11 Home Remedies to Relieve Constipation Naturally


Hiya Gorgeous!

Do you sometimes feel like you’re carrying around a load of bricks in your belly? When I get backed up, everything suffers—my overall energy, mental clarity, and attitude… So although I covered the basics of healthy poop in an earlier blog, today I want to tackle constipation head-on and talk about how we can all be more regular.

Constipation is obviously uncomfortable, but did you know that it could lead to health issues like fecal impaction, colon cancer, and other digestive problems? That’s why digestive health and avoiding chronic constipation are high on my prevention checklist.

So let’s get proactive about poopin’. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel when your bowel habits are back on track. Without further a doo-doo, let’s dive into some home remedies for constipation.

13 Tips to Relieve Constipation

Even if constipation runs in your family or you have a highly sensitive or stubborn system, you don’t have to give in to feeling backed up and bummed out all the time. Use my home remedies for constipation below to help loosen things up.

#1: Drink More Water

Drinking water is the best way to hydrate your bowel movements. Without enough H2O, your stool becomes dehydrated and hard, making it difficult to pass. Your daily fluid intake should aim for half your body weight (lbs) in ounces daily.

Need some help staying hydrated? Check out my top-10 tips to get more water in your day.

#2: Get Enough Dietary Fiber in Your Diet

You need to include fiber-rich foods in almost every meal, which include a mix of both insoluble fiber (ex. whole grains, non-GMO corn and foods containing non-GMO corn bran, nuts, seeds and fruit and vegetable skins), and soluble fiber (ex. chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, beans, lentils and strawberries).

Women need to aim for at least 25 grams of total fiber daily. Rye bread, beans, lentils, flax seeds, chia seeds and celery are real constipation-busting superstars. Adding fiber by eating some of these nutritious foods every day will help relieve constipation and stimulate a bowel movement.

If absolutely necessary—and you can’t get enough fiber in your diet—you can consider using a fiber supplement. Aside from fiber supplements, consider taking digestive enzyme supplements (like this one from Pure Encapsulations).

#3: Add in Daily Moderate Exercise

At least 20 minutes a day of low-impact aerobic activity like walking, jogging, dancing or jumping jacks will encourage motion through your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Try a walking or standing workstation to help you incorporate more activity into your work day, or go for a daily morning, lunchtime or evening walk for regular bowel movements.

#4: Balance Your Supplements

An excess of calcium and iron—both of which are essential minerals—may actually be causing some of your constipation symptoms. If you think these supplements could be your constipation culprit, check out my guides to getting calcium and iron through your meals.

Food sources of these minerals are more gentle on your system because they aren’t as concentrated. Plus, plant sources of calcium and iron also contain fiber and other nutrients that support a healthy digestive system and prevent constipation.

On the other hand, a magnesium citrate supplement can be an easy way to find constipation relief. Magnesium acts as an osmotic laxative. Osmotic laxatives work by pulling water into your digestive tract, which can soften stool, making it easier to pass. Start with 300 mg once a day (you can take up to 300 mg three times a day if needed) until you’re able to have a normal bowel movement.

#5: Limit Your Consumption of Meat and Dairy

One of the many reasons I adhere to a vegan diet is because meat and dairy mess with digestion. These low-fiber foods contain a lot of constipating calcium and iron. If meat and dairy are part of your daily diet and you’re not having a regular bowel movement, limit them or eat them in a small serving along with lots of high-fiber foods.

#6: Take Probiotic Supplements to Aid Your Digestive System

Your digestive system contains beneficial bacteria. When the ratio of good-to-bad bacteria is out of whack, it can mess with the healthy gastrointestinal system necessary for fermentation and healthy poop formation. Taking a daily probiotic supplement will not only ease constipation, but also reduce bloating, gas, and even help reduce anxiety and depression.

You can also find constipation relief by eating more fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh in your weekly meal lineup. They contain natural probiotics to keep your gut bacteria in a healthy balance for regular, easy stools. Adding in healthy food to your diet is one of the best natural remedies.

