Natural laxatives to combat constipation

Natural laxatives are foods that improve intestinal transit due to their high fiber and water content, helping to avoid constipation. Some of these foods are: papaya, orange, prunes and oats.
In addition to promoting intestinal health, these foods have the advantage that they do not harm the intestinal flora and do not make the body get used to them, as is the case with laxatives sold in pharmacies; or that irritate the intestine, as occurs with some natural plants such as aloe or senna.
Staying hydrated throughout the day helps prevent and alleviate constipation, as it keeps feces hydrated, making them softer; as well as regular physical activity, since it allows to stimulate bowel movements and facilitate the excretion of feces.

Foods with laxative properties

Some of the most widely used natural laxatives that can be easily included in the diet to combat constipation are:
·         Fruits : plum, papaya, kiwi, orange, mango, fig, avocado, strawberry, tangerine, walnuts, prunes and raisins;
·         Vegetables: lettuce, arugula, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, and zucchini;
·         Legumes: lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, beans;
·         Cereals : oats, oat bran, barley, rye, wheat bran, corn;
·         Probiotics such  as yogurt or kefir, which help maintain healthy intestinal flora. 
·         Seeds: chia, sunflower, linseed and sesame;
·         Nuts: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews;
·         Natural plants : burdock tea, licorice root tea, aloe juice, and cascara sagrada.
In addition to including these foods, it is important to consume 1.5 L to 2 L of water per day, because it hydrates the fiber of the food and facilitates the passage of stool through the intestine. 

Sample menu to combat constipation

The table below contains an example menu of 3 days, characterized by being rich in fibers and including natural laxatives to combat constipation: 
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
1 cup of coffee with milk + 1 slice of whole wheat bread with cheese and sesame
Smoothie with 2 slices of papaya + 1 tablespoon of oatmeal + 1/2 tablespoon of chia + 200 ml of milk
1 glass of plain yogurt with 3 prunes + 1 slice of wholemeal bread with egg
Morning snack
3 prunes + 5 units of cashew
1 glass of beet juice with orange + 10 peanuts
2 slices of papaya, crushed with 2 teaspoons of chia
Lunch dinner
4 tablespoon brown rice with broccoli + chicken in natural tomato paste + vegetables sautéed in olive oil
Whole wheat pasta with tuna + pesto sauce + salad with cabbage, raisins, eggplant and zucchini
Pumpkin puree + 100 g of turkey breast + raw green salad with olive oil and corn
Afternoon snack
1 natural smoothie yogurt with lemon and 1 tablespoon of honey
1 cup of coffee + 2 slices of wholemeal bread with egg + 1 teaspoon of sesame

Avocado smoothie

The amounts included in the menu vary according to age, sex, physical activity and if you have any associated disease or not, so the ideal is to go to a nutritionist for a complete evaluation and prepare a nutritional plan appropriate to your needs. 

Natural laxatives for babies

The most natural way to treat constipation in babies, at any age, is to offer water several times throughout the day, to keep the body well hydrated and soften the stool. However, after 6 months, laxative foods can also be included in the baby's diet.
Some of the most common examples include foods like:
·         Fruits : pear, plum, peach, apricot, papaya, avocado, fig, watermelon, mango, pineapple;
·         Legumes : peas, lentils, and beans:
·         Vegetables : zucchini, tomato, cucumber. cabbage, spinach, sweet potato or sweet potato, leafy vegetables;
·         Cereals : Whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and corn;
·         Plain yogurt (in babies over 1 year) or special yogurts for babies from 6 months of age.
Babies need less fiber than adults, consuming only small amounts per day of the foods mentioned above.
Laxative teas with cascara sagrada or senna leaves should be avoided, as they cause irritation of the intestine and can cause excessive colic and discomfort for the baby. Therefore, the teas should only be used under the pediatrician's indication.
In addition to food, a series of massages can be carried out on the baby's tummy, not only to relieve colic, but also to stimulate the functioning of the intestine and the transit of feces.

Juices to combat constipation

The 3 recipes listed below are easy to prepare to help fight constipation and can be used in both children and adults:

1. Beet juice with orange

The beet juice with orange should be taken before the main meals, since it is rich in fibers that will promote bowel movement, facilitating the exit of feces. 
·         1/2 beet;
·         1 glass of natural orange juice.
Preparation method
Slice the raw or cooked beets and blend together with the orange juice. Drink 250 ml 20 minutes before lunch and dinner for 3 days in a row.

2. Papaya and orange juice

The papaya and orange juice can be taken at any time of the day, having more effect when taken at breakfast.
·         1 cup of orange juice;
·         1 slice of papaya;
·         3 prunes
Preparation method
Remove the seeds of the papaya and the prunes and blend all the ingredients, drink next. 

3. Grape juice with flaxseed

Grape juice with flaxseed should be taken daily on an empty stomach, but the frequency should be decreased when the intestine begins to work, starting to drink the juice one day yes and one no or twice a week. 
·         1 glass of natural juice, prepared without removing the seeds from the grapes;
·         1 tablespoon of flaxseed.
Preparation method
Whisk all the ingredients in the blender and drink immediately. It is also possible to use chia or sunflower seeds instead of flaxseed.

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