We recently conducted a survey in our private Facebook group and 60% of respondents said they experienced constipation some of the time with 40% of those advising it was quite frequent.
I usually write about issues that I have personally and how I overcame it, and this one is no exception. A weird thing happened a few weeks back where out of the blue, I felt like I was no longer having any urge to poop.
A day would pass, a second day and by the third day I would freak out a bit and start with my coffee, fruit, prunes, make sure I was having carrot salad, more apples, a bit more liquid etc until something started to happen.
These episodes are usually when I veer off my ZEN Beach Diet and miss the carrot salad for a few days, or if I’m being lazy and eat starches instead of fruit.
So I looked into it a bit more and if we are approaching it from the fibre and water side of things, we may just be on the wrong track.
Ray Peat advises that hypothyroidism and a slow metabolism cause constipation, however my metabolism is firing now, so for me it was something else.
What is involved?
The peristaltic action that moves things along the digestive tract moves irregardless of what is in there. The motion is controlled by nerves.
What vitamin is responsible for ensuring the nervous system operates properly?
The impulses of the nervous system are also fired up by electrolytes.
This is why magnesium, potassium, sodium and all the minerals assist here.
The last thing I found was that sufficient fat in the diet lubricates the food as it moves through. So it’s not necessarily water, but insufficient fat that plays a part in constipation.
So these were touted as the three critical elements in frequent and consistent bowel movements and not necessarily fibre – which just bulks up the stool and makes it even more difficult to pass. Potentially causing damage along the way too.
So armed with this knowledge, I tried a few different things in my diet:-
Duck liver pate
Full of B Vitamins and A as well, I had about 2 heaped tablespoons of this on apple with marmalade to dilute the taste. I introduced this twice a week.
(Should be Beef Liver pate for best effects however I can’t find any to buy yet and I am not going to start to make any myself any time soon. So this is the best I could do.)
Had a few small pieces of this with my morning coffee. This aids to add a little more fat to my diet and it also has magnesium!
(In total I am still only having 40g of fat a day but what happens to me now that I am used to choosing low fat everything, I end up not reaching my 40g of fat a day.)
Homemade chocolate recipe HERE.
Made sure I rubbed in at least 4 sprays of this onto my stomach each evening and morning.
The Recommended Daily Allowance for women is 320mg of magnesium a day. These sprays are only 5 mg per spray, so it’s no where near RDA however it was better than nothing.
The result was: that for the first time in my life I went after each meal!
I thought it was a fairy story that people did that. I was happy with just once a day. So I think now I have found the magic trick.
I still believe fibre plays some part, but the amount we get from fruit is plenty. Water/liquids too, for some dehydration is a factor but again a healthy firing nervous system is far more critical.
Bacteria was mentioned too, but again it’s not so much about putting good bacteria in but rather the carrot salad with it’s coconut oil and vinegar serving to remove the bad bacteria. Any necessary bacteria should be coming from your existing diet and not fermented foods. As fermented foods raise lactic acid in your system and cause more issues.
So if you are one that suffers from constipation quite often, perhaps look to these three critical elements. Let me know if they make a difference for you!
Always learning and I hope it’s helpful!