One must have heard the phrase “Eat more fibrous Food” or “Include more fiber in your diet”, but the critical question here is why eating fiber is recommended by doctors worldwide?
The human body is equipped with a variety of essential systems and one of them is the digestive system. The primary function of which is to digest the food thereby providing essential nutrients to the body. Poor digestive capacity of an individual often leads to poor digestion causing constipation. It is one of the most well-known problems in the world. The primary reasons for constipation are hectic working hours, irregular eating patterns, sedentary lifestyles, eating junk food, and very limited physical activity.
Dietary fiber commonly present in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains works wonders in cases of constipation. Clinicians in western medicine generally recommend the use of laxatives and different chemical formulations that can cause disturbances in the metabolism of an individual. Prolonged use of laxatives renders the digestive system incapable of normal functioning. Moreover, regular occurrence of constipation often results in immedicable constipation which will further worsen the performance of digestive mechanisms affecting the overall health of a person.
Dietary fiber commonly termed roughage is the part of plant-based food that cannot be digested/ absorbed by the body. In contrast to other food parts, like fats, proteins, or sugars – which your body separates and retains – fiber isn’t processed by your body. All things being equal, it goes somewhat unblemished through your stomach, small digestive tract, and colon and out of your body.
What Ayurveda Says
As per Ayurveda, constipation is termed as vibandh generally characterized by the symptoms such as irregular bowel movement, fewer, feeling bloated throughout the day, pain in the abdomen, hard stool, etc. The movement of the colon is affected by the deviation in Apana Vayu thereby affecting the working of its muscles. Ayurveda further recommends the use of herbal medicines and dietary changes such as including a diet rich in fresh fruits. Following are the recommended 15 foods that are advised to help in passing on the stool easily.
Here is provided List of 15 Fibrous Foods to Consume in Constipation
- Apples: Apples are a very good source of dietary fiber. It includes a specific type of soluble fiber – Pectin that is shown to have excellent laxative effect.
- Kiwi: It is another fruit having good amount of dietary fiber. Approximately one kiwi has 2 gm of fiber. It can be included in your diet in the form of smoothie.
- Flax seed: Despite having other health benefits, they are also rich in fiber content and are known to have an extremely good laxative effect.
- Beans: Beans are a rich source of both types of fibers i.e. soluble and insoluble which are very well reported to help in the passing of stool. Half cup of bean is reported to have 7.5gm of fiber.
- Figs: Figs in the dry form are an excellent source to have concentrated dose of fiber. A tasty way to include figs in the diet is through fruit salad.
- Carrot: It is very fibrous to eat and relieve in constipation
- Mulethi: It is one the most powerful herb that helps in improving digestion. One teaspoon of mulethi along with small amount of jaggery is recommended to have improved bowel movement
- Banana: Bananas are the most commonly eaten fruit in the Indian subcontinent. It is extremely rich in dietary fiber and is proven to have immediate effect on constipation.
- Papaya: Papaya are also reported to have good amount of dietary fiber and is shown to help in relieving constipation.
- Berries: Including berries in the diet instead of fried snacks to satiate evening hunger is a nice way to include fibers. They are also reported to help in the bowel movement.
- Sweet potatoes: Along with different vitamins, minerals it also have good amount of dietary fiber that help in regular bowel movement. Approximately one piece of sweet potato has 4 gms of fiber.
- Lentils: Lentils are naturally packed with high amount of fiber hence it should be included in the diet.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds along with providing other minerals and nutrients is also packed with great amount of soluble fiber which helps in absorption of water and in turn soften the stool.
- Pears: Pears being rich in fiber and sorbitol have a dual effect on removing constipation by bringing water in to the instestines
- Cow ghee: it lubricates the intestine and helps in relieving constipation
Importance of dietary fiber in constipation
Common fiber-rich foods include cereals (rice, corn), bread, vegetables, fruits, potatoes, and whole grains. The mechanism of action of fiber on constipation includes:
- Fiber increases stool bulk.
- Fiber contains water and helps in normalizing bowel movements.
- Fiber increases the thickness of food due to which a person is forced to chew the food sufficiently that further helps in the proper breakage of food.
- Short chain fatty acids are produced by fermented fibers that aggravate osmotic load and quicken colon movement
- Fibers are reported to play an essential role in controlling gastro-intestinal functions especially constipation
- Keeps a check on high levels of cholesterol.
- Keeps a check on blood sugar level.
- One should consume at least 4 liters of water daily
- One should only consume foods rich in dietary fibers such as whole grains, pulses, fruits (banana, oranges etc)
- One should exercise daily in order to ensure impeccable bowel movement.
- Always consume freshly cooked home meals
- Include high amount of pure cow ghee in your diet.
- One should limit the use of junk foods such as chips etc
Find a Diet Consultation Online: Get Personalized Consultation
At Life Aveda, we provide personalized diet consultation. In this, a doctor discusses the medical history of patients, does the root analysis on causes. After the deep analysis, the doctor suggests a diet chart for constipation as per their needs and requirement. To book a Consultation call on us at +91 7743002520 or click on the button to schedule an appointment with our expert doctors.
NOTE – These dietary guidelines may vary from patient to patient according to their medical parameters. These are generalized guidelines that might be helpful in constipation.