Health #healthy life

10 Laxative Foods That Really Work

For some, constipation proves to be a discomforting and utterly irritating, whereas for others it can be outright painful. And while commercial laxatives are there to solve the problem, natural alternatives shouldn’t be ignored. In this article, we take a closer look at 10 different foods that double up as laxatives.

 

Why Natural Laxatives?

 

Certain laxatives like fiber supplements or stool softeners directly affect the composition of feces (in their own special way) to ease bowel movement. Whereas those like the stimulant and osmotic variants target the nerves or the water-bloodstream pathway in the large intestine respectively, in order to produce an excretion conducive atmosphere. Needless to say, these drugs can have harsher side-effects in some people.

This brings us to the topic of natural laxatives. Simply put, these are normal foods that naturally regulate bowel movements, and because of their natural attributes, they don’t produce undue side-effects like their medicinal counterparts.

The Countdown

 

Mentioned below is a descriptive list of 10 foods that offer relief from constipation apart from imparting nutritional inputs to your body.

1. Water: It may be considered a boring drink by the younger lot but the truth is that you could suffer from chronic constipation from not drinking enough water. A dehydrated body looks deep into it’s reserves for water and in doing so absorbs more water from the intestines than what’s deemed necessary.

Less water in the bowel translates to harder stool and constipation. In that respect, drinking ample quantity of water not only lubricates the intestinal walls, but also softens the stool as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. Plus, it hydrates the system so that it doesn’t have to look elsewhere for water.

2. Prunes: Otherwise known as died plums, this sticky chewy food is naturally blessed with fibers and sorbitol. Fiber when passed down to the intestinal area mixes with the stool to add volume as well as soften it, whereas sorbitol is a natural carbohydrate that performs a similar stool bulking function. In fact, the laxative qualities of prunes are so good, that they can heighten bowel movement (and cause running stool) in a normal person when taken in large quantities.

3. Whole Grains: Unlike their refined counterparts, whole grain produce aren’t stripped of their most nutrient-rich parts i.e. the bran and germ. A notable mention is brown rice, which has good amounts of dietary fiber, magnesium and trace selenium minerals. Fiber provides the necessary bulk and softening attributes to stool, while both magnesium and selenium are well known for their laxative qualities.

4. Yoghurt: Gut flora or good bacteria found in the digestive tract help in breaking down a large chunk of the processed food we consume on a daily basis. As such, fresh, natural bio yoghurt rich in acidophilus and bifidobacterium strains, when taken daily during breakfast, can certainly contribute to your ‘gut flora’ and therefore keep a check on irregular bowel movements.

4. Coconut: Be it the soft flesh of a ripe coconut, or the sweet water tapped straight out of green coconuts, the laxative effects are quite prominent. Coconut flesh is high on fiber and so consuming a good chunk of it regularly does a lot of good for your bowels. Similarly, coconut water is an excellent hydrating fluid, with a laxative potency high enough to cause watery bowels in some people when consumed in excess!

5. Aloe Vera: For the uninitiated, ‘aloin’, a liquid encapsulated inside the skin of aloe-vera plant is highly effective in relieving constipation. That’s why certain commercially available, herbal laxative pills contain aloin extracts in them. Another chemical component found in aloe-vera is ‘anthraquinone’, which can help in reducing rigidity in stool.

6. Flax Seeds: Now, it would be unfair to pick from the colossus health benefits of flax seed or its oily derivative. But, since we are talking wholly about laxatives in this article, it would be helpful to note that flax seeds can promote bowel movement. This gentle laxative effect is partly due to the fiber content and partly due to its oily content that acts like a coating for the intestinal wall.

7. Blakstrap Molasses: Pure sugarcane juice boiled to a concentrate and crystallized yields regular molasses. When the same is boiled the third time, the result is blackstrap molasses which contains a range of vitamins and minerals. Magnesium is one such mineral found in this sweet food, which also happens to be a good laxative agent.

8. Raw Vegetables: Incorporating a variety of raw vegetables into your dietary cycle can ensure a healthy body along with a fit gastrointestinal tract. The one major component in green leafy vegetables is fiber which is a known promoter of healthy bowel movement. Additionally, certain vegetables like carrot, beet, tomatoes and cabbage among others are specifically known for their mild laxative qualities.

9. Raw Fruits: There is a lot to gain in terms of colon cleansing by incorporating raw fruits into your diet. While bananas act like natural bulk-producing laxatives, apples on the other hand, contain pectin in them, which stimulates intestinal action while imparting volume to the stool. Likewise, melons are great in colon cleansing because they are so easy to digest that they proceed directly to the intestines. Also, fruit derivatives like lemon juice or apple cider are equally effective in regularizing bowel movement.

10. Legumes And Beans: It’s the mix of carbohydrates, fibers and other minerals like magnesium, selenium etc that make lentils, peas, beans, and nuts natural laxatives. Together, the above contents can regulate intestinal action and impart bulk to the stool.

Final Thoughts

 

Foods apart, factors like sedentary lifestyle and stress can also cause constipation. Therefore, a fully decked solution has to be a trifecta of healthy diet, exercise and stress free living. Also, it’s worth noting that some people might be allergic to the foods mentioned above. If so, then they should first consult a doctor before trying them as a remedy for irregular bowel movement.

healthy life

Coconut – coconut water health benefits and effects on the body.

The Coconut ( and the water it contains ) is the latest trend among celebrities like Madonna and Rihanna. But does it brings any good to your health and what are it’s benefits?

1 . It facilitates digestion

The dried flesh of the coconut is rich in fatty acids . 90 % of the nut is composed of saturated fatty acids. They have more saturated fats than butter or red meat. Even if this is not recommended as food for people with high cholesterol or other cardiovascular problems, the fatty acids have still a high quality: they are easily digestible . A marvel for easing the intestinal transit!

2 . It provides a sense of satiety

Coconut contains a high amount of dietary fiber, which makes it ideal to prevent constipation, but also to fill and soothe the appetite.

3 . It helps relieve hangover

You may well know, that alcohol dehydrates you and causes unpleasant and horrible headache nausea. Coconut water ( 46 calories per cup) , the most of as any other drink , rehydrates the body.

4 . It is rich in iron

This exotic fruit is full of nutrients such as iron. One hundred grams of coconut meat provides 3.4 mg of iron . If you consume coconut milk ( 445 calories per cup) , you end up getting an even greater amount.

5 . It is an acceptable energy drink

If you exercise moderately, drinking coconut water after your workout may be sufficient. Coconut water contains a lot of potassium, 600 mg per cup, about 175 mg more than a banana and 13 times more than a normal energy drink. However, this water does not cover your needs of sodium. A serious athlete will need more of it, while coconut water will be sufficient for a weekend workout warrior .

healthy life #nutrition

The Health Benefits of Beer: 12 Reasons for Drinking Beer!

Did you know that beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world since it was already part of the diet of the Egyptian pharaohs? Did you also know that the first brewers were women …?

Anyway, beer, like wine, have unsuspected virtues: for sleep, for the kidneys, for bones … Let’s see the benefits of this delicious and refreshing drink !

1. Beer keeps your kidneys healthy.

A Finnish study found that beer was preventing kidney stones much more than other alcoholic beverages. In fact, the consumption of every bottle of beer reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by 40%.

2. Beer leads to better digestion

Beer (especially dark beers) contain up to one gram of soluble fiber * in each glass of 30cl – unlike wine, for example, which does not contain any fiber. However, the fibers have an important role in intestinal transit (fiber deficiency can lead to gastric and intestinal disorders – constipation or diarrhea).

3. The beer against the bad cholesterol

The fiber in beer also helps in reducing your levels of LDL, the “bad” type of cholesterol.

4. Beer increases your levels of vitamin B.

Beer is particularly rich in B vitamins (B1, B2, vitamin B6 and B12). For example, a Dutch study found that beer drinkers had more than 30% increased levels of vitamin B6  than their counterparts who do not drink beer and two times larger than wine drinkers .

Beer is also abundantly supplied with vitamin B12 which is an anti-anemic factor present in very few foods.

