When you are dealing with any digestive issue, it is a difficult and uncomfortable journey, and constipation is no exception. When you struggle with constipation, sometimes it can feel like guesswork or a stab in the dark to figure out what foods to eat and which ones not to. You probably already know that you need to drink lots of water and eat plenty of dietary fiber, but what if you’re already doing that and it isn’t enough to correct the problem? Sometimes, the answer may even feel like it’s all over the map, as a certain food may agree with you in one instance and not in another. That’s why we’ve put together this list of foods that you should consider avoiding during your journey to digestive wellness.
Because everyone’s body is different, no list of foods can universally apply to everyone. However, this is not the kind of list of “eat this, don’t eat that” that you might be thinking of. The following suggestions have proven very effective in our approach to solving and healing of all kinds of digestive issues over the years, including constipation, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and many more.
1. Avoid Processed Foods
Eat instead: Foods that your great-grandmother would recognize as food, such as cooked whole grains, vegetables, cooked beans, bone broth soups, fresh fruits, and dry roasted seeds and nuts.
Processed foods are not kind to your digestive system, as the manufacturing process has altered the arrangement of nutrients and fibers until they are very different than the ones that your body is suited to digest. Avoid the following items as much as possible:
- Pre-packaged meals
- Processed snack foods
- Junk food
- Chocolate bars, including so-called energy bars
- Foods that have a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce
2. Avoid foods that lack a wide variety of micronutrients
Eat instead: Foods that contain a wide variety of micronutrients.
Micronutrients offer our bodies the basic building blocks that our cells need to operate effectively, repair damage, and multiply at the proper rate. Are you hungry all the time and constantly reaching for refined carbs? It might be because your cells aren’t getting the nutrition they’re craving, so they send out hunger signals, again and again, hoping that they’ll get what they’re looking for. The lining of your intestines is one of the key places that need to stay healthy because this is where the body absorbs the micronutrients from our foods and assimilates these nutrients into our blood in order to be transported and delivered to all the cells in the body.
The real reason to eat ANY Food is to feed the intestinal microbiome. This is the most important aspect of any digestive illness and it the most important thing to pay attention to in healing any digestive illness.
What are micronutrients?
- Trace Minerals
- Amino Acids
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Pigments (e.g. chlorophyll)
The key to a healthy diet is to select organic quality whole foods and prepare them or cook them properly. A small percentage of the human diet can be raw foods and naturally fermented foods but the bulk of the human diet should be:
- cooked whole grains
- cooked beans
- cooked root vegetables
- cooked cruciferous vegetables
- cooked green leafy vegetables
- dry-roasted seeds and nuts
- cooked fowl, fish, and minimal red meat
3. Avoid low-quality foods
Eat instead: Choose the highest-quality foods that you can buy
In all situations, people should choose the best quality foods. The best quality foods are always clean and fresh organic quality whole foods.
Does it make a difference to your digestive system whether a food is high- or low-quality? Absolutely. Some of our patients have been unable to tolerate a certain item until they switched to the organic version, at which point their problem cleared right up.
If you’re traveling and want to conduct an interesting experiment, check out the difference between grocery stores in different parts of the country. You’ll find that the regions of the country where health problems are the most rampant are also the regions where low-quality foods are flying off the shelves. How can you tell which foods fly off the shelves? Just look at the proportion of shelf space that item gets. If there’s a huge macaroni-and-cheese section with a tiny produce department, there’s a difference in the buying habits of that whole community compared to the store with a massive produce section full of obscure, hard-to-find items (and only one row on the shelf devoted to boxes macaroni-and-cheese). High-quality food matters, and you’ll see the difference both in your own individual health and in the overall health of a population.
What foods do you eat to keep your digestion regular and well? Share in the comments below and don't forget to check out Part 2 of this series!
Contact Us For Constipation Relief And More. Don’t let your constipation or other digestive issues continue to get the better of you. Russell Mariani has helped many people on the path toward digestive wellness, and you may find help here, too. His book can be found exclusively at healingdigestiveillness.com. Schedule a consultation with Russell Mariani today.