my dear friend suffers terribly from constipation. I imagine it's from the medication he has to take. Considering that not taking the medication at this point is simply not an option, and he's stuck eating hospital food – what is a natural way he can cure his constipation? it breaks my heart to hear that he's up till 3am in horrible pain! he's the sweetest guy – can anyone help?
High fiber foods can help a lot. Soluble fiber from fruit and veg will help the most in terms of stool softening. But insoluble fiber, like that from whole grains will also help.
Although I always recommend foods first and foremost constipation from medication is probably going to require a little more. Something like a high fiber drink (benefiber is the best as it has the most soluble, or metamucil if you can get that). The hospital may even supply this.
One thing to remember about fiber is you also need water! Fiber works as it is not digested and it attracts water into the bowel. This makes you stools softer, easier to pass and quicker (as they are more bulky so you push them through faster). But you need to be drinking water too. Not excessive, but about 1-2L per day.
Lactose can help as it works the same way as fiber, attracting water into the bowel. But it can cause bloating and flatulence as the undigested lactose (a sugar) is fermented by the colonic bacteria.
Even if you eat healthy food, it can be hard to digest if you make it unwelcome. If you’re rushed or stressed or preoccupied you can ruin even the most wonderful meal because your stomach will be in knots, denied the full attention of your muscles and circulatory system. So try to make the experience of eating a pleasurable and relaxed one, uncompromised by too many distractions. You need to indulge in your food.
Food That Aid Digestion
High in pectin, a soluble fiber that can help your body’s systems to function well.
A plant whose bitter juice, when heavily diluted, may ease all sorts of symptoms of Irritable Bowel Symptom and other digestive disorders.
Another cheap, easily available fruit that can help soothe gastrointestinal ulcers, especially if the bananas are not overly ripe. Also high in fiber.
In raw or cooked form it’s high in fiber and aids digestion.
Great for treating and preventing mild constipation and very yummy.
Using linseed or flaxseeds in a tea is great for healing the bowel if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Symptom.
Like Apples, very high in pectin, especially in the white parts that people often don’t eat. So eat them.
Seriously high in fiber.
These are actually dried plums, and in their whole or juice form have a profoundly laxative effect. Great for those with constipation.
Like other cultured foods, it stimulates the growth of friendly intestinal flora. And miso soup is so good for the soul!
Very high in fiber. It’s sweet, therefore more kid-friendly than some other high-fiber vegetables.
Believe it or not, the fruit with the highest level of fiber.
Ocean vegetables such as agar, nori, and kelp all have important minerals and trace elements that can help maintain digestive function.
Another cultured food product that keeps friendly flora thriving.
Milk cultured or fermented with bacteria that can soothe the gut and balance your intestinal ecology. It’s important to get plain yogurt. The flavored ones contain high levels of sugar, which can reverse the good effects of the micro flora. Just add your own fresh fruit, either whole or pureed, and it will be sweet enough.
Like raisins, prunes are rich in fiber and anthocyanidins. They’re great for preventing and relieving constipation. I like to drink prune juice as often as I can.
By keeping my fiber intake up, I not only avoid getting constipated but also reduce my risk of other digestive complaints. The fact is, as we get older, our digestive systems become a lot more temperamental. One reason is that the muscles lining our digestive tracts, especially our intestines, grow weaker. Another is that our stomachs slow their production of acid, which can cause stomach pain and impair the absorption of certain nutrients. Then there’s the whole issue of prescription drugs older folks are more likely to be using them, yet they’re known to take a serious toll on the gut.
If you want to ward off all manner of digestive ailments, my advice is to eat plenty of fiber, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of exercise. More than anything else, this trio of lifestyle strategies can keep your digestive system running efficiently and trouble-free.
Farrell Seah is a webmaster at
He created this website to educate people on the goodness and health benefits of the product called Bovine Colostrum which helps heal and protect the gut from disease. In addition, bodybuilders take colostrum as a supplement to stimulate muscle synthesis and help build muscles.
Soluble fiber represents one half the team known commonly as fiber. Together with insoluble dietary fiber, it has many important functions. We’ll cover some of the benefits of soluble dietary fiber in this article, how it works in our body, the importance of good bowel bacteria in relation to it, and some surprising sources of insoluble fiber.
Fiber has been studied well enough in relation to disease prevention that the FDA has approved health claims about its’ benefits for heart disease prevention. Foods or products that naturally have 0.6g of soluble fiber per amount referenced qualify for this claim. This highlights how crucial soluble fiber is in relation to insoluble.
Other benefits of soluble fiber are that it may help lower blood cholesterol levels, assist those with non-insulin dependant diabetes, as well as people with inflammatory bowel disorders (such as colitis), or diarrhea, and constipation. Whilst it may seem contradictory that one thing can help with the opposite problems of constipation and diarrhea, soluble fiber does this by acting as a regulatory mechanism. It forms a gel in the body, including the colon, and when a person has diarrhea the gel adds bulk and slows the transit time. When a person has constipation, the more liquid nature of the gel makes the hardened stools softer, provided enough fluid is drunk.
Soluble fiber has an interesting characteristic in that it is fermented in the colon. This occurs through the activities of the beneficial bacteria that naturally exist there. Problems can potentially arise if the population of beneficial bacteria is depleted. These bacteria produce gas and short chain fatty acids from soluble fiber, and it is the short chain fatty acids that provide some of these considerable benefits. Fortunately, soluble fiber helps increase the population of good bacteria in the bowel.
The short chain fatty acids are the reason soluble fiber is helpful in stabilizing blood glucose levels. They also reduce levels of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, both implicated in heart disease. And they provide additional benefits by lowering the rate of cholesterol synthesis by the liver.
Most people do not consume enough dietary fiber – either soluble or insoluble. And whilst legumes, grains, fruit and vegetables are well known sources of fiber, scientists are turning up some surprising sources. Recent research revealed that a cup or coffee is a source of soluble fiber, despite previously being believed to have none. It contains 0.47 to 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per 100ml, so there are richer sources. However, the results are very interesting, especially when you consider that most people drink a cup with at least 200ml, or more likely in the range of 250ml, per drink. At 250 ml, that puts a cup of coffee in the range of 1.16 to 1.88 grams of soluble fiber. Depending on how much coffee you drink in a day, that does add up.
Instant coffee came out a winner as well, as it’s a greater source than filter or brewed coffee.
Soluble fiber is important for the maintenance of health, as well as being a credible, natural treatment for those troubled by some forms of diabetes, cholesterol, and bowel problems. Unfortunately, most healthy people don’t take enough fiber in their diet, which potentially increases their risk for illness later on. And whilst soluble fiber has many benefits, insoluble fiber is still a critical part of our diet as well. Fortunately, there are many known sources of fiber, and coffee can now be added to that list!