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Constipation is definitely one of those topics that are discussed candidly.  As personal as it is, people are most often embarrassed to talk about it. This article aims to explore various aspects of constipation that will help you get a clearer understanding of it.

Firstly, to put things in perspective, constipation is a symptom and not a disease. Nearly everyone has experienced this at some point in their life. There is no concrete definition of constipation as the frequency of bowel movements is distinct for each one of us.

To put it plainly, the term "constipation" refers to infrequent excretion or difficult evacuation, incomplete evacuation, or evacuation of small or hard stools. In all these symptoms, only stool frequency can be easily quantifiable. Typically, anything fewer than three bowel movements per week is considered as constipation. So, generally constipation is associated with reduced stool frequency. 

People from certain age groups or suffering certain ailments are more likely prone to constipation.Today, the common cause of constipation is our irregular food eating habits and our lifestyle in general.

a) If we list down some of the common reasons:

  • Eating low fibre diet
  • Not drinking enough water
  • No regular movement & exercise
  • Eating junk food
  • Travel and stress
  • Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement

b) Common ways to deal with constipation are:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Eat fibre-rich diet
  • Limiting caffeine intake 
  • Get moving and exercise
  • Make a habit of defecating in the morning
  • Do not resist the urge to defecate

However, by following a proper diet can help you manage constipation. Let us look at 5 foods that will help you deal with relieve constipation.

a) Five Foods That Can Help To Relieve Constipation

1. Oats: Oats inherently contain a soluble fibre called as beta-glucan. This soluble fibre absorbs water and binds with fatty acids. This forms a gel-like substance keeping the stools soft.

2. Prunes: Prunes are another food that helps significantly in being regular with motions. It not only is a good source of fibre but also contains laxatives such as fructans and sorbitol.

3. Chia Seeds: Chia seeds consist of a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids. They are rich in soluble fibre as well. When you dissolve it in water, these tiny seeds become gel-like and ease out the stools. It is often had in breakfast along with porridge and smoothies. It is best advised to have plainly along with water.

4. Figs: Figs are high in natural and simple sugars, minerals, water, and fibre. They have natural laxative properties which make them useful for regulating bowel movement and helps in relieving constipation.

5. Fenugreek: Fenugreek is one of the most common spices used in our everyday life. But most of us are unaware of its benefits in dealing with constipation. Apart from the soluble fibre, fenugreek also has demulcent properties that relieve irritation of the mucous membrane. It has non-starchy polysaccharides that not only increases the bulk of the food and improve bowel movement but also facilitate smooth digestion.

b) Six Home Remedies to Deal with Constipation

1. Set a schedule for the body: Everyone is unique, and so are their bowel habits. As per your schedule, set a dedicated defecation time and ensure you make uninterrupted daily routines for this activity.  

2. Abdominal massage: Severe constipation demands regular massage. Keeping a hot water bag on abdomen is also beneficial. Additionally, drinking hot water or tea before the massage can further enhance your gastrointestinal system. You can also try lying on your back and gently pressing the abdomen in a clockwise motion for 10 minutes. The clockwise motion helps push stool in the colon toward the rectum. 

3. Castor Oil: This is an ancient remedy. A one-to- two teaspoons of castor oil before going to bed can be hugely beneficial because of its natural laxative properties. It is best taken after dinner to for best results.

4. Eating probiotics: Including curd or yogurt with your food in a day can be a great help. It provides probiotics to the stomach which are really good for your gut.

5. Mint tea: Menthol present in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect that relaxes the digestive tract muscles. 

6. Extreme Mass Gainer Supplement: This extreme mass gainer supplement, as the name suggests, is designed to meet your excessive calorie and protein needs. Its formulation helps in relieving constipation and improving digestion. Regular consumption of this supplement will help you improve your nutritional requirements.