Beat constipation by: Eating bowel promoting foods such as flax, ginger and fish oil.

Beat constipation by: Eating bowel promoting foods such as flax, ginger and fish oil.

In addition to the prunes and fruit we are going to introduce you to a few other foods that are great bowel stimulators and digestive aids.

Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are one of our favourite foods and a great source of fibre. You can sprinkle them on your breakfast or over salads and vegetables. Grinding them in a seed or coffee grinder will also make them a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids and other nutrients. In addition to the fibre, the shell of the flax seed swells and expands when in contact with water forming a thick glutinous liquid known as mucilage. This mucilage is serves as a lubricant for the stools and is very soothing, assisting in the healing of of the gut. To get the benefit of the mucilage, you can make yourself some ‘flaxseed tea’ by soaking one teaspoon of flaxseeds in a quarter cup of warm water. You can then drink the water with or without the seeds, if you drink the water with the seeds you get the added benefit of the fibre. Alternatively, just let them soak a bit on your breakfast.

Ginger is a tasty way to combat constipation! Ginger contains compounds that stimulate peristalsis as well as the secretion of saliva and gastric juices including bile. It is carminative and helps treat flatulence, inflammation and intestinal spasms. It is antiparasitic, antifungal and antibacterial. It is also famous for helping lessen nausea. The easiest way to get ginger in is adding a few slices to your herbal tea. It is very tasty with mixed with lemon and honey. You can also add it to your cooking or to vegetable juice.

Aloe speeds up the metabolism and naturally stimulates the bowels, softens the stools and stimulates colon cleansing. In addition to this aloe is anti-inflammatory, soothing, accelerates would healing, purifies the blood and liver, is a strong anti-oxidant, fights intestinal parasites and fungi and encourages collagen formation (which is a great for youthfull looking skin). You can drink aloe juice, buy aloe supplements or harvest your own aloe from a nearby garden. Note that many commercial aloe juices have been pasteurised thus reducing their healing benefits. Be carefull to avoid the aloe bitters or aloin. This is a compound found in the skin of the leaf that is a digestive irritant and laxative, it may be added to some herbal laxative supplements. To harvest your own aloe, cut one of the aloe leaves at the bottom of the plant with a sharp knife. Then proceed to slice out the inner gel like substance. Rinse your slices to remove any aloin that may have leaked out the skin of the leaf. Aloin is brown in colour and easy to recognise. You can add your aloe slice to smoothies or juices and enjoy it. A usefull tip is to cut the aloe up into smaller blocks and freeze it for future use.

Fish oil is helpfull for reducing inflammation of the gatro-intestinal tract. It also softens the stool and gives usefull lubrication. It is a fantastic source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is needed fulfil a multitude of functions in the body. You can eat oily fish 2-3 times a week or use a supplement.