Kiwifruit: several studies have been conducted around kiwi fruit and constipation and one particular study found that eating two green kiwifruits per day for 4 weeks could reduce symptoms of constipation. It’s a low FODMAP fruit, too!
Hemp seed: a mighty little seed- hemp is a wonderful source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are shown to help constipation by lubricating the stool. A gross little description, I know. Most often constipation remedies are associated with fibre but it’s equally important to have enough lubrication in the stool for it to pass easily. If you are following a low fat diet and are struggling with constipation it would be immensely beneficial to add some oils to your diet. Hemp seeds are also high in protein, making them a good source of vegetarian protein.
Flax seed: another powerful seed- flax is both high in fibre and a source of Omega 3 fatty acids. To get the health benefits from flax seed, they must be ground. Flax-and all seeds- spoil over time so I recommend buying flax whole and grinding it yourself in amounts that you will use within a week or so. They can be ground in a blender. Store both the whole seed and ground portion in the fridge.
Oats: it’s likely no surprise to you that oats are high in fibre but it is the type of fibre in them that is important in terms of constipation. There are two main types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a thick gel in the GI tract. It acts like a sponge during digestion; attracting fluid and softening stool to make it easier to pass. It can also be beneficial for those with IBS-D as the thick gel it creates in the GI tract can slow stool down. It is a safer fibre for those with IBS as it is more gentle. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to the stool which then triggers motility and bowel movements. Insoluble fibre is the “scratchy” fibre (that’s my very scientific description, hah!). Bran is an example of a scratchy fibre. Insoluble fibre is traditionally used as a constipation remedy (think Metamucil) but it can worsen symptoms of IBS due to the abnormal motility and overly sensitivity IBS gut.
Pumpkin seeds: while a very healthy food and an excellent source of zinc and antioxidants, I added these as I like a little crunch in my oatmeal. If you are in the midst of a bad IBS flare and your gut is feeling very sensitive I recommend switching these for a nut or seed butter. Raw (not roasted) nut/seed butters are easier on digestion.Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats, uncooked
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. maple syrup or other sweetener of choice (optional)
1 large kiwi fruit (or 2 small), peeled and diced
1 tbsp. hemp seed
2 tsp. ground flax seed
1 tbsp. shredded coconut
1 tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds
Bring coconut milk and water to a boil in a saucepan. Add oats and reduce heat to medium/low. Note: if you prefer your fruit soft and cooked for easier digestion add kiwi fruit also. Simmer for about ten minutes or until oats are cooked. Remove from stove and transfer oats into a bowl. Stir in sweetener, if using.
Top oatmeal with kiwi fruit (if not cooking), hemp seed, flax seed, coconut and pumpkin seeds. Add more coconut milk, if desired.
For overnight oats: mix oats and coconut milk (and sweetener, if using) in a jar or container. Leave in fridge overnight. When ready to eat, add kiwi fruit, hemp seed, flax seed, shredded coconut and pumpkin seeds. Add more coconut milk if the oats dried out a bit.
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