The fundamental digestive process is that the food that we take will give all its nutrients and protein to the blood and the remaining residue will get deposited in the large intestine. It will normally contain 80% water which will be sucked by the large intestine and the remaining indigestible food matter will be transmitted as waste material from the body. However, sometimes, the waste material will absorb the entire water from the large intestine and will become hardened faeces which is otherwise known as constipation. Out of ignorance, we may blame the large intestine for not emptying the bowels whereas the main culprit is our food habit. If we take more of fatty foods, frozen foods and items like pizza, burger, noodles, fried rice, parota etc. they are bound to cause constipation.
Apart from this, if we take less water, insufficient fibrous food, vegetables, green vegetables and negligible fruits, keerai (spinach) etc. constipation will definitely arise. On the other hand, if we want to have constipation-free constitution, we must preferably take fruits alone one time and more water on a daily basis to avoid constipation.
There are quite a few good eating habits to do away with the problem of constipation, as under:-
Among the fruits, we must eat papaya, guava, pomegranate, banana and among the fibrous food items, we should take apple, plums, pear including jack fruit which will, not only help us clear our bowels but also cleanse the liver and intestine completely. In addition to the above, cucumber, fig and dates would also help in this process.
Particularly, the dates should be soaked in water the previous night itself and if we take it the next morning, it will have more fruitful result.
On the keerai food, we can take Mulai keerai, spinach, vallarai, drumstick keerai including agathi keerai to avoid constipation.
It is further essential that we avoid oily items like vada, bonda, bhajji, poori and instead, we can take sprouted items like kezhvaragu and kampu. One more avoidable item is Bengal gram dal.
On the liquid front, we must try to give up coffee and tea and as a substitute, we can take tender coconut, buttermilk, fruit juice including panagam made of ginger, lime juice and tamarind.
We can take kadukkai essence or triphala churnam in the night daily so that it will help us to have free motion in the morning. Both as curative and preventive medicine, we can consume dry grapes every night to avoid constipation. In case a small baby suffers from constipation which is natural, we can give this dry grapes in the form of potable juice from the extract of the dry grapes after soaking it for a night. Dry grape fruit is a sure remedy for this problem. Similarly, sapota is a fibrous fruit. If we take a sapota every night, we will have good sleep as well as when we wake up the next morning, we will have good bowel movement also.
With the above natural remedies, we can certainly keep the constipation at bay.
(This article originally written in Tamil by Maria Belsin has been reproduced in English by P S Ramamurthy)