Healthy gut habits include healthy bowel movements. Millions of people struggle with digestive issues and constipation ranks right near the top. According to the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research, chronic constipation affects 15-30% of Canadians. Healthy bowel movements are essential to overall good health.
There are many things that can lead to constipation:
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Lack of exercise
- Changes in routine (i.e. travel)
- Not giving yourself enough time to go the bathroom
- Proper eliminative positioning on the toilet
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid constipation:
- Include plenty of high-fibre foods in your diet such as beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Fibre increases the bulk of stool and accelerates colon transit time.
- Include more fermented foods that contain probiotics like kimchi, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, and sauerkraut which contain beneficial bacteria.
- Eat fewer processed and refined foods which tend to lack fibre and nutrients.
- Drink plenty of filtered water to keep the colon hydrated.
- Exercise to move food through the colon more quickly. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, helps to stimulate the natural contractions of intestinal muscles.
- Manage stress as best as you can (meditation, yoga, breathing exercises).
- Make sure you have enough time and privacy to pass stools comfortably. Being too busy and ignoring urges may reduce those impulses and they become less frequent.
- Create proper eliminative positioning. The natural and anatomically correct position for elimination is more of a ‘squatting’ position where your knees are above your waist. Use a step stool or phonebook to put your feet on so you can position yourself properly while using the toilet.
- Set a routine. Consistent eating and sleeping patterns can help regulate bowel function.
When it’s difficult to get enough fibre and probiotics into your diet, Renew Life® can help.
FibreSMART® is a flax-based dietary fibre supplement formulated to help support daily bowel health. It contains both soluble and insoluble fibre and has additional ingredients for the intestinal tract such as Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark. It is a balanced fibre that is easy to incorporate and can be used in shakes, soups, yogurt, applesauce, or sprinkled on cereal or salads. It is free of nuts, gluten, dairy and soy.
Studies show that probiotics may improve whole gut transit time, stool frequency, and stool consistency. Ultimate Flora® Ultra Potent is a daily multi-strain probiotic blend that provides 100 billion live bacterial cultures in a convenient once a day capsule. It contains 10 different strains of live bacteria to help support intestinal and gastrointestinal health and could promote favourable gut flora. It is contained in specialized acid-resistant vegetarian capsules to help protect the live bacteria from harsh stomach acids.
Super Critical Omega is a source of omega-3 fatty acids for the maintenance of good health. This maximum-strength, super-concentrated fish oil supplement contains 790mg of EPA, 140mg of DHA and 1000 IU of vitamin D in each fish gelatin capsule. Added lipase helps your body to utilize the oils more efficiently and IFOS and Friend of the Sea® certification guarantees, purity, potency and sustainability.
Don’t let constipation be an issue in your life. You can make visits to the bathroom quick and easy with proper diet and lifestyle changes along with supplementation.
By Caroline Farquhar, RHN, EMP, BA
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 Hwan Bae, S.. (2014). Diets for Constipation. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4291444/. Last accessed 9 Sep 19.
 BadGut.org authors (2019). Constipation Management. Available: https://badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/constipation/. Last accessed 9 Sep 19.
 NDNR Staff. (2007). Proper Positioning For Elimination. Available: https://ndnr.com/anti-aging/proper-positioning-for-elimination/. Last accessed 9 Sep 19.
 Steber, C. (2019). 7 Unexpected Ways Sleep Affects Your Poop. Available: https://www.bustle.com/p/7-unexpected-ways-sleep-affects-your-poop-17037736. Last accessed 26 May 20.
 Dimidi, E. et al. (2014). The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Available: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/4/1075/4576460. Last accessed 3 Jun 20.