I used to suffer from chronic constipation although I was rarely doubled over in pain from the lack of bowel movements, heaviness, and occasional cramps I experienced were uncomfortable. It surprised me because well… I was ‘healthy’ as a whole food vegan I was eating the right foods so why in the wold was I experiencing this problem? I decided to do some research as it turns out I wasn’t eating enough fiber rich foods.
Greens such as collards, kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens, were something I didn’t eat a lot of about eleven years ago. Sure I ate greens daily, mainly lettuce and spinach, but the amount of dark leafy greens I consumed was very small.
In my case simply upping my intake of greens caused me to have bowel movements again. Also, I incorporated self massage using specific essential oils. That did the trick in a few days; I was having bowel movements a few times daily.
Constipation: Why does it happen?
- Not eating enough dietary fiber
- Not drinking enough liquids
- Lack of exercise
- Poor eating habits
- Ignoring the urge to have bowel movements
Several years ago, I was guilty of #1 and #5. Regarding #1, I realized that although I was consuming fiber daily I needed to increase the amount of fiber that I was adding into my diet. Now I usually eat at least three cups of some type of greens daily. It has been extremely effective in helping me have bowel movements a few times daily.
With #5, there were times when I did not want to have a bowel movement, for example, if I were in a public restroom I “held it” until I was in a private location, my own home. However the more I read about bowel health the more I realized that this isn’t a good practice and can contribute to a lazy bowels. I changed my ways.
If you listen to the mainstream view about bowel health having a bowel movement three times a week is considered normal and healthy. Really, if that is healthy why are there so many bowel related diseases in westernized cultures? I’m not buying it. Doesn’t it make sense that we should be eliminating shortly after we consume our foods?
When we look at the high amount of processed foods that invade our diets, the lack of exercise, and the poor excuse many of us make when it comes to changing our eating habits is it really any wonder that our health is so poor and many of us are plagued with health related diseases?
Natural ways to prevent or eliminate constipation
- Eat fiber rich foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains)
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water
- Avoid sugar and processed foods
- Exercise regularly
- Drink peppermint tea
- Drink Apple Cider Vinegar tea.
peppermint has long history of relaxing muscles on the gastrointestinal tract.
At times, it seems that openly talking about constipation is frowned upon. Which is unfortunate, especially when we think of the complications it can cause in a persons life. A better approach would be to educate the public (and yourself) on natural ways we can eliminate constipation.