#7: Be Mindful of Prescription Drugs and Antacids

Certain medications (prescription and over-the-counter) can be dehydrating and slow down your digestion in a way that increases constipation effects. To help address this pesky side effect, check with your doctor about switching to a medication that isn’t constipating and always make sure to stay hydrated. When it comes to antacids, limit fatty foods to help promote better digestion overall and reduce your need to pop these babies on a regular basis.

#8: Monitor Changes in Routine

Travel, a new job, a new baby, your mother-in-law just moved in—you name it! Any change in your routine can lead to fewer bowel movements. So when you know a change is on the horizon, include plenty of water and high-fiber foods in your diet to help get you through.

Also, resisting the urge to go because of hemorrhoids or other reasons can cause or make constipation worse. Soften your bowel movements and remedy rectal bleeding by increasing fluids, exercising and adding more fiber to your meals—especially soluble fiber from chia seeds, psyllium, beans, lentils and berries.

#9: Don’t Overuse Laxatives to Stimulate Bowel Movements

According to the NHS, there are four main types of laxatives:

1. Bulk-forming laxatives: This is just a fancy term for adding more fiber into your diet, either with food or supplements.

2. Stimulant laxatives: These laxatives are considered a colonic stimulant because they stimulate the lining of your colon to accelerate stool through your digestive tract while simultaneously increasing stools’ water content. Overusing these can lead to the inability to poo on your own so chronic use is not recommended.

3. Osmotic Laxatives: As mentioned earlier, osmotics pull water into your digestive system to make your stool soft.

4. Stool Softener/emollients: This type of laxative acts as a surfactant and “wet” the stool to help improve stool frequency. It’s a slower type of constipation relief.

Even too much senna (a naturally occurring stimulant laxative) can lead to dependence and increase your risk of functional constipation. Senna and over-the-counter stool softeners and stimulant laxatives should be reserved for occasional, last resort use. You should avoid them as a way to treat chronic constipation.

#10: Add Prunes or Prune Juice into Your Diet

If you’re already upping your fiber, drinking more fluids and exercising without seeing improvement, try eating 3–8 prunes daily. Prunes contain insoluble fiber and the natural laxative sorbitol, which makes your stool softer and easier to pass. One study even found prunes to be more effective than psyllium in relieving constipation. While prune juice doesn’t provide fiber, it can be an effective remedy to treat constipation.

#11: Consider leveraging Coffee’s laxative effect

I am an advocate for and lover of green tea over coffee. That being said, drinking coffee—whether decaffeinated coffee or caffeinated coffee—can relieve symptoms. It stimulates the muscles in your gut to lead to a BM. But you have to be careful to limit your intake of caffeine, or the downsides will quickly outweigh the benefits of coffee. Secondly, if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), drinking coffee can aggravate your symptoms and lead to an upset stomach.

#12: Drink lemon juice

Lemon is a natural digestive aid. You can drink lemon juice in a glass of cold or hot water or in your tea before bed. Lemon is especially helpful on an empty stomach when you wake up—I start every day with a cup of warm lemon water. It’s not only effective at treating constipation but also helps to flush toxins from your body.

#13: Avoid junk food

Processed foods and carbonated beverages can lead to constipation and wreak havoc on your digestive system, so they should be consumed in moderation. It may not be easy in this fast-paced world but try to follow the 80/20 rule and aim for a healthy fiber-full diet over fast foods 80% of the time.

When to See a Doctor for Your Chronic Constipation

When natural home remedies for constipation don’t bring you relief, it might be time to seek medical attention. While these tips are a great starting place, they can’t replace professional medical advice. When do you need to see a doctor? If you have:

  • Rectal bleeding/blood in your stool
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of Appetite

I hope these natural ways to treat constipation will help you avoid constipating, party-pooper foods and habits so that you can show your badass BMs some love. I don’t know about you, but I feel lighter already!

Your turn: Do certain foods or practices help you stay regular? Share your tips in the comments!

Peace & poo progress,

Kris Carr

P.S. Want more tips to keep things movin'?












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