One of the first things I ask my clients is, how many bowel movements do you have per day? The answer is usually "Oh they are good! Healthy, just fine!" After some digging and education we soon uncover that they may not be going as frequently as they should be.
Let me paint a picture. Three cars drive into a car wash, how many come out? This is no trick question! Much like our food for every car in, a car must come out! In other words, food goes in, food comes out! Some people are totally humiliated and grossed out by this idea. Some even tell me "No, way! That is WAY too much!"
Not the case.
The problem today is that we are loading our bodies with inflammatory foods, continually consuming foods we are sensitive to and not doing regular maintenance on our bodies to aid in the detoxification of waste and toxins, therefore we get bunged up! That doesn't mean it is "normal", "healthy" or "just fine". It means we've got some work to do.
Here are some of the top foods that I recommend to get those bowels moving!
Vegetables & Fruits
Consume 6-9 cups (measured raw) vegetables and fruits every day. Aim to have 6-7 of these portions in vegetables and 2-3 in fruit. There is no need to over consume foods, but the concept is that this healthy category loaded with healthy fibers will crowd out the foods that are less nutrient dense.
Chia Seeds & Ground Flax Seeds
Chia and flax seeds are fabulous at helping get those bowels moving especially when dealing with stubborn hard stools. Both chia seeds and flax seeds absorb water and take on a gel like consistency. These can help with the formation of your stools while keeping them moist and easy to pass.
Chia seed puddings are an easy go to snack to increase your daily intake of fiber, omegas and help you keep those poops coming!
Sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, tempeh, miso and kombucha are all great examples of fermented foods. The fermenting process increases the nutrient content of the food, creating beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and various strains of probiotic. Interestingly there is increasing studies showing that improving the population of our friendly bacteria can cure cases of stubborn consipation.
"Beans, beans the wonderful fruit, the more you eat the more you toot! The more you toot the better you feel, so eat your beans at every meal!"
We've all heard it before. Need I say more?
While tooting up a storm may cause a giggle or two, it may not be the best selling feature. Before you evict beans from your diet, know that passing gas after beans can speak to the quality of bean or even whether they were soaked and properly prepared. Soaking your beans before cooking them removes the undigestable complex sugars that cause gas, plus beans are dirty, so wash 'em up would ya!
Beans are loaded with fiber! Women should be eating 25grams of fiber and men 38 grams of fiber per day. Good news is just a 1 cup of mixed beans will give you over 10 grams of fiber.
Beans have a great balance of soluble and insoluble fiber, which both help to keep foods moving through the intestines to relieve constipation.
Mexican Bean Salad
Makes 4-6 servings
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 juiced fresh lime
1 juiced fresh lemon
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss to combine.
Note: Can be frozen in a freezer bag and brought out as needed. Tastes delicious on top of rice, eggs or on its own.
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