Constipation is a problem most people have encountered on some occasion or another. According to WebMD, constipation has a wide range of causes, including such disorders as irritable bowel syndrome and Parkinson's disease. However, constipation most often has underlying issues related to diet. For example, eating too much dairy or not drinking enough water can cause constipation. So can a sedentary lifestyle.
While you may be tempted to reach for a laxative, Mayo Clinic warns of the dangers of relying on laxatives. Long-term use can lead to decreased bowel function. In the short-term, laxatives can prevent the body from absorbing other medications and key nutrients. That's why we recommend you try these 9 natural remedies for immediate relief:
1. Drink warm liquids. Starting the day with warm liquids, like coffee or tea, can help jump-start the digestive system, says WebMD. Make sure to counter the dehydrating effects of caffeinated beverages by drinking an extra 2- 4 glasses of water daily.
2. Prunes and bran cereal. For further morning help, WebMD recommends a breakfast of prunes and fiber-rich bran cereal.
3. Olive oil. Think of olive oil in your body like petroleum oil in a car. It gets things moving. This is why Everyday Roots recommends drinking 1 tablespoon olive oil on an empty stomach in the morning. If the olive oil is too strong for your liking, try diluting the taste with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
4. Lemon water. You know how a scent can sometimes trigger a memory, or perhaps a bodily reaction? According to Everyday Roots, the smell of lemon works as a stimulant for the digestive system. Drink a mixture made from the juice of 1 lemon and 1 cup warm water.
5. Blackstrap molasses. Everyday Roots recommends drinking 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses to loosen things up. It works because molasses has a high concentration of magnesium, a mineral known to treat constipation.
6. Flaxseeds. This superfood works wonders on the digestive system. Health Essential recommends mixing flaxseeds in with your morning bran cereal or drinking them with water.
7. Spinach and orange. Blend spinach with warm water and fresh orange juice to help clean your intestinal tract, says Health Essential.
8. Baking soda. Health Essential says baking soda is among the best home remedies for constipation. Drink 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed in 1/4 cup warm water for fast relief.
9. Exercise. When you sit, everything sits. Health Essential says one of the simplest and most effective methods for constipation relief is exercise. Even such light exercise as walking can make a monumental difference.
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