Having a diet that’s lacking in fiber, not drinking enough fluids throughout the day, inadequate physical activity or exercise — we all know that these things can leave you constipated. Are you aware that being deficient in certain vitamins can also lead to irregular bowel movements?
So if you know that you are getting enough fiber, fluids and exercise everyday but it seems like you are not having that urge to step foot in the bathroom regularly, you may not be getting enough of the following:
Other than possessing incredible antioxidant properties, did you know that vitamin C also boasts of mild laxative properties? It works like this: your body can only absorb a certain amount of vitamin C, and the rest stays in the gut and attracts more fluid, thus softening the stools and promoting their removal.
Food sources of vitamin C like oranges, kiwis, papayas, broccoli and dark leafy greens are also loaded with fiber, one more nutrient that helps prevent constipation. With the combination of vitamin C and fiber, your bowel movement can become as normal as possible.
Also sometimes referred to as pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 helps in the regulation of the involuntary contractions of the inner walls of the gut, something that is referred to in the medical world as peristalsis. By ensuring normal peristaltic action of the GI tract, vitamin B5 can help in saving you from ending up constipated.
There are good amounts of vitamin B5 in foods such as mushrooms, broccoli, corn, avocados and sun-dried tomatoes. Lots of the said vitamin may also be obtained from salmon. While chicken liver is a phenomenal source of vitamin B5, its consumption should be limited as it’s also very high in bad cholesterol.
Most people know vitamin B9 as folic acid or folate. This member of the B vitamin family helps promote regular bowel movement by encouraging the production of digestive acids. Through such, the breakdown of foods is facilitated, saving your GI tract from having a hard time eliminating them eventually.
Fortunately, there are numerous food sources of folic acid, such as black-eyed peas and spinach. Many food products are also fortified with it, helping to combat constipation if they are included in your diet on a regular basis. It’s only a good idea to take folic acid supplements only when your doctor tells you to do so.
What makes vitamin B1 very good at keeping constipation from striking is the fact that it aids the GI tract digest foods so much better. By encouraging the breakdown of foods, eliminating them becomes easier. As a bonus, vital nutrients in the food you eat can be absorbed much more efficiently.
It’s no secret that whole grains help promote regular bowel movement because they are loaded with fiber. But did you know that part of the reason why they are very good at preventing constipation is they have vitamin B1, too? Other good sources of the said vitamin are macadamia nuts, soybeans, beef and eggs.
Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is another nutrient that helps in promoting regular bowel movement. Medical experts say that being deficient in this nutrient can leave you constipated. What’s more, such can also cause many other problems such as nausea and fatigue since vitamin B12 is involved in energy production.
Luckily, you can obtain excellent amounts of vitamin B12 from both animal and plant food sources. This only means that vegan or not, you can stave off having bouts of constipation. Some foods that pack vitamin B12 are red meat, liver, eggs, fish, shellfish, crabs, milk, cheese and many products fortified with it.