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Tummy troubles

health-and-fitness Updated: Jun 17, 2010 15:42 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times
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What’s supposed to happen first thing in the morning without much effort sometimes requires laxatives. The condition is called constipation, and it’s brought about by drastic changes in lifestyle, dependence on refined foods and low consumption of fibre-rich foods and water.

What is constipation?
Although some of us do get constipated periodically, many suffer from a chronic constipation problem. A holistic diet and changes in lifestyle can help rid it.

Lesser than three bowel movements a week is a sign of constipation. When severe, a person may have less than one bowel movement a week too, caused due to improper food habits. Sometimes, serious medical conditions like tumors in the colon may also be responsible.

Get some relief
Beetroot is a liver cleanser and has laxative properties. High-fibre foods like carrots, tomatoes and spinach, too, regulate bowel movement and eliminate toxins from the digestive system.

Beet contains B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Homemade tomato juice contains nutrients such as vitamin C and lycopene which support your digestive health and ease stomach disorders.

Tips to prevent it
Hydrate your system with at least 8-10 glasses of water.
Use spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric powder, fennel and asafoetida as they aid in digestion.
Have at least one glass of vegetable juice every day.
Have whole grain foods such as chapatis, parathas, sprouts and beans, and include oats in your diet.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre