Perhaps not our most glamorous topic... but useful, nonetheless. For - at one time or another - things seem to get backed up in those intestines of ours, leaving us feeling bloated, uncomfortable and just plain old gross. Before you reach for the ex-lax, which has the habit of becoming habit forming and can actually damage your goods for good, give one of these natural laxatives a chance. You may be surprised that all you need is a little dietary shift to get things moving again - and come back to your regular ol' self.
1. First, are you really constipated? Modern lore would have you believe that a healthy person should have three earth-shattering bowel movements a day. But, in fact, as we are all different, it could be perfectly healthy for you to only move your bowels three times a week (but no less!). So, don't psych yourself into supposed chronic constipation.
2. As always, make sure you're consuming enought water. Eight glasses a day is not only an excellent idea for overall health and wellbeing, but also helps moisten the intestines so that the bowels move more freely.
3. Make sesame seeds your snack of choice: These seeds provide roughage and bulk, and they soften the contents of the intestines in order to make elimination easier. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over your salads and other foods, making sure to eat no more than 1/2 ounce daily, and drink lots of water with them. Take it in tahini form, and you'll have no problem getting your fill.
4. Are you slow as molasses? Well, somewhat ironically, we recommend 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses before going to bed to speed things along. Let it be said that molasses is a caloric whopper and shouldn't be taken too often. But as a once-in-a-while remedy, this sticky, thick liquid should encourage things to start moving through the body. Add it to your favorite kind of milk (almond, hemp, soy, etc) or juice. And on those desperate occasions, you can mix it into prune juice to astounding effect.
5. Fiber, fiber and more fiber. Sometimes, a little extra dietary fiber is all you need to ensure regularity. Fiber, the indigestible parts of plant foods, adds mass to the stool and stimulates the colon to push things along. You'll find fiber naturally and plentifully in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans (although refining and processing can significantly decrease a food's fiber content). Our Backyard Brawl Baked Beans Recipe is sure to do the trick - and you can sprinkle some of those sesame seeds over the top!