We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Eating prunes can help relieve irregularity.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Digestive irregularity can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable and unsure what to eat. If you're chronically constipated, meaning you have less than three bowel movements per week, complications such as hemorrhoids, fissures, rectal prolapse or fecal impaction may develop over time. Making changes to your diet can help to alleviate irregularity and get you back to feeling normal. You'll want to focus on increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limiting your intake of high-fat foods such as meat, cheese and processed snacks.
Benefits of Fiber
A lack of dietary fiber and water in your diet are two of the main causes of irregularity and constipation. Although your body can't digest fiber, it plays an important role in preventing and relieving constipation. Because fiber adds bulk to stool and absorbs liquid, it helps prevent stools that are dry, hard and difficult to pass. Women should consume at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day and men should consume at least 31 to 38 grams of fiber per day. Drinking plenty of caffeine-free liquids helps prevent dehydration and eases constipation.
Fruits and Vegetables
Because fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and moisture, they help to promote bowel regularity. Aim to get at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day on a 2,000 calorie diet. One cup of raspberries gives you 8 grams of fiber and a medium apple, pear, orange or banana gives you between 3 to 6 grams of fiber. From one cup of cooked broccoli, brussel sprouts, corn or turnip greens, you'll get 4 to 5 grams of fiber. According to an article published in the journal "Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics" in April 2011, fiber and other compounds in prunes are especially helpful for relieving constipation.
Include whole grain foods instead of refined grains when attempting to regulate bowel function. Whole grains are a rich source of dietary fiber and they provide nutrients that refined grains do not. A 1-cup serving of whole grain pasta gives you about 6 grams of fiber. A serving of bran cereal, brown rice or oatmeal gives you 3.5 to 5 grams of fiber. To determine if a food is whole grain, read the ingredient list. Look for the words "whole grain" or "whole wheat" at the beginning of the list. If the label lists "flour," "white flour" or "bleached flour" or lacks the word "whole," the food is made from processed grains.
Legumes, Nuts and Seeds
Try to increase your intake of vegetarian proteins to relieve bowel irregularity. These foods contain fiber whereas meat and animal proteins do not. Legumes, such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans, contain any where from 9 to 15 grams of fiber per cup. Almonds, pecans, pistachios and sunflower seeds are also rich in fiber. Try to increase your fiber intake gradually, as a drastic increase may cause gas, bloating and cramps.