Combating Constipation: How to eat your way to comfort

Constipation is a common woe for pregnant women and non pregnant women alike. Not only is it generally widespread in our society, but during pregnancy hormones and the expanding uterus cause decreased bowel activity and tone. Constipation can come with a variety of ailments including indigestion, headaches, nausea, skin issues and poor mineral absorption. In some cases, it can also be a contributing factor in toxemia. I share this not to stress you out (remember, the body has remarkable ways of protecting itself) but to remind you that you don’t need to resign to the discomfort. Here are some natural ways to find some relief and prevent complications.

While enemas and laxatives may provide some temporary support for those not with child, they are not advised during pregnancy as it can lead to dehydration. There are some easy lifestyle adjustments that can be made in conjunction with exercising more and drinking lots of fluids. Try eating smaller meals and paying more attention to how you are chewing. So often we gobble down our meal, that we miss out on all of the flavors and textures nature has to offer, let alone the opportunity for proper nutrient absorption. I challenge you to really wine taste your food. No need to count your chews, but try holding off from swallowing until your food has been masticated to liquid. If you are munching on something like nuts, eat one at a time instead of a handful. See what happens. In terms of diet, many people know the best way to avoid constipation is to cut down on processed foods, eat whole grains, consume raw veggies and lots of fruit (with the skin!), and other high fiber foods. What many people don’t know is the best way to actually put these ideas into practice. So, I created Anti-Constipation Bread- which I know doesn’t sound the most appetizing, but is actually supremely delicious. You get fiber from the bran and prunes, omegas from the flax, and probiotics from the yogurt. Plus, instead of sugars that wreak havoc on blood sugar levels, you’ll get an iron boost from the molasses and minimal impact from the coconut nectar.

Anti-Constipation Bread

2 large handfuls of prunes

1.5 cup spelt flour

1 cup wheat bran

2/3 cup water

2 tbsp flaxseed

1/6 cup coconut nectar

1/6 cup blackstrap molasses

2 organic eggs from a grass-fed source

1 cup organic plain greek yogurt from a grass-fed source

1.5 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil water and add wheat bran. Stir and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Chop prunes.

Mix all other ingredients together.

Pour batter into pre-greased bread tin (or muffin tins would work too).

Bake for about 20 minutes (depending upon oven).

Enjoy warm.

Chia seeds are also a wonderful natural laxative. Please click here for recipes.