Constipation is like a leaky roof: you only remember it’s a problem when it rains. And so often in the case of constipation, we only think about it when we are experiencing it. Fortunately, there are a lot of things we can do to stay regular and avoid the discomfort of constipation—it’s as easy as planning your next meal.
Constipation becomes more of an issue as you age. It can also happen when you’re on certain medications, are dehydrated, or don’t get enough exercise. In addition to drinking plenty of water and staying active, try to incorporate a healthy amount of fiber in your diet. And if you think that means loading up on whole grains, think again! There are a lot of surprisingly tasty foods that will put you on the path to regularity.
1. Beans, especially black and Lima: Beans pack an amazing fiber punch and are especially filling. Sneak them into your favorite stews or other hearty recipes for a fiber-fueled meal.
2. Artichokes: With about 10 grams of fiber for each cooked artichoke, this is the leader in fiber content among vegetables. Great on veggie pizzas or on their own, drizzled with a little olive oil and garlic, artichokes add a sophisticated flair to your fiber routine.
3. Avocados: There isn’t much an avocado can’t do; in addition to being loaded with nutrients and healthy fats, the avocado shines when it comes to fiber content. Avocados can make any meal better.
4. Whole-wheat pasta: Pasta addicts rejoice. You can enjoy your favorite pasta dishes and boost your fiber intake when you swap regular pasta for whole wheat. Feel free to “ease in” to the transition by replacing half the pasta with healthier whole wheat and increasing each time you make the dish.
5. Berries, especially blackberries and raspberries: For a high fiber dessert, use plenty of blackberries and raspberries. Antioxidants and fiber abound in these guys and make a sweet finish to your favorite meals.
Staying regular doesn’t necessarily have to mean dramatic lifestyle changes like giving up your favorite foods or starting medication. Simply add more fiber to your meals and start seeing better results sooner.
For more information on constipation and other treatments to try, visit: http://www.giassoc.org/constipation-in-adults.html.