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Using Cod Liver Oil for Constipation
In the good old days, many Mothers and Grandmothers would give their children a tablespoon of cod liver oil. The fishy oil was considered a ‘tonic’ and used to treat a variety of household ailments.
Kepler’s Cod Liver Oil was a common home remedy back then. Many Mothers would give the oil to children with constipation because they believed the oil would lubricate your insides and ‘smooth’ things out for you. The big question is if this popular healthy oil really does cure constipation naturally…..
If you’re like me, you know what I’m talking about. You haven’t gone to the washroom in days and you have difficulty completing the ‘job’. Everyone’s experienced this at some point in their lives. Constipation usually produces dry, hard stools that are difficult to eliminate. Some people can experience bloating, cramps and straining during bowel movements.
What causes Constipation?
Doctors say there are a number of causes that can contribute to poor bowel health:
- poor diet
- lack of exercise
- not drinking enough water
- side effects from medications
- irritable bowel syndromes
- specific metabolic conditions
However, the two major causes are poor diet and a lack of exercise. Eating lots of processed foods and a low fiber diet is an example of a poor diet. Doctors aren’t sure why a lack of exercise causes it; however, they found hospital patients confined to their beds experienced higher rates of constipation compared to patients that were active.
Boost your Fiber Intake to Relieve Constipation
Using cod liver oil for constipation may not be the most effective treatment for constipation. While you are getting a healthy source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A and D, you are not getting any fiber in your diet.
Eating a high fiber diet will contribute to good bowel health and reduce constipation. The average fiber intake for most adults is only 5 to 15 grams a day. Nutritionists recommend you eat at least 20 – 30 grams a day. Increasing your fiber intake will go a long way to relieving and preventing constipation. Fiber softens hard dry stools and makes it them easier to pass. Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and legumes will help increase your fiber intake.
Other methods to reduce constipation include using psyllium husks and special herbal formulations. One of my favorite methods of getting extra fiber is adding a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds to my morning cup of orange juice. Flaxseeds are a great source of dietary fiber; about 40% of the flaxseed is fiber. Whole grains such as wheat bran, oat meal, and oat bran are also high in fiber. Corn bran has one of the highest fiber contents at 78%. Rice bran comes a close second with 75% fiber.
Important: Drink plenty of water when you eat more fiber.
Eating all the fiber in the world won’t help if you don’t drink enough water. Your intestines absorb water from the stool as it passes through your body. If you’re dehydrated, your body will try to absorb even more water from your stools to make up for the deficit. This can make your stools hard and dry causing uncomfortable bowel movements. Drinking lots of water and juices will add bulk and make your bowel movements softer and easier.
Should you have a bowel movement every day?
Doctors say there’s no normal frequency for bowel movements; some people may have three movements a day and others have three movements a week. If you have a chronic case of constipation, you should see your doctor as he/she may prescribe laxatives as a short-term treatment. Eating a fiber-rich diet, exercising and drinking plenty of water will help reduce constipation symptoms. You can also take a fiber supplement to ensure you’re getting your daily recommended dosage of fiber. Following these tips will help keep you smooth sailing throughout your days.