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8 Best Natural Laxatives

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Using natural laxatives is a popular option for many people who are struggling with constipation, and fortunately, there are many options to choose from.
What Are Natural Laxatives?
Natural laxatives are foods, spices, and supplements that can stimulate and speed up the digestive process, helping to clear the bowels and relieve symptoms of blockage and constipation. While millions of people use over-the-counter laxatives and prescription medications to solve this uncomfortable problem, those solutions can also have negative side effects, including emergency runs to the bathroom, dizziness, low blood pressure, and cramps, among others. Natural laxatives, on the other hand, have more of a mild laxative effect. They normalize your digestive process and keep your bowels moving naturally, without eliciting such a severe response from the body.
Many of these dietary laxatives also offer rich sources of nutrients, vitamins, fiber, protein, and antioxidants, so aside from relieving constipation, they can also help boost other areas of your health.
Types Of Laxatives
There are a few main types of non-natural laxatives, including stool softeners, stimulant laxatives, bulk-forming laxatives, and osmotic laxatives, among others.
Stool Softeners
These laxatives are able to make stools slightly slippery, often through the inclusion of oils, which can lubricate the intestinal walls and induce excretion.
Bulk-Forming
These basic laxatives can help to add bulk to your stool, which tends to speed up the transit time through the gut.
Osmotic
When you have a proper amount of fluid in the intestines, digestion is much easier, so these laxatives cause liquid to be drawn into the gut.
Stimulant
These very common laxatives cause the muscles of the intestine to contract – artificial peristaltic motion – and additionally hydrate the intestines.
How Do Natural Laxatives Work?
Natural laxatives work by bulking up the food in the gut, stimulating peristaltic motion so that bowel movements can pass, thereby relieving inflammation in the small intestine so that digestion can occur normally. It is recommended that people go to the bathroom at least three times per week, although numbers may vary, and constipation symptoms may still occur, even if you are going three times each week. Adding natural laxatives to your diet can improve these symptoms in a gradual and healthy way.
Natural Laxatives
The best natural laxatives include apples, olive oil, aloe vera, water, prunes, flaxseeds, coffee, kefir, leafy greens, castor oil, and berries, among others.
Apples
High in pectin, these popular fruits can bulk up stool and stimulate peristaltic motion.
Olive Oil
Working as a stool softener, olive oil can make it easier for bowel movements to traverse the gut and be expelled.
Aloe Vera
Some of the active ingredients and enzymes in aloe vera act as mild laxatives that soften stool and speed bowel movements.
Water
Without water, your body will struggle to move your bowels, so be sure to drink at least 8 glasses per day if you’re constipated.
Prunes
High in dietary fiber, prunes can bulk up your food and eliminate inflammation in the gut, while also boosting the health of beneficial bacteria.
Flaxseeds
All seeds are rich in dietary fiber, minerals, and other nutrients, but flax seeds are particularly effective as laxatives.
Berries
Being rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, berries can be used during colon cleanses and will stimulate faster digestion.
Castor Oil
This is a stimulant laxative, albeit a natural one, that can trigger peristaltic motion in the intestines.


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Health

This Protein Not Only Helps In Losing Weight Quickly But Is Good For The Heart Too!

The Kashmir Monitor

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Protein is a macronutrient which is extremely important for the overall development of the body. It is essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, cellular health and function. But whenever we talk of protein foods, some common foods that come to our mind are chicken, eggs, dairy products, nuts and cheese. In the following article, let us introduce to a new plant-source of protein. An excellent source of protein which can be easily included in your diet is soya protein.

Soya is high in protein and is derived naturally from soya beans. It is a great option for vegetarians and lactose intolerant people. Soy generally contains fibre and isoflavones. Vegetarians can easily include them in their diet to increase the consumption of proteins. Soya has transcended its Asian origins to become the most widely cultivated legume all across the globe. Soy protein can said to be the best source of plant protein as it contains all the essential amino acids in right quantities which are required in order to place the body into an anabolic state.

Delhi-based nutritionist Monisha Ashokan said, “Soya protein is a complete protein with all the nine essential amino acids. This is the reason why it is easily utilised by the body for growth and repair. It is high in fiber and low in calories which makes it an essential food item for those looking to shed a few kilos.

