Food Buying Guide to help you choose the right foods

foods to help with constipationComprehensive list with foods that are helpful when you suffer from Constipation.

In the case of constipation a healthy food intake is the best medicine. But to choose the right ones is not easy with the massive amount of food items reaching the shelves every year. It is hard enough for the food expert to determine the nutrient level of the different foods let alone for the average person. Manufactures do not always have to declare all the nutrients and so often you are left to guess how much fibre is in the food item.

How to Use the Following Info on Foods

On most items you can find:

  • Energy (kj or kcal)
  • Protein (g)
  • Carbohydrates (g)
  • Fat (g)

If you are lucky you also get information on:

  • Sugar
  • Fibre
  • Sodium
  • Unsaturated fatty acids

Products that have a long shelf life are either made with fats that are hard in nature like coco fat or saturated fats. These oils don't go rancid as quickly, but are heavy on the metabolism if you eat them in large quantities.

If items don't have any information on the fat content we assume that it is probably high, and that those items are also low in fibre.

The food list looks at each product in terms of nutrient density (the good things in it) per calorie or joule. Than we looked at the not so good things and set these two into proportion to determine if the food is recommended. In many cases the fiber content was very important but the general health value and impact on constipation was always kept in mind too.

This book is intended to look at the quality of the food and not at the calories.

It is up to you how much you eat and if you are skinny or do a lot of sport you can eat more than someone who has to watch their weight. In the section with meat etc it is best if you can reduce it to a minimum. Lucky are those who can skip the chapter with the sweets altogether.

We have sorted each chapter into:

  • Good Foods - Eat regularly of those, they are good for you
  • Basic Foods - These are generally ok
  • Occasional Foods - Try to avoid these all together or only have these occasionally
  • Luxury Foods - You can indulge in these foods maybe once a month or have tiny bits here and there if you have to.

If You Are On a Special Diet

You can combine this food table with your diet by simply comparing your allowed food list (eg. Blood-type diet) with this list and highlight the foods that will help you to overcome constipation in your existing food list of the special diet you are on.

General Tips Around Eating and Drinking

The following suggestions in everyday life will do your colon a big favour and get you on a path that will help with any metabolic problem and help to bring the blood values back to a optimal level.

Colon friendly veggies -
You can eat as many veggies as you like as they deliver a important combination of fibre and starch to the colon. If you eat a lot of animal products like meat, fish and cheese your colon will literally starve.

Always good -
Starchy foods like bread, pulses, noodles and potatoes should be part of every meal unless you eat double the amount of veggies. The easiest way to do this is to put a basket with bread on the table for every meal and take a little bit more rice noodles or potatoes than before.

Five times a day -
If summer or winter, eat every day one kg of veggies and fruit. Spread it over five meals a day. Always eat fruit separate from anything else. If you eat fruit and veggies regularly there will be no traffic jam in the colon. 3 pieces of fruit and a big serve of veggies and a serve of salad are enough for most people to keep their colon fit.

Drink lots -
The colon needs liquid. Have a glass of water or juice or herbal tea at least 5 times a day. Older people often forget that they need to drink because they are not thirsty. Others drink lots of alcohol, which dries the colon out. For this reason make sure you drink enough, if you suffer from constipation try drinking 2 litres of healthy drinks a day.

Eating -
1. Eat a diet composed of mainly unrefined foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds), drink at least 6 glasses of water daily, and get lots of exercise. This will avoid most colon problems.

2. Avoid too much spicy food, greasy food, animal fat. Keep oil, margarine, and sugar to a minimum.

3. Chew your food well, eat slowly.

4. Eating a high roughage, low refined carbohydrate diet, will do much for constipation.

5. Stay away from Cold drinks and food (frozen or direct out of the fridge).

6. In severe cases stay off all dairy for one month and see if your condition improves.

Drinking -
1. Upon rising, drink 1 glass of hot water with a squeeze of ½ a lemon. Lemon juice helps stimulate the liver to produce more bile, which is used by our body as a natural laxative reaction.

2. Drink more warm water instead of coffee or tea.

3. Dandelion Tea is great for your liver & kidneys.

4. Fresh juices, especially carrot, beetroot and spinach – good for constipation and liver.

Add some dandelion leaves, parsley or milk thistle leaves if you like. Don’t mix fruit and vegie juices!

5. Drinking 1/2 ltr of ocean water mixed with 1 ltr of distilled water upon rising will help with bowel movement.

6. Drinking aloe vera juice can help relieve constipation.

7. Ginger tea – helps speed up your metabolism.

8. Peppermint tea – helps with digestion and flatulence.

9. Oolong tea – helps to digest fat.

10. Fennel tea- helps with flatulence.

11. Green tea- good antioxidant

12. At night you might want to drink a glass of warm milk (un-homogenized!) with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, saffron and sugar. This helps digestion.

13. After dinner a cup of 'Takaram' assists digestion (1/4-cup yogurt blended with 1 cup of water with ½ teaspoon ginger and cumin seed powder, or other spices. Discard the frothy bit).

14. Never add honey to hot drinks; always have honey cold.

15. Sip warm water with meals if you like.

16. Minimize caffeine and alcohol.