Are You Constipated?
Fitness enthusiasts encounter constipation sooner or later. Constipation leads to many other problems–hemorrhoids, varicose veins, toxin reabsorption, bad breath, and liver damage. Fitness gurus recommend consuming more protein to rev up your metabolism, build muscle, and burn fat. Somehow they forget to mention that consuming too much protein tends to constipate.
Constipation can be addressed by the following nutritional means:
Too much protein—too little oil: High protein diets constipate. Athletes who take protein powders often encounter this unpleasant fact. Oils however soften protein-hardened stools. The addition of essential fatty acid (EFA) containing oils to a high protein diet diminishes the constipation problem.
Too little fiber: Fiber absorbs water and provides bulk to our stools can prevent and reverse constipation. All kinds of fiber (soluble or insoluble) help in tackling constipation. The best kinds, however, are found in okra (lady’s finger) and flax. These foods not only absorb many times its volume of water, but also soothe the intestinal tract. It makes the stools slippery resulting in easy bowel movements.
Too little water: If we drink too little water, our bodies are strained to drag water from the intestinal tract. Our stools become drier, harder, and more compact. So, drink more water.
My gym clients are advised to eat lots of vegetables and greens. They supply the required fiber necessary to soften the stool. I also state the importance of consuming lots of water for the stated reasons. I am now informed about the importance of consuming EFA’S. EFAs are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them. Fish oil and flax seed oil are the best sources of EFAs.
The next time you are constipated, remember that it is caused by some nutritional deficiency. Address them. Passing stools will not be a nightmare.