Whether occasional or persistent, constipation affects 1 in 4 people and concerns women in 80% of cases. Constipation can occur when stools are hard, dry and difficult to evacuate. In general, it is diagnosed below 3 bowel movements per week. It most often results in bloating and intestinal pain, but can lead to serious complications. Discover our 10 tips to fight it.


Anti-constipation remedy: flax seeds

1. Urinate regularly

Flax seeds contain a substance called "mucilage". Made up of polysaccharides, it swells on contact with water and produces a viscous substance similar to gelatin, which explains its laxative effect.

Commission E and ESCOP recognize its effectiveness in treating temporary constipation. Simply add it to applesauce, milk, muesli, oatmeal, etc., and it's ready to use.

2. Drink lots of water

In general, 2 to 3 liters of water per day is recommended, but a good part of this is provided by food. In case of constipation, the ideal is to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, preferably between meals.

Mineral waters rich in magnesium have a mild laxative effect and should be preferred.

3. Eating prunes

Prunes have a remarkable laxative action. This particularity would be linked to the presence of dihydroxyphenylisatin, a substance that stimulates peristalsis (contractions of the intestine). Sorbitol, a type of sugar it contains, is also said to contribute to this.

In addition, like other dried fruits, prunes contain dietary fibre, which is also useful in the treatment of constipation.

4. Eat a high-fibre diet

All foods of plant origin contain dietary fibre, unlike those of animal origin. A distinction is made between soluble fibre (which forms viscous gels on contact with water), and insoluble fibre (which has a water retention capacity). Both types of fibers are useful in the fight against constipation.

The foods that contain the most are legumes (peas, beans, lentils, ...), cereals and artichokes.

5. Playing sports

Practicing a sport (at least once a week) is a very good way to stimulate the abdominal muscles and strengthen the abdominal belt.  

To prevent constipation, most cardiovascular and endurance activities are effective: hiking, walking, running, swimming or cycling.

6. Choosing Psyllium

Psyllium is a species of plantain native to India. The fibers it contains have the property of absorbing several times their weight in water. In the intestines, they form a gel, thus increasing the weight of the stool.

In case of constipation, soak 10 g of psyllium in 100 ml of warm water for a few minutes. Drink immediately to prevent the mixture from thickening and gelling.

7. Do not hold back

It is important not to hold back when the "urge" is felt. As this is not always easy when you have neither time nor a toilet, it is enough to "educate" your intestine by going to the toilet at set times.

Get into the habit of going half an hour after a meal, taking as much time as you need. If you experience difficulties, don't try too hard and try again later.

8. Use oat bran

Oats contain a large amount of soluble and insoluble fibre, which has positive effects on the digestive system.  Fibre increases the volume of the alimentary bolus and changes the consistency of the stool. This promotes their circulation in transit.

To consume it, add oat bran to yoghurts, fruit compotes, bread preparations, pies, cakes, muffins, ...

9. Opt for soups and broths

The consumption of vegetables in the form of broth or soup reinforces their natural water intake. Starting the meal with a vegetable soup is therefore an excellent habit to combat constipation and calorie overload.

Soups rich in small pieces of vegetables will be more effective. Vegetables that have been ground or filtered are less rich in fiber.

10. Don't forget the fruits

Plums, kiwis, passion fruit, raspberries, blackberries... The fruits are bursting with pectin, whose benefits on constipation are recognized. This fiber activates the regulation of the intestinal transit, and contributes to the quality of the bacterial flora.

When it is possible, it is necessary to eat the previously washed skin, because it is it which contains the most pectin.  In the same way, after having pressed a fruit to extract the juice, the ideal is to add the pulp to the juice obtained.

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