This awesome guest post was written by Michelle Ackerman, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Coach! You can check out her website here!
Constipation is a condition we’ve all heard about. Fifteen percent of Americans struggle with chronic constipation. Common signs of constipation are a swollen abdomen, not having daily bowel movements, and straining to have bowel movements (hard stools that are difficult to pass).
Chronic constipation is not only uncomfortable and sometimes painful but also raises your chances of significant health problems. There are additional conditions that can come along with constipation. Some of the more serious ones are colorectal cancer and gastric cancer.
What Causes Chronic Constipation?
(Watch this for amazing tips on relieving constipation with acupressure!)
There are many reasons one may suffer from constipation. The lack of fibre and water in ones diet may be the first reason that comes to mind. While these things are the common reasons some of us suffer from constipation, there are other causes you may not know about.
Food sensitivities/allergies and gut health can also cause chronic constipation. The first step is to find out what foods are causing inflammation in your body. This can be done in different ways, the simplest being a food elimination diet. The second step is to remove the inflammatory food and replace it with healing foods to heal your body from the inside out.
The next step after removing the allergen is to heal the gut. Healing the gut can be simple or it can be complicated. The first logical step would be to start taking a good quality probiotic. If constipation has become a chronic ailment for you, it would be a good idea to consult with a functional medicine doctor, health practioner or nutritionist to find the core problem so the healing can begin and more serious health conditions can be avoided.
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Top 5 ways to prevent constipation:
- Stay hydrated by drinking water
- Eat a high fiber diet everyday
- Regular exercise daily
- Take a good quality probiotic
- Eliminate food-causing inflammation
We all know the good ole old-fashioned prunes can relieve constipation, but have you considered the delicious date to be a good alternative? Dates are an excellent natural source to help us through the occasional troubles of constipation. The date is believed to be the oldest form of food known to man.
Dates are a deliciously sweet, small, powerful package that holds many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-cancer compounds. Some of these are B vitamins, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, iron, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. Dates also have 64% more potassium than bananas. Dates have a very high amount of soluble fibre and natural sodium/electrolytes. The fibre and sodium in dates is a perfect combination to help prevent and relieve constipation.
With all these facts by my side, I created what I think is the perfect drink to aid in the temporary relief of constipation. Dates alone provide effective relief of constipation.
However, I wanted to maximize the benefits that dates have to offer. To maximize the absorption of all the vitamins and minerals, fat was needed. Dietary fat, which is fat from food we eat, is necessary for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
I found this fat in coconut milk. Warming spices are used in many cultures to aid in digestion as well. For that reason, I finished off this magical elixir with ginger, cardamom, turmeric and cinnamon.
With all these components working together, your body wont miss out on absorbing one single nutrient. Enjoy!
Spiced date coconut milk
- 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk or homemade
- 4 large medjool dates pitted
- 1/8-teaspoon ginger
- 1/8-teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8-teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Very small pinch of sea salt
Boil approximately 2 cups of filtered water. Pour over pitted dates.
Soak the dates for about one hour or until softened but not falling apart. Remove dates from water. Put dates, coconut milk, spices, and salt in a high-speed blender until all ingredients are well blended and frothy. Slightly warm over medium heat, avoid boiling. Pour in favorite mug and enjoy!
This recipe also doubles as a super rich and delicious coffee creamer!
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