Have you ever noticed in the summer months you feel your best physically and mentally? We generally eat more fresh fruits and veggies, exercise and enjoy the outdoors, resulting in a lot of natural Vitamin D. For many, the change of seasons into fall and dropping temperatures sometimes means ditching healthier summer habits in exchange for heavier meals filled with your favourite comfort foods, consuming treats with high fat and sugar content and a decrease in exercise – especially when Thanksgiving rolls around. The result of these subtle lifestyle changes can have more of a negative affect you than you think.
According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, poor digestive health can affect your mood, energy, concentration and ability to fight sickness. If more people were aware of all the diseases that develop due to poor gut health, I am certain they would make tummy health more of a priority. One of the first signs of trouble in this area is constipation. Yes, I know it’s not really a pleasant topic, but it’s something that affects millions of North Americans. Oddly enough, us women seem to be the most frequent sufferers, most likely due to the slower movement of food through a woman’s intestine, in addition to the effects of our hormones on the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.
Lucky for us, there are a few things you can do to help prevent constipation and promote good gut health…
1. Start With Good Eating Habits. One sure way to get things moving is by getting enough fibre in your diet. Ideally, you should be getting at least 20-35 grams of fibre daily. While the common misconception is that bran and other whole grains are the main source, fibre can also be found in the following:
- veggies such as Brussels sprouts, carrots and asparagus
- fresh fruits like mangos and those rich in pectin; apples, strawberries, lychees or pears. Raisins, dried apricots and prunes are also a great choice
Processed foods, cheese and other dairy products, meat and foods high in fat can often times make constipation worse, so if you’re having an issue these foods should be limited. Getting enough water intake is also super important while decreasing your intake of caffeine, alcohol, soda and fruit juices that are artificially sweetened.
2. Exercise Regularly To Stay Regular. Moving your body will keep your bowels moving too; at least 30 minutes per day!
3. It’s All About Your Lifestyle. Easier said than done, but there are other things we can try to control in our lives that can help with tummy issues like avoiding stress (to the best of your ability), establishing regular sleeping patterns, and adapting good time management skills to help relieve anxiety.
4. Get Relief From Dulcolax. Sometimes making these lifestyle changes isn’t enough and you require gentle, over-the-counter relief. Dulcolax is a product that I keep in my bathroom and I almost never travel without it. With factors like jet-lag, anxiety of public washrooms while on the road, contaminated food or water or simply dehydration from laying out in the hot sun on a beach all day – the chances of getting backed up are high. And I never seem to be alone in this preverbal boat…there always seems to be at least one other person who needs to break into my stash while traveling. Why Dulcolax? This little genius pill gives you predictable relief you can count on overnight. Simply take it before bed and get relief the next morning before you start your day.
For more info, talk to your doc, pharmacist or head to Dulcolax.ca. Interested in trying out Dulcolax? From now until the end of October 2015, get $5 off when you purchase Dulcolax and Dulcolax for Women at your local pharmacy and most major retailers across the country (English Canada Only).