If your mother was anything like mine, you were told that certain conversations were not appropriate for the dinner table. Bathroom talk was on the top of that list!
You may not think that Blend + Press would be an appropriate venue for such talk either. Quite the contrary. Our customer and clients bathroom visits (or lack thereof) are a common topic of conversation at Blend + Press.
Don’t get me wrong, we never lead with “Hello, How are you? Have you pooped today?” But very often, the conversation heads that direction. Our Blend + Press Team gets a lot of requests for juice that will make you “go”, or a fiber packed smoothie. Yes, we all know fiber is good for your heart…However, most of these inquiries are centered around getting regular.
An estimated 63 million Americans or 19 percent of the US population suffer from constipation ( http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-
behavior/articles/2009/06/28/constipation-may-lead-to-other-problems ) . It is no wonder this is a huge topic! Having regular bathroom habits is essential for maintain or regaining mental and physical health.
Discrepancies exist between conventional and alternative health practitioner about just how regular one must go to be considered “regular”. “Regular” is different for everyone. The better you get to know your body, the more in tune you will be to the nuances of your digestion and elimination.
Most of us know that food choices, water consumption and exercise play a role in our bathroom habits. Hormone imbalance, emotional upset or anxiety, food allergies, medication and poor posture can also contribute to or cause constipation.
The food based approach is a good starting point for those who have not been diagnosed with any true digestive disorders. Charlene Prather, MD, advisor to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders suggests 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Some sources suggest more. This isn’t too hard if you are eating whole plant based foods. A standard American processed diet will likely not get you there. Tread lightly when introducing fiber as it can cause bloating and gas initially if one has a dramatic increase.
Foods that are especially helpful are berries; pectin rich fruits such as peaches, pears and apples; beets, broccoli, leafy greens, carrots, celery. So, yes, eat from the garden. Drinking your juice will also help.
Carrot, Beet, Apple and greens are also useful additions in juice when looking to get or stay regular. Figs and prunes are wonderful treats to help with digestion as well. A newly popularized fruit called Baobab is a great addition to any smoothie or juice. It is offered in powder form and has more fiber in one tablespoon than a pear. Chlorophyll dense foods are also your ally.
Flax and Chia seeds are also packed with Fiber. These little wonder are not only packed with essential omega fats, they can help with the ease of your elimination. Flaxseed oil and ground flax seeds soften stool. Cold pressed raw coconut oil and cold pressed olive oil are great alternatives to processed fats.
Consider food combining and when you are consuming water. Look to compatible foods (those with similar transit times) with one another. (we will address this in upcoming info). Consume the bulk of your water between meals. Drinking too much during a meal can dilute your digestive juices, giving your body more work.
Other things that are necessary: get moving!, look at your reaction to dairy products and other mucous forming foods. Consider eliminating these foods for three weeks, form a regular bathroom habit, work on relaxation techniques if anxiety is an issue, eat smaller meals and get enough sleep.
This is the tip of the iceberg when looking at getting regular. Follow these steps and then look out for more information about hormones, thyroid and nutritional deficiencies as it relates to constipation In our upcoming blog posts!