When I first went paleo my body definitely went through an interesting adjustment period. As I incorporated healthy fats and fiber of all kinds into my diet, I thought I would have absolutely no issues with something like my bowel movement regularity.
Now, I know this may be a taboo topic for people, but let’s take that out of the picture for now. We all know everyone poops and that there can be irregularities with our digestive systems that may be difficult to talk to others about, and not to mention can really mess with how our bodies are feeling.
Are you constipated? Or irregular? I promise, I know this sounds like a TV ad, but you are not alone! I tried several natural things in my life to combat bowel movement irregularity. Incidentally combining most of these things is really what helped me get my rhythm back. (I know you may have just laughed at that statement, I definitely did while writing it.)
There can be a variety of things causing your irregularity. We all know our bodies are complex functioning beings, so trying to narrow down what the culprit is can be overwhelming.
Common reasons why a majority of the population experience constipation include:
- Consuming a Standard American Diet resulting in lack of necessary nutrients
- Lack of quality fat in diet
- Lack of insoluble and soluble fiber
- Soluble fiber : absorbs water allowing stool to pass through the digestive system. This fiber also helps you feel fuller. Things like apples, root veggies, and berries have a decent amount of soluble fiber in them.
- Insoluble fiber : does not dissolve in water, adding mass to your stool helping you stay regular. Insoluble fiber is found in some of the leafier greener veggies, like broccoli, kale and collards. Insoluble fiber can mess with your skin though, check out how here.
So there are a few common things that can be causing irregularity, but that’s okay! These are situations that frequent a lot of our lives, but they don’t have to force us into constant irregularity.
Check out the following tips on staying regular:
- Incorporate Probiotics :
These are both NECESSARY for healthy gut flora. Try eating more kimchi, sauerkraut or drinking kombucha. Or you can supplement. My fave probiotic supplement can be found here.
- Exercise : This is pretty self explanatory. If you have ever experienced the awful realization that you have to go, and now, while on a run, you know that movement has a systematic way of keeping us regular. You don’t have to do cardio to poo though, even gentle movements like yoga or walking can help your body initiate and ease the process of digestion.
- Hydrate : Water is a necessary component to our digestion process. It is pretty easy to get dehydrated, and without proper water consumption our bodies cannot complete necessary processes like pooing. If you often forget to hydrate, grab a transportable, durable water bottle like this one, to encourage you to drink all the water.
- Eliminate your amount of caffeine consumption : Caffeine is a diuretic, another common culprit of dehydration. If you are loading up on the caffeinated beverages and not getting enough water, you are equally putting yourself at risk of reduced bowel movements. Try focusing on one or two caffeinated beverages a day.
- Magnesium Supplements : You know I am a huge supporter of supplementing with Magnesium. Magnesium will relax muscle tension and anxiety which can also help if you are experiencing stress induced constipation. Magnesium also works to push water into your stool, allowing the stool to pass more freely. Some magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea because of their immediate effect on the digestive system. This supplement is gentler on the gut and shouldn’t have that affect.
- Squatty Potty : These pretty ridiculous but awesome pooing stools are well known to help our bowel movements move along. There is form that is important to have a proper poop! This form includes squatting like our paleo ancestors. Get one here.
- Fiber! : Like I had mentioned above, fiber deficiencies can seriously mess with our regularity. It is important to have a balance of soluble and insoluble fiber though. If you are having trouble getting enough fiber in your diet, you can add in a supplement like this one. As with everything, if you can obtain the fiber from eating a rainbow of vegetables and fruit, that is always preferred over supplementing.
As we review some of these things that can help with our irregularity, it is important to note balance, as always, is key. Incorporating healthy amounts of fiber into your diet is fantastic, but if you are stressed every single day the fiber may not help. We need to review our symptoms in a holistic way, and really analyze what is going on in our life that may be affecting our natural internal processes.
I hope this helps, as always let me know how you are doing! Or if you have any other successful tips on improving irregularity, leave me a note in the comments section!.