Well, well, well Elite Fam– the time has come to talk about what we all do, but don’t want to talk about– Poop! Quality of life can be determined by how healthy your bowel movements are… maybe not EXACTLY, but you get the point. We won’t be getting into too many poopy details but we would like to talk about different things you can do or supplements you can take to help regulate bowel movements. The goal would be to have a regular bowel movement without strain, constipation, pain, or diarrhea. What is the single most important factor to consider for proper bowel movements? Fiber!
Fiber is essential for proper bowel movements. It is important to get enough fiber in your diet everyday. This will help keep your entire digestive tract clean and moving. We like to think of fiber as if you swallowed a big tooth brush, it will help clean out all those nooks and crannies, making sure you are disposing of waste matter and toxins. Here are ways to get more fiber everyday:
- Fiber Packed Foods:
- Cruciferous vegetables (lightly steamed)- broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts
- Leafy greens- spinach and kale
- Complex carbohydrates- brown rice and quinoa
- Fiber Supplement:
- Psyllium Husk Powder– This is a vigorous fiber that is good for temporary use or as needed. If you can’t stand the texture of drinking it you can also take it in capsule form as well
- Acacia Fiber– This a good fiber for anyone that has IBS or gut sensitivities and can be used as an every day fiber supplement.
- Triphala– Another great everyday fiber that can help get things moving and help with removing toxins.
*Fiber requires water to get it moving through the system so make sure you are drinking LOTS of water to help the process.
Aloe Vera Juice
Taking aloe vera juice internally will help strengthen and tighten all your internal tissue. It can even help soften the bowel movements. Aloe contains latex which can have a laxative effect, so make sure it contains minimal aloin/latex to avoid a messy situation. The goal is to strengthen your digestive track and not just depend on a laxative to do the job.
Soothing Herbal Teas
There are many soothing herbal teas that can help keep your entire digestive track at ease– which will relax the inner muscles and help for a smooth ride out.
- Fennel Tea– This herb can help with gas as well as relieve stomach/intestinal cramping/discomfort. It is fantastic to drink before a meal or after a meal to settle the churning down. This herb can help relieve symptoms from IBS.
- Chamomile Tea– This herb is better known to induce sleepiness (which can be true), but it can also be a great bowel relaxer. It can also help relieve uncomfortable symptoms from IBS and help with the digestive process.
- Ginger Tea– This tea can be nice before or after a meal to settle the stomach. It can be beneficial for the entire digestive system because it can increase the absorbency of nutrients from the food you eat. Plus, it can help to reduce systemic inflammation (which helps the WHOLE body).
There are so many probiotics to choose from that it can be confusing. Generally speaking, you would want a high potency probiotic— 50 billion organism or above. Research has shown that Bifidobacterium longum, a specific type of probiotic strain, can help with constipation. Couple probiotics with aloe for a gut rehabilitation regimen. (Travel with shelf stable probiotics to avoid the likeliness of constipation)
Other Things to Consider
- Consider your liver- if your liver is NOT performing in tip top shape your whole digestive tract will be off. The following can help purify the liver:
- Try taking a digestive enzyme with your food- these can be a game changer for anyone that has a hard time digesting their food. When you have proper enzymes for the type of food you are eating i.e. fats, dairy, wheat, etc., you are already off to a good start. Their job is to break down proteins for absorption, energy, and more.
- Consider avoiding foods that are known allergens or hard to digest like wheat, dairy, eggs, etc. Also try to limit refined sugar intake.
- Try all of the above options before you consider a laxative, whether it be natural or over the counter. These can be harsh for long time use and can have side effects.
We hope you learned a little bit about making things move after you swallow your food. There are many things you can do to help increase the liveliness of your bowels (especially incorporating certain yoga poses). We only listed a handful…
As always, do what you feel is best for YOUR body– if you aren’t sure, ask your doctor. We are health ENTHUSIASTS not licensed practitioners.