 

Furthermore, it also helps to prevent ageing. The phytoestrogen present in soyabean helps the body to produce more estrogen which reduces fine lines and wrinkles.So add this to your diet and reap its benefits!

Foods that contain high amounts of soya are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Whereas animal sources of protein like chicken, fatty fish, beef, pork and lamb are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. This may increase your risk of developing several cardiovascular diseases. However, substituting them with soya could help cut saturated fats and reduce your overall risk for disease.

Also, soya based foods are a great way to boost your fiber intake. They are rich in dietary fiber. Fiber promotes a healthy gastrointestinal system, reduces cholesterol, is associated with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease and aids in quick weight loss. You could try including green soya beans, black beans, soya nuts and soya flour into your diet. Moreover, soya foods have high amounts of polyunsaturated fats. These fats can be beneficial for your heart as they help in lowering the cholesterol. As an added benefit, soya foods are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B, B12, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and antioxidants add the nutritional benefits of soya. These vital vitamins and minerals help boost the immunity of the body.

Top 5 foods rich in soya protein:

Tofu
Soya milk and yoghurt
Soya nuts
Tempeh
Edamame

(Monisha Ashokan is a nutritionist at Nourish Me)

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Exercise may help increase cancer patient’s chance for survival

The Kashmir Monitor

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Regular exercise before and after a cancer diagnosis significantly improves odds of survival, a new study finds.

According to HealthDay News, among more than 5,800 US patients with a range of early- to late-stage cancers, those who exercised three or four times a week before and after their diagnosis had a 40 percent lower risk of death than inactive patients, researchers reported.

But survival gains were strong even for patients who began exercising only after their cancer diagnosis.

 

“Patients who reported never doing any type of exercise until they were faced with a cancer diagnosis cut their risk of death by 25 percent to 28 percent compared to those who remained inactive,” said first author Rikki Cannioto. She’s an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY.

Patients who exercised once or twice a week also had a much lower risk of death than inactive patients, suggesting that any amount of regular, weekly activity is better than no activity, according to the researchers.

Study participants had blood or head and neck cancers, as well as breast, prostate, lung, colon, kidney, esophageal, bladder, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic, liver or stomach cancers. Others had sarcoma or cervical, thyroid, testicular, brain or skin cancers.

The strongest link between exercise and reduced risk of death was seen with eight types: breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, bladder, endometrial, esophageal and skin cancer, the research team said.

The results “solidify the importance of the message that when it comes to exercise, some weekly activity is better than inactivity,” Cannioto said in a Roswell news release.

The finding that low-to-moderate weekly exercise is associated with improved survival is particularly encouraging, Cannioto said, given that cancer patients and survivors can be overwhelmed by the current recommendations of at least 30 minutes of daily moderate-to-intense physical activity.

The study was published recently in the journal Cancer Causes and Control.

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Health

There is a link between obesity and the ability to smell: Study

The Kashmir Monitor

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Not many people would have thought that obesity and the ability to smell are related. But in an interesting study, a surprising link has been discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand. A sample of around 1,500 individuals were gathered for the purpose of the study.

“After compiling our evidence, we found there is, in fact, a strong link between a person’s body weight and their smell ability – the better a person can smell, the more likely the person is to be slim, or vice versa,” says Dr Mei Peng, lead author of the study, according to a report in the Medical News Daily.

Adding that smell plays a vital role when it comes to choosing our flavours and our foods, Dr Peng said, “For example, they might choose, or be more attracted to, saltier and tastier foods such as bacon and maple syrup instead of blander foods, such as low-fat cereal with less sugar.”

 

The researchers concluded from the study that people who have obesity or were closer to it had a reduced ability to smell flavours. Based on these findings, as per Medical News Daily, it was induced that obesity “alters a person’s metabolism, which affects communication pathways between the gut and brain”.

To connect the link between the gut and brain, researchers considered the effects of two surgical obesity treatments – stomach removal and gastric bypass. “Cutting the stomach could change nerves in the stomach that affect the gut-brain pathway, so smell changes could be the key to the difference between the two surgeries — essentially, the smaller size of the stomach might not be the factor that leads to weight loss, it is more likely due to the gut-brain pathway being reset,” Dr Peng concludes.

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