Good Morning, and welcome to the first weekend of spring! Finally!
Many of you have recently asked me about a very personal “health ailment”. Constipation. Now, as you all should know by now, I am not here to write about unpleasant topics simply for their potential shock value. Although it does seem to help those would-be perusers to become more avid readers when the installment’s title catches the eye.
Be that as it may, I am here to provide you with the most accurate information necessary to help make your body as healthy as you would like it to be. And, like it or not, I am sure not, we all have had, and will have, to deal with this “irregularity” of our system from time to time. So, if you want to limit your elimination problems, sit back, relax and enjoy the read.
Like with anything, in order to avoid something, one must know what may lead to what is trying to be avoided. So, what is and how does one avoid being constipated?
Constipation is caused by opioid peptides in products that contain wheat (breads and pastas) and “raw” proteins like (milk, cheese and yogurt), as well as beta-carbolines which are commonly found in pre-made foods (i.e. frozen, refrigerated or off-the-shelf) – all of which, as you know, I am not a fan of for any reason.
In fact, did you know a diet mainly consisting of pre-made food probably means your intestines are filled with a layer of undigested remnants of that food? And, over time, these remnants, which are still in the form of energy (aka calories), get absorbed into your bloodstream at night when body-fat is normally transformed into available energy (due to the secretion of growth hormone) and can actually cause you to gain weight because the “remnants” stymie the fat-to-energy conversion process? On the other hand, if your intestinal walls are clean, you will actually burn extra body-fat for up to two hours every night while you sleep. Do you still wanna reach for that Marie Callender’s frozen entrée?
So, now that you’ve been informed of the perils of consuming such foods, if you struggle with limited bowel movements, cut down or “eliminate” them immediately!
Other ways to avoid becoming constipated:
Make sure your diet contains “high quality” FAT. Yes, Fat! Unfortunately, I don’t think this is a problem for most of you. But it’s important to remember that fats help loosen stools and speed up the digestive process.
Don’t drink water with or immediately after meals. This is especially true for when eating sushi. Because the sodium in the fish and bloating effect of the rice traps the water in your “belly” delaying you body’s digestion. Rather, drink distilled or spring water generously (at least three quarts) throughout the day up to 15 minutes before meals or at least 1 hour after meals.
Don’t have a breakfast, dessert, or any meal, which includes a banana along with a cup of coffee. Eaten together, they commonly cause gas and abdominal cramps.
Limit potatoes and other starchy foods as they too reduce trips to the bathroom.
If you are eating a protein, and typically suffer from constipation, it is best to wait before consuming sugar (i.e. fruit). Why? Proteins have seniority in the stomach and take three or more hours to digest. Sugars digest quickly. But in the presence of a protein, they take a backseat and have to wait resulting in the prevention of the digestive enzymes for the sugars to be triggered. Therefore, sugars will eventually leave your stomach fermented and partially digested causing discomfort. In addition, you will not get the benefit of the “fuel” your body yearns for from these simple carbohydrates.
Now, I can’t say that if you follow everything I just laid out you’ll never suffer from constipation again. However, I can tell you that if you take note of what you eat and drink when you do become irregular, you’ll learn to identify what dietary changes you need to make personally to get back into the “flow”.
Oh, and on this date in history (March 24, 1989) – Worst US oil spill, Exxon’s Valdez spills 11.3 mil gallons off Alaska.