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  Diet & Nutrition

August 2012

Loosen up!

Nitika Sharma
 
Constipation is a condition where a person has difficulty with regular bowel movements, so much so, that it can be fewer than three times a week. In a person suffering from constipation, the stools are difficult to excrete.
It can occur due to various reasons such as low fibre diet, lack of sufficient liquids, lack of exercise, medications, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), changes in lifestyle or routine, abuse of laxatives and/or ignoring the urge.

Go High Fibre And Carry Many Litres Of Water

  • Gradually increase the intake of dietary fibre. Fibre adds both bulk and softness to the stool. Soluble fibre absorbs water and binds with fatty acids, forming a gel-like substance that keeps stools soft. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water, thus providing bulk to the stool. A daily intake of 20 g to 35 g of dietary fibre is recommended to treat constipation.
  • Eat whole grains, legumes and grams like kidney beans (rajma), black beans, all pulses, black-eyed peas and split peas.
  • Eat lots of vegetables like turnip, lady’s finger, radish, beans, cabbage, cucumber, potato, corn, broccoli, peas, carrot, onion, tomato, green pepper, bitter gourd, asparagus, brinjal, beetroot, sprouts, leafy greens and cauliflower.
  • Eat lot of fruits like avocado, guava, apricot, fig, date, gooseberry, mango, orange, pear, jamun, papaya and pomegranate.
  • Eat whole grain cereals and breads, like high fibre breakfast cereals, brown rice, barley and millets. t Drink lots of water.
Exercise Regularly
A sedentary lifestyle slows down the bowel process. Exercise will improve colonic propulsion and tone up the abdominal muscles that are necessary for defecation. So, some light exercise is essential every day. It is not possible for anybody to change dietary habits overnight. But one must try to change at least one daily, so as to adopt a dietary pattern which is healthy and acceptable to one’s body.

Sample A Beat-Constipation Diet This Month
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
      Eat
papaya
Drink
plenty
of liquids
Eat
sprouts
Avoid
ice-cream
Eat slowly
and chew
well
Eat
prunes
and figs
Eat green
leafy
vegetables
Avoid
processed
food
Eat pulses
and beans
Eat flax
seeds
Eat brown
bread
Eat
drumstick
and celery
Eat
lady’s
finger
Avoid
cheese
Eat pears
and
peaches
Eat
pomegranate
Avoid
pizza
Eat
Beetroot
Eat meals
at regular
intervals
Eat guava Eat root
vegetables
Have oats Avoid
chips
Eat
broccoli
Eat
millets
Avoid
meat
Avoid
frozen
dinners
Eat whole
cereals
Avoid
refined
cereals
Eat nuts Eat bael
fruit