How can I improve my digestive problem

Constipation: 7 Expert Tips for Healthy Digestion


Body knowledge

How often you have a bowel movement is very individual: anything between three times a day and three times a week is normal. It only becomes a concern when you can go to the toilet even less often or when your habits suddenly change. Doctors then speak of constipation, i.e. constipation that is usually associated with an uncomfortable feeling of fullness. A few practical tips can help you get your digestion going again.

Jam in the colon - this is how constipation develops

Your intestines have the important job of filtering the nutrients out of the food. At the end of this digestive process, your large intestine removes the liquid from the unused food pulp. These residues thicken and are then excreted. However, if the stool remains in the colon for too long, it dries up and hardens. This makes excretion more difficult and can lead to blockages. There are many causes of constipation. With the right diet and a healthy lifestyle, you can support your intestines in their activities and keep them fit.

Gently loosen blockages and prevent them effectively

If you repeatedly suffer from constipation, you should get to the bottom of the cause. If you can rule out diseases as the cause, constipation is uncomfortable, but harmless. Above all, a healthy lifestyle will help you get your bowels going again and prevent constipation in the future. A diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and sufficient fluids plays a key role in this. But factors such as exercise and relaxation can also have a major impact on the work of your bowel.

7 tips that can bring your bowel movements back into balance

1. High fiber diet

Prefer foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, nuts, legumes, vegetables, and fruits - especially berries and dried fruits. The German Nutrition Society recommends that adults consume at least 30 grams of fiber per day. These swell in the intestine and increase the volume of the stool, which can stimulate intestinal activity.

2. Drink enough

Drink enough to allow fiber to swell - at least 1.5 to 2 liters per day. The most suitable are water, unsweetened tea, vegetable or diluted fruit juices. Adequate fluid intake can improve stool consistency and prevent constipation.

3. Routine: gastrocolic reflex

Create a routine and eat healthy snacks regularly, for example. Because about half an hour after eating, the so-called gastrocolic reflex sets in. To put it simply: In the colon, food intake triggers contractions that ultimately lead to bowel movements.

4. Stimulate your body with exercise and massage

Integrate a lot of movement into your everyday life, because frequent and long periods of sitting make the bowel sluggish. Whenever possible, take a walk or leave the car more often. You can also stimulate bowel movements with a targeted stomach massage. Due to the location of the colon, you should always massage clockwise.

5. Go to the bathroom immediately

Go to the bathroom immediately as soon as you feel the urge. Repressing the urge to defecate can lead to constipation.

6. Healthy oils

Olive oil is considered a home remedy for constipation. The oil strengthens the flow of bile and thus facilitates the digestive process. Three tablespoons of cold-pressed vegetable oils a day, for example in a salad dressing or as a dip, can have a digestive effect.

7. Natural laxatives

Many natural helpers have a laxative effect and support bowel evacuation. Foods like plum juice, dried figs, sauerkraut or apples get your bowels going again. Caffeine and teine ​​can also have a stimulating effect on the intestines. On the other hand, drugs, chocolate, white bread or bananas can have a braking effect.

Natural laxatives - you should know that

Herbal digestive aids such as linseed or flea seeds bind the water contained in the intestine. This makes the stool softer, accelerates intestinal transit and increases the volume of the stool. This promotes bowel movement and triggers the stretching stimulus, which in turn leads to emptying. For the desired effect, you should definitely drink enough so that the seed coats can swell well.

Important: In the normal state, only a third of the colon empties and refills by the next day. If you help your bowels a little on the jumps, it can empty significantly more than usual. Then it can take up to three days to fill up again. Therefore, you shouldn't get nervous straight away if you don't have a bowel movement the next day.

Diet and exercise are essential to good bowel health. Certain foods and a sedentary lifestyle can be reasons why the bowel is weak. Our nutrition experts will be happy to advise you should you need additional tips and suggestions. And how exactly the human intestine works, we have explained in our video about the intestine.

Please note that this article cannot replace a visit to the doctor. In the event of pain or acute symptoms, you should definitely consult a doctor.

Your AOK Hessen wishes you good health.