Constipation is a problem which troubles millions of people. There can be many reasons for constipation including some serious diseases and illnesses. However for majority of people this problem can be easily solved by taking more fiber. Fiber intake has been found to be beneficial for many conditions such as constipation along with improving your health in many other ways which are discussed frequently in this site. Good news is taking fiber also helps ladies who are pregnant in solving their constipation problem as well as solving constipation in kids. For more information on role of fiber for constipation relief read this article.
Infrequent opening of the bowels (passing stools) is referred to as constipation. Typically the stools are hard, making passage difficult and painful. Constipation may be acute or chronic and frequency may be two or three times per week. In very severe and chronic cases, frequency may be as low as once a week. Causes of constipation may include such conditions as bowel obstruction, hormonal imbalance, use of certain drugs etc. However, in this article, we are going to limit ourselves to constipation caused by your choice of diet and dehydration.
Certain types of food, especially animal based food, such as red meat and animal fat, white flower products (white bread etc), polished rice, and other foods that are devoid of fibre, predispose individuals to constipation. In that these types of food lack fibre, their passage through the colon after they have been converted to faecal matter is very slow.
The rate of passage of faecal matter through the colon is also dependent on the level of hydration of the individual and this further determines the consistency of the stools. The consistency of the stools is determined at the level of the sigmoid colon. If the stools coming into the sigmoid colon is already hard, more water is absorbed from the tissues to soften the stools. In a state of dehydration, there may not be enough water in circulation to be absorbed into the colon. The effect of this is that, the stools will become harder, movement will become further slowed down, stools will become impacted.
Furthermore, depending on the time that the stools remain there, more and more acidic wastes and toxins will be released. These acids and toxins, as we may already know, give rise to various diseases such as cancer in the colon and elsewhere in the body. Remember, these are the outcome of eating the wrong diet and not drinking sufficient water daily. To further confirm that the body is dehydrated, the urine will become more concentrated with a deep yellow colour.
To avoid constipation therefore, one has to drink sufficient water on a daily basis and not only that, the diet has to be changed to the right diet. The right diet is the Genesis 1: 29 Diet, that consists of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and grains. There is something in these components of this diet known as fibre that the Creator, the Almighty GOD, put, to protect us against constipation and all the secondary complications.
The role of dietary fibre in colon cleansing and prevention of constipation
Dietary fibre consists of nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants. They include nonstarch polysaccharides found in plants, such as cellulose, pectin, gum and hemicellulose. Others are fiber contained in oats and wheat bran, oligosaccharides, lignin and some resistant starch.
There are two main types of fibre; soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre can dissolve in water and it is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts. This type of fibre slows down the passage of food in the digestive tract. Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water. It is metabolically inert and provides what is known as bulking. In bulking, this fibre absorbs water throughout the length of the digestive tract. This produces two distinct and important effects. Firstly, they increase the bulk of the stools and secondly, they speed up the passage time of food through the intestines. The end result is that passing out stools becomes easier and more frequent. This is very important in that it is the mechanism by which insoluble fibre cleanses, detoxifies the colon and reduces the acid waste load in the colon. This helps to prevent constipation and the secondary effects thereof.
Plant sources of dietary fibre
Common sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre include; fruits such as avocado, bananas, pears, apples, prunes, plums, skin of kiwifruit and grapes; green leafy vegetables like broccoli, celery, spinach and carrots, green beans, cauliflower etc. Other sources are whole grains, wheat and corn bran, oats, rye and barley. A variety of legumes are also high in fibre and in this category are black beans, white beans, kidney beans and lentils. The rest are, almonds, flaxseed, sweet potato, onions, brown rice and Ofada rice.
Article Source – http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/features/natural-health/177590-vitamins-minerals-and-antioxidants-in-vegetables-fruits-seeds-and-nuts-4