The way your day starts can affect your entire day and nothing is worse than fighting constipation in the morning. Along with a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen and bloating, constipation can also cause mood swings and lower your attention span. While laxatives can be temporary quick fixes, they can worsen the problem over time.
Hence, it is better to treat this disorder with a few simple lifestyle changes and home remedies.
- Eat plenty of fibre: A bad diet is one of the key factors triggering constipation. Fibre not only fills the stomach, but also helps add bulk to your stool making it easier to pass. Ideally, a person should have 20-40 grams of fibre a day. If you suffer from chronic constipation, you can increase this amount a little as well. As an easy way to increase your fibre consumption is ensure that you eat some form of raw salad with every meal. Other foods that are rich in fibre are oats, almonds, cereals, beans, lentils and fruits.
- Ginger tea or mint tea: Ginger is a warming herb, which when had in form of tea can make the body generate more internal heat. This helps activate the digestion process and thereby relieves constipation. The menthol in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect that helps relax the digestive tract muscles and makes it easier for stool to pass through. Dandelion tea can also be used as a mild natural laxative.
- Castor oil: Castor oil is a popular natural laxative. This is because one of the components of this oil helps stimulate the small and large intestine. To benefit from castor oil, have 1 or 2 teaspoons of the oil on an empty stomach. You should be able to pass stool within about 8 hours.
- Drink plenty of water: Water not only hydrates the body, but also helps food move along the digestive system. Without adequate water, the stool is likely to be hard and difficult to pass. Ideally, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Do not count artificially sweetened beverages as part of this count as they can actually cause constipation instead of ease it.
- Warm lemon water: Lemon juice helps stimulate the digestive system and hence is ideal for treating constipation. When mixed with warm water, it can help eliminate toxins from the body. Adding a little honey to the mixture can also work as a mild laxative. Alternatively, you could add salt in place to honey as this encourages the bowel muscle contraction and is rich in magnesium.