Constipation is due to a slowing of the intestinal transit. Stools are hard and dry, so difficult to evacuate. Constipation also reduces the number of stools per week. There is, however, no precise frequency to which one becomes constipated: it depends on our personal, normal stool frequency.
Symptoms: HARD STOOLS – DIFFICULTY DEFECATING – SLOWED STOOL FREQUENCY
A lack of fibres in the diet is one of the main causes of constipation complaints. To correct the situation, privilege fresh fruits, raw vegetables and whole grain cereals. If desired, grounded flax seeds and oat bran can be added to the diet to further increase fibre intake. An adequate fibre intake increases stool volume, thereby stimulating bowel movement as the intestines feel full. Good fats are indicated as they will help lubricate the gastrointestinal tract. Best sources of good fats include fish, flaxseed, hemp, olive, safflower, sunflower and canola oils. Varying the sources of good fats is yet the ideal situation to benefit from a diversity of nutrients.
Dietary fibres should be thoroughly hydrated. It allows them to inflate properly and favour intestinal transit. In order to optimize fibre inflation, drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily. The key to a proper hydration is drinking regularly. Drinking 2 litres in a 2-hour period is not as beneficial as spreading drinking throughout the day. The body will appreciate regular hydration.
Regular physical activity improves intestinal transit. All exercises are helpful. However, running is considered the best exercise for stimulating bowel movement. Whatever the exercise you choose (walking, running, swimming or cycling), it is important to do it 3-4 times a week, for 30 minutes each time.
When you feel the urge, do not delay. The more the stools remain inside the colon, the more they become dry and hard to evacuate. Do not use stimulant laxatives in the long term; they can make the intestines lazy and aggravate constipation when we discontinue use.