 11 grams of fiber. Try adding rolled oats into a smoothie. You will barely taste it and it adds lots of additional fiber.
- Cooked peas and avocados have 8 & 11 grams of fiber.
- Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, broccoli. Fresh is best, steamed is okay too. Try adding kale and collard greens to a smoothie.
- Switch to whole grain or whole wheat breads and pastas. Avoid processed, "white" pasta and bread.
Add fiber slowly until your body responds positively to the changes. It shouldn't take too long for you to start seeing changes.
Write it out and make a list. Start by adding additional fiber to breakfast, move on to snacks etc until you feel you have reached a point where things are "moving" better.
Anytime you increase fiber in your diet, make sure to increase fluid intake to prevent bloating, gas and diarrhea. God slow.
Water Water Water
At all times, but especially if your loved one is suffering from constipation, you need to make sure they are drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
Add more water as you increase their fiber intake. The addition of fiber with an increase in water consumption can lead to abdominal cramping and making stools even harder and more difficult to pass.
Ground flaxseed is relatively easy to find and is very good for you. It is full of omega-3 fatty acids.
Try sprinkling it over cereal in the morning or adding to a smoothie. Make sure to offer lots of fluids when you begin to incorporate flaxseed into the diet.
Again, this is not a comprehensive list of everything you could possibly do to prevent constipation. It is a list of the top three areas ... I believe the best changes you can make to have a diet for constipation be effective.
1. Increase Fiber
2. Increase Water
3. Add Flaxseed
Hopefully that will be all you will have to do. If not, proceed on to the Natural Remedies for Constipation Page that will review more natural herbal treatments to assist with constipation.
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