Most of us have been constipated but do we understand how it hurts us? We know about the discomfort it immediately gives us but did you know that when we don't eliminate our bowels properly we are setting up our body to reabsorb the toxins that our liver worked so hard to filter out.
When we are pooping well we are gently cleansing our bodies naturally everyday.
Did you know that the average person can have anywhere from 7 to 25 pounds of impacted fecal matter in their intestines?
Yes, you are constipated! Considering that you are reading an article on poop and now looking at the chart above, you have realized that you are either constipated now or get constipation regularly.
You are not alone!
But what do you do about it?
Our colon is the temporary storage area for our food waste products. During constipation some of this waste material is broken down by bacteria into volatile fatty acids. The growth of this bad bacteria increases in the colon and begins to move upwards into the small intestine where food is fermented more and digested less.
LESS DIGESTION = LESS ABSORPTION
You may be eating all the right food but if you are constipated you may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals from that food. To top it off, during pregnancy, your hormones are changing to slowly relax your muscles and in doing so they slow down your digestion as well.
That's why it is so important to learn to get your bowel movements working regularly!
Everyone is different so what works for one person doesn't necessarily mean that it will work for you. Also, our bodies and life circumstances are always changing so its important to learn to listen to your body and have a basic understanding of how you eliminate wastes and toxins.
There are many reasons why you may be constipated and it is important to speak to your doctor to rule out medical causes such as an obstruction in the colon. You may be experiencing constipation due to lack of exercise, stress, or lack of fibre in your diet. We all know that the lack of fibre causes constipation but did you know that you need 25 to 40 grams of fibre PER DAY?
Getting enough fat, fibre, and filtered water can be super easy by starting healthy daily routines. Have you tried chia seeds? They are full of healthy fats and fibre and when you add them in a smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast you are off to a wonderful start to your day. Chia seeds contain 11 grams of fibre and 10 grams of healthy fat per 3 Tablespoons.
Berry Chia Parfait
Easy to prepare the night before while cleaning up the dinner dishes...one mess. Simply mix all the ingredients and put it in the fridge. In the morning you have a yummy high fibre parfait waiting for you. The seeds and oats have soaked over night so it's very easy to digest. Easy to take to work as well.
1 cup organic kefir or yogurt
½ cup fresh or frozen berries
¼ cup oatmeal
1 ½ tsp chia seeds
Try to slowly increase your fibre intake to avoid constipation. You can always sprinkle some extra chia seeds just before serving which gives the parfait an extra little crunch. Chia seeds are a fantastic form of fibre and very useful. When they are absorbed in liquid they gelatinize and give you a thicker texture and when they are sprinkled over top of soups, salads and other foods, just before serving, they give a slight crunch.
For the oatmeal use whole grain and experiment with different size flakes. Don't use instant as it is too over processed with very little nutrients. I have tried steel cut oats and it didn't work very well. Mix all ingredients in a small jar with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
So how much water do you need to drink every day to keep your body working well and avoid constipation?
I recommend my clients start each morning with a half squeezed lemon in a large glass of clean filtered warm or room temperature water to ensure optimal hydration, a boost of vitamin C and the enzymes in the lemon juice will wake up her digestion by stimulating hydrochloric acid which helps to digest your breakfast. The lemon water should be sipped slowly for 20 minutes prior to breakfast and your mouth rinsed afterwards to protect your teeth.
According to "Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson M.Haas MD, " Water is best consumed at several intervals throughout the day - 1 or 2 glasses upon waking and also about an hour before each meal. Water should not be drunk with or just after meals as it can dilute the digestive juices and reduce food digestion and nutrient assimilation." " Drinking enough contaminant-free water is likely our most significant nutritional health factor." " I recommend that the average person consume 1.5 to 2 quarts of water daily"