It is too easy to take our natural bodily functions for granted, until something is not working right. Constipation can be such an uncomfortable distraction physically and mentally. With the demands on our mind, body, and emotions in today’s society, it is important to recognize how crucial the upkeep of your health is.
With high stress loads, one of my family members struggled with severe constipation for several years. This family member overcame continuous constipation by implementing the suggestions below. Constipation should not be disregarded; it is not healthy to have waste products fermenting in your bowels for days. Feces is a waste product, it needs to be healthily expelled. Natural tools have been provided on this earth to keep your body running smoothly and efficiently. You just have to take advantage of those tools everyday.
Kidneys flush away waste products through urine; the bowels flush away waste products through feces. As waste products and water pass through the bowels, your body still grabs last minute nutrients, including water. As waste products travel down your large intestine the feces becomes drier and formed, provided there is no illness or anxiety causing diarrhea.
This is important to you, for as the feces loses water, depending on how hydrated or dehydrated you are, is how effortlessly and frequently you can have a bowel movement each day. Equally important is the combination of consuming water and plenty of foods with fiber to make elimination much more efficient, regular, and easier.
Fiber is the carbohydrate that does not go into the bloodstream during digestion, but gets a free pass to continue through the small and large intestines. Fiber takes any unnecessary items and cleans house as it passes through. Little fiber and not enough water means feces has difficulty passing through your intestinal system—giving you grief. When your digestive system is happy, everyone is happy! Those of you that struggle with constipation know what I am talking about!
You can make your intestinal system work great by committing to three quarters of each meal consisting of a variety of plant-based foods. These fibrous foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and seeds. Eating plenty of plant-based foods also saves you the expense of commercial fiber products and hopefully medical bills.
Things to Look For
How do you know if you are consuming enough water and fiber to make the process of elimination easier? Things to notice: How easy did the feces pass through the rectum? Regular elimination should be easy to pass. If you are dehydrated, feces is harder and possibly more difficult to pass. Secondly, take a quick look in the toilet, how hard or formed is the feces? If the feces looks like hard little nuts, or like a hard, lumpy sausage you are not consuming enough water. If the feces looks like a softer, smooth sausage, then you are on the right track for good health.
How About Water?
When I started to pay attention to how much water I drank and how frequently I was thirsty, to my surprise, I was not listening to my body. My tongue would start to get dry, and I did not want to be inconvenienced to go retrieve some water. I repeated this neglect many times. How about you? Do you ignore your body’s signals or do you purposely give your body the water it needs?
So, how do you know if you are drinking enough water? Take another quick look in the toilet. Many times you can visually see this by looking at the shade of yellow in the toilet before you flush. Drinking plenty of water reveals itself by a pale yellow color. Not drinking enough water shows concentration by a darker yellow color. Please note, some foods, medications, or vitamins can alter the color or scent of your urine. Such as, vitamin B turns urine a more vibrant yellow, beets may give a reddish tinge, or asparagus definitely gives off a noticeable odor.
Remember, a quick peek in the toilet reveals: pale color – hey good job, keep up the good work, or a dark yellow – time to step it up a notch and drink more water. As you can see, this is one very simple way to monitor your progress on sufficient fluid consumption.
A Good Place to Start
I personally follow and teach the suggested daily amount of water to drink from Ted Broer’s book, Maximum Energy. The recommendation is to drink one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. This amount should increase when conditions such as exercise, weather, and thirst put more demands on your body. For example:
I easily monitor my water intake by knowing these two things:
- How many ounces my favorite glasses hold, which is 16 ounces.
- My average weight, let’s round it off to 160 pounds for math purposes. There is no need to weigh myself everyday, every week, or every month!
Here is how I easily calculated how much water to drink:
- Divide 160 lbs. by 2, which equals 80 lbs..
- Divide 80 by 16 ounces per glass, which equals 5.
- I need to drink a minimum of five-16 ounce glasses of water a day to keep my body very happy and running smoothly and efficiently. It works!
New to Plant-based, Smoothies, or Juicing
Those of you that currently have sluggish bathroom habits, and have recently increased your plant foods or are giving the smoothies or juicing a try, may experience some bloating. Give your body some time to adjust to this new eating. However, you can help your body efficiently expel all that fiber by drinking the minimum amount of water each day to help your system process regularly. Remember, one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight everyday.
Your health and the ease in which your body daily functions is worth every minute you invest. I hope these simple suggestions help.