5 Natural Constipation Remedies
As a nutritional therapist and someone who’s had their fair share of digestive woes, I don’t shy away from poop discussions. After all, we all know that good poop makes a good day.
Regular bowel movements indicate a healthy digestive system and proper diet. Poop is helpful insight into what’s going on inside our body.
We should have softly-formed bowel movements once to twice a day. Any less is considered constipation. But you can be constipated even if you are going once a day, if your bowel movements look like a 1, 2, or 3 on the Bristol Stool Chart. Ideally, it should be a 4 or 5.
Natural constipation relief means a good diet and digestion. Here are five natural constipation remedies that will give you good poops every day.
1. Practice Proper Poop Posture
First, do the squat! Elevating your feet while on the bathroom throne brings your body into the elimination position nature intended. A squatting position fully relaxes the puborectalis muscle, while the conventional seated posture actually puts a kink in the anorectal angle.
I’m using words like “puborectalis” and “anorectal” because I really don’t want to scare you off with personal details about how squatting rocks. So I’ll just say that proper pooping alignment means no straining. You’ll be surprised how the proper pooping posture offers natural constipation relief.
I use a Squatty Potty and I thoroughly recommend it. You can also use a step stool to elevate your feet, but the Squatty Potty is much less of an eyesore.
2. Eat the right fats
How do healthy fats support regularity?
It stimulates bile release from the gallbladder, and bile helps trigger peristalsis (muscle movement) of the colon. Without an intake of adequate fat, the gallbladder doesn’t release bile. That, in turn, compromises the health of the gallbladder. Improving fat digestion naturally relieves constipation.
It also supports a healthy metabolic rate, which governs the transit time of waste in the colon. Coconut oil has been shown to improve metabolic rate, and it recommended by alternative practitioners to improve thyroid function.
Finally, it supports hormone synthesis. The cholesterol found in “old-fashioned” fats like butter and egg yolks is a nutrient. Sex hormones and thyroid hormones, which play a role in metabolism and regularity, require the
What are some healthy fats that support regularity?
- Ghee – my most highly recommended option, read the benefits of ghee here
- Pastured eggs
- Butter from grassfed cows – read the benefits of grassfed butter here
- Coconut oil
- Lard and tallow, from pastured animals – read the health benefits of lard here
3. Get Enough Magnesium
Magnesium is a natural laxative. I use two different magnesium supplements:
- Natural Vitality Natural Magnesium Calm is not the most absorbable form of magnesium, but this means that it acts as a laxative. Natural Calm dissolves water to create a slightly fizzy beverage. Take it before bed and slowly increase your dose by 1/4 tsp. until bowel tolerance is reached.
- While Natural Calm can often produce a bowel movement the next day, magnesium oil is better utilized by the body but works more slowly. I recommend using magnesium oil daily, and Natural Calm when needed. You can make your own magnesium oil or buy it.
4. Balance the Beneficial Bacteria
Healthy gut flora lays the foundation for all areas of health. When these good probiotics get ravaged by processed foods, sugar, and toxins, the whole digestive process deteriorates.
Often, incorporating a fermented food with each meal significantly improves irregularity. Include a tablespoon of lacto-fermented veggies with lunch and dinner. Enjoy a cup of yogurt (homemade or the plain, whole milk type) with breakfast and snacks. I also recommend a this clinical-strength probiotic to help re-populate the gut with good bugs.
Balancing gut flora also means addressing an overgrowth of opportunistic flora by avoiding refined sugars, grains, and processed foods. In serious cases– like me –it means following the GAPS Diet for a couple years of intensive good bacteria breeding.
5. Eat the Right Fiber
When things are backed up, we usually reach for the fiber bars, Metamucil or psyllium husk powder. As we have been told by the media and mainstream health practitioners, fiber is the cure-all that will make you sexy, smart and – most importantly – regular.
However, the grain-based fiber in these supplements can be disastrously irritating to the digestive tract. Humans are not meant to consume isolated fiber… you won’t find Metamucil in nature. It is a fake food, just as much as canola oil is a fake food.
Further, consuming isolated fiber can worsen constipation because it is a dehydrating product, absorbing moisture in the digestive tract.
But the right type of fiber is crucial for healthy bowel movements. I recommend increasing your intake of cooked vegetables, specifically cruciferous veggies and leafy greens, for natural constipation relief.
While grains contain fiber, they are difficult for many to tolerate. I recommend obtaining whole-food fiber from vegetables, low-sugar fruits and some starchy veggies like sweet potatoes.
I wish you a good poop day!