5. Beer is good for the bones!

A 2009 study found that high levels of natural silicon and collagen in beer can be very good for your bone density.

6. Beer is a very good remedy against insomnia

Beer contains nicotinic acid and lactoflavin, both known to promote the “Zzz Zzzzzzzzz! (sleep)”

7. Beer protects against myocardial problems

A drinker of beer has 40 to 60% lower risk of having a heart attack than people who never drink.

8. Beer prevents formation of blood clots

The ingredients in beer prevent the formation of blood clots.

9. Beer improves memory

According to studies, beer drinkers have a lower risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia than non-beer drinkers.

10. Beer helps to fight against stress

Researchers at the University of Montreal found that two glasses of beer a day reduce stress or anxiety related to work.

11. Beer is a remedy against colds

Drinking warm beer is a very good remedy against colds! Indeed, the heated barley improves blood circulation and respiration, it also helps against joint pain and strengthens your immune system. How? Warm beer bottle in a water bath and then add four teaspoons of honey.

12. Beer makes the skin more beautiful

Good news for females! Some vitamins in beer regenerate the skin and play a positive role in the pigments. Your skin is smoother and more supple.

Convinced? So here we go! Two beers for memory, two for digestion, one for bones, once the kidneys and the rest to fight against the cold … Normally with that, we should be in good health, isn’t it? (Smile).
I’m joking of course, the idea is not to get drunk every night, but drinking a little beer foam from time to time and without excess!

Cheers! 🙂

A little warning: beer is a refreshing and pleasant drink, but it also has quite good amount of carbohydrates and is a calorie rich drink (440 cal / l). It should be avoided in all slimming diets and is contraindicated in obese patients. It is also not recommended to diabetic sufferers.

So consume beer moderately and responsibly.

Do you like drinking beer and do you approve peaple around you to enjoy this beverage? What are the effects that beer has on you when you drink it?
Share your your thoughts in the comments bellow.

healthy life

Homemade Laxative – Different Types and Ingredients of Laxatives for Curing Constipation.

Figs are known to have strong laxative effect
image source: grant cochrane/freedigitalphotos.net

A homemade laxative is a natural laxative(purgative). These laxatives are far better when compared to the commercial laxatives because they do not cause any kind of laxative dependency, and at the same time, these laxatives ensure colon health. In order to get relief from issues related to constipation, one can use laxatives as medicines.

Any kind of natural laxative is devoid of any side-effects, which can be very commonly seen in the commercial laxatives. These homemade laxatives are a natural cure against constipation.

Here are the main types of laxatives  that are available today:

Types of Laxatives for Curing Constipation

•    Saline laxatives:

These laxatives, also sometimes called osmotic laxative, are known for drawing extra fluid into the large intestine, which softens the stool and flushes out colon. The active component of this laxative is phosphate or magnesium, and thus, it can be very dangerous for people suffering from kidney failure. Milk of Magnesia is a very common example of saline laxative.

•    Bulk-forming laxatives:

This laxative draws water into the stool and makes the stool softer, larger and easier for passage. They are the only kind of laxative, which can be recommended for daily usage as they are considered the safest. Moreover, they work slowly and naturally stimulate the colon. Psyllium (Metamucil) and Methylcellulose (Citrucel) are few examples of the bulk-forming laxatives.

•    Stimulant laxatives:

These are the roughest of the types of laxatives as they make the bowel to contract when squeezing out the stool. When taken by suppository, these laxatives can work in about thirty minutes, but when taken in by mouth, they take seven hours to work. These laxatives should not be used for more than once in every three days. An example of the stimulant laxative is bisacodyl.

Ingredients for Homemade Laxatives

Laxative can be prepared at home by using very simple ingredients that are easily available at home. These can also help as a natural solution for losing excess weight but a natural laxative should not be frequently used for the weight loss purpose.

•    One of the most common ingredients used for making laxative at home is prune juice. The juice can be consumed in its own form or can be mixed with other beverages such as coffee or milk of magnesia for getting better results. This kind of mixture should be warmed up and then be consumed at night before going to bed.

