Stress, drugs, abundant and fatty food or lack of fluids: the causes of constipation are many. But there are some digestive aids.
The digestive tract is a delicate system that gets easily out of balance. Almost everyone knows the unpleasant feeling when there is a rumbling in the stomach and intestines. Gastrointestinal specialists estimate that up to 30% of Germans suffer from constipation on a regular basis. Women in particular complain again and again about complaints.
A simple trick helps many of them: a glass of warm water in the morning. “Drank on an empty stomach, it sends a digestive impulse to the gastrointestinal system,” explains ecotrophologist Brigitte Neumann. After a short while it usually works with going to the bathroom.
Hot fennel or chamomile tea has an equally positive effect. Herbs also help
gas. A cup of coffee also stimulates intestinal activity. “Here, the caffeine contained has an additional stimulating effect on digestion and metabolism,” says Neumann.
In general, it is important to drink enough. It should be about two liters a day so that the intestines can function well and remain flexible. You should still have a little patience with your gut. It takes time to become active. Experts know that it can take up to ten minutes for anything to happen in the toilet.
Fiber also plays an important role in proper functioning of digestion. They ensure that the stool becomes more voluminous and soft. Flaxseed too. In combination with a sufficient amount of liquid, they swell and a layer of mucus forms around the seeds, which prevents the stool from becoming too compact. This prevents constipation. A tablespoon of flaxseed in muesli or two slices of flaxseed bread are enough for daily intestinal support. Flea seeds and chia seeds have a similar effect.
Oatmeal is also a true intestinal miracle. “Oat flakes are the ideal aid for digestion. In case of diarrhea, they bind toxins and thus ensure that they are quickly eliminated,” explains Neumann. “In case of constipation, they help to make the stool more elastic thanks to the fibers and mucilages they contain.” Here, too, a few spoonfuls a day are enough to benefit from the positive effect. Important: always drink enough, otherwise seeds and flakes cannot swell and block intestinal activity.
Portions that are too large, meals high in fat, sugary desserts: all of this represents a challenge for the gastrointestinal tract: those who know how to cook in a substantial and rich way should always incorporate some bitter substance.
“Bitter substances are among the secondary plant substances and are a balm for digestion,” explains Neumann. “They stimulate the flow of digestive juices such as gastric juice, bile and pancreatic secretions.” They are found in abundance in salads such as endive, chicory, rocket and radicchio, but also in artichokes and Brussels sprouts. Grapefruits are also rich in bitter substances.
The right salad dressing can help prevent bloating and constipation. “Fresh herbs like watercress, basil, dill, parsley and chives make any salad more digestible,” says Neumann. “Watercress counteracts flatulence, basil promotes digestion and dill soothes the stomach.”
A spoonful of it in the salad is enough for the beneficial effect. If you add a little vinegar, the stomach and intestines are additionally supported. You can also mix cumin or fennel seeds into the salad dressing if you like.
If you want a sweet and digestive snack between meals, you can use dried prunes. “The dietary fibers contained in the pulp and peel, as well as the so-called oligofructosaccharides, a special form of sugar, counteract constipation,” explains the expert. In addition, prunes contain pectin-like substances that swell in the intestines and stimulate digestion.
But be warned: With prunes, you should approach the amount slowly. At first, two or three fruits are enough. Why: Not everyone tolerates dried fruit. Some people react with flatulence and diarrhea.
Poor diet, stress and lack of fluids are not always the cause of digestive problems. The drugs can also block the intestines. The best known example is antibiotics. If you want to help your intestinal bacteria, you can use natural yogurt.
“Yoghurt and other acidified milk products such as quark and buttermilk create a healthy intestinal environment. They stimulate the growth of desirable lactobacilli and bifidobacteria,” says the nutritionist. One cup a day is enough.
If you eat a small bowl of muesli with flaxseeds, prunes, yoghurt and fresh fruit for breakfast and drink a large glass of warm water, your intestines will automatically go into feeding mode. If there is still a lot of movement, the intestine is cocked. Raw food in between is also good for him.