•    Another very good homemade laxative is a mixture, which includes a quarter cup of pitted prunes, a quarter cup of raisins, a quarter cup of figs, one-quarter cup of dates or currants and finally, a quarter cup of prune concentrate. All these components should be blended by using a blender and then should be kept in the refrigerator. A daily dose of maximum four tablespoons should be consumed.

•    Licorice tea is also another good option.

•    Another mixture that can be used is half cup of senna tea mixed with two and a half cups of boiling water. Once the tea is drained, one ounce of figs, raisins and prunes are to be boiled in the tea for two minutes or so and after removing them, brown sugar and lemon juice should be added to make it into a smooth paste. This paste when consumed along with a toast makes a brilliant natural laxative.

So if you need help with cleansing of the bowel and want to prepare such remedy at home, then don’t worry, the homemade laxatives are very easy to prepare and works wonders for problems related to constipation.

Do you use such homemade laxatives? And if you do, please share your experience and useful tips in the comments bellow.

healthy life #nutrition

Purgative – an introduction to constipation alleviators, natural purgatives and laxatives.

Introduction to Purgatives

The term ‘bowel movement’ signifies the action of passing stool. Therefore, if a person is not able to experience adequate bowel movement, then he or she is said to be suffering from constipation.

Now, certain types of food or drugs can promote bowel movement mainly by loosening the stool or by allowing the contraction in the intestinal muscles to mobilize the solid waste towards the anal opening for extraction. Such a bowel voiding substance is termed as a purgative.

General Information On Purgatives

Purgative otherwise referred to as laxative or aperients can be a food, herbal extract, fluid, chemical compound or drug that you can take to loosen the stool. While a purgative medicine may be taken once in a while by an individual who is experiencing problems in passing stool, general food with purgative properties should be consumed on a daily basis in order to keep one’s bowel movement normalized.

Role, Working And Benefits Of Purgatives

The primary benefit of taking a purgative medication is for providing relief from constipation. Based on their manner of working, purgatives can be of different types. Some of the more prominent ones are described below along with their respective benefits:

Bulk-Forming Laxative: Deemed safe for long term use, these common laxatives are high in fiber content and work by increasing the overall mass of the stool while keeping it soft, so as to aid in bowel movement. The results are generally seen within 12 hours but in some it may even take 2-3 days.

Stool Softeners: Available in pill as well as liquid form, this class of purgative contains chemicals that add moisture to the stool. As such, stool softeners are especially helpful if you are suffering from constipation caused due to hardened stool. Considered safe for elderly as well as pregnant patients, the bowel relieving results of the purgative could take anywhere between 1-5 days to kick in.

Lubricant Laxative: Similar in action to stool softeners, these laxatives include the likes of mineral oil. Consumed orally, the purgative provides the stool with a water-proof coating, thereby softening it and promoting bowel movement within 6-8 hours.

Enemas: Administered via the rectum, enemas contain a mixture of cream and fluid for stimulating contractions. They provide quick relief from constipation and are used in hospitals prior to operations on the digestive tract.

Natural Purgatives

Natural purgatives primarily play a role in regulating bowel movements, and while some can be used for treating constipation, the relief effects will not be immediate as seen with laxative drugs. Different types of natural purgatives include:

Foods Rich In Dietary Fiber: These include the likes of whole grains, vegetables (both raw as well as green leafy ones), prunes, legumes, beans, peas, raisins and all such foods that are high on dietary fiber. Fiber cannot be processed by the body, but it does manage to increase the overall bulk of the solid waste while making it softer, thereby regularizing bowel movements.

Fluids: Water, coconut water and citric juices are fantastic laxatives that soften the stool. Water is perhaps the best of them all, given that it is readily available. Upon intake, the fluid effectively gathers wastes from different parts of the digestive system and guides them through for discharge in the form of stool. Similarly, coconut water cools the belly and softens hard stool for easy purging.

Aloe Vera And Omega-3 Oils: When the dried latex derived from the inner lining of aloe vera leaf is consumed orally, it acts as a natural form of lubricant laxative, and therefore promotes bowel voiding. Oils derived from olives, flax seeds and avocado also work in a similar manner when consumed in small amounts by mixing with citric juices.