Do you suffer from constipation that does not improve even after chomping dozens of bananas and drinking liters of warm water? There are some typical health conditions that cannot be termed a disease, yet cause considerable inconvenience and lead to complications. One prime example is constipation.
Did you know that coconut oil, can help cure constipation? Well, it does. Read on to know more!
How Does Constipation Occur?
As a matter of fact, any food you eat undergoes a process in your digestive tract and liver and is finally excreted. The human body has a natural process of excretion, but sometimes it gets prolonged and disrupted, and this leads to constipation. The stool, when deposited in the large intestine for long, gets hardened. This makes it harder for the intestinal muscles to push it out through the rectum.
Why Does Constipation Take Place?
Constipation can be caused by a number of factors. These include:
- Poor dietary habits (lack of fiber in the diet, and eating too much of junk food)
- Lack of adequate water and fluid intake
- Intake of certain medications
- Lack of activity and living a sedentary lifestyle
- Eating dairy food in large amounts
Sometimes, a combination of these factors can also lead to an irregular bowel movement, in both kids and adults (1).
Treatment Options For Constipation
There are plenty of options that you can use to get rid of constipation. There are so many OTC medications and laxatives that you can use (2). However, it is prudent that you resort to natural remedies. You may choose from selected natural treatments for relief from constipation. This reduces the risk of side effects. In this regard, coconut oil comes across as a potent solution for treating constipation.
Coconut Oil For Constipation
Is coconut oil good for constipation? Coconut oil is among the best natural laxatives that you can choose to get relief from constipation. The oil derived from coconut is fibrous in nature, and it aids metabolism in the human body. Adding coconut oil to your meals can help resolve irregular bowel movements.
Coconut oil, in its purest form, contains medium-chain fatty acids, which play a pivotal role in easing bowel movements. These MCFAs boost the energy of the intestinal cells, and this speeds up metabolism (3). It also helps soften the stool. Using coconut oil resolves occasional and chronic constipation cases, as it has been found.
You also need to consider the fact that eating coconut meat and consuming the oil is also beneficial for overall health. It aids the digestion process and also makes your skin radiant. Coconut oil is pretty affordable, and it is available all over the year.
The Ideal Dosage
How to take coconut oil for constipation? Initially, you can introduce a small amount of coconut oil to your meals every day to get relief from constipation. Ideally, you can add half a spoon of the oil to both lunch and dinner. This should be fine for beginners. If the result is tolerable, you may add some more oil to your food gradually. People with cases of recurring constipation can add 1 spoonful of coconut oil to foods twice or thrice a day. However, do not add a large amount of the oil to the foods.
Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Foods
There are several ways you can add coconut oil to your foods:
- You may add coconut oil to the smoothies made at home. It can also be added to a variety of fruit juices.
- You may sprinkle some coconut oil atop salads for breakfast.
- This oil can also be added to hot soups, stews and curries before eating.
- You can mix some coconut oil in place of butter or margarine while making bakery products at home. You can add it to the dough while making various types of bread or cakes.
Using Coconut In Other Ways To Ease Constipation
You can use other parts of a coconut, other than its oil, to get relief from constipation.
1. Coconut Meat
Coconut meat is delicious. It can be eaten raw or prepared into various dishes (4). It is a good source of natural fiber too. If your diet lacks fiber and that leads to the onset of irregular bowel movements, eating coconut meat is one solution. The flesh can be soft or semi-hard based on the age of the fruit. The fiber present in coconut flesh absorbs water and helps in making the stool softer, thereby making it pass easily through the intestine and minimizing the chances of constipation.
2. Coconut Milk
Made by extracting coconut flesh, coconut milk tastes delicious. Used mostly for culinary purposes, it can also be used to resolve constipation issues. It also contains fiber that can help ease problems with the bowel movement.
3. Coconut Water
Coconut water tastes great, and it can help in relieving constipation. It also offers several other health benefits (5). However, drinking coconut water in excess can lead to diarrhoea. So, do keep that in mind.
Points To Keep In Mind
There are a few things that you should keep in mind while using coconut oil to treat problems with the bowel movement.
1. Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
While taking in coconut oil and other parts of the fruit may help you override constipation issues, you need to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle as well. You can keep constipation at bay by reducing the intake of low fiber foods. You can augment the laxative impact of coconut oil by eating other fiber based foods. Exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water can also help you in this regard.
2. Virgin Coconut Oil
You can find coconut oil in various forms in the market nowadays. Using any type of coconut oil may not bring you the desired result in coping with bowel movement problems. For example, the refined and perfumed variants are not ideal for use in this context. Refined coconut oil contains little or no fiber. You should opt for unscented virgin coconut oil that is rich in fiber.
3. Avoid Overdosing
You need to remember that every person has different nutritional requirements and the constitution is never the same. This is why the dosage of coconut oil per day is not same for any two persons, most of the times. Overdosing can lead to diarrhea-like symptoms.
Precautions To Be Taken For Kids
Generally, kids can digest coconut oil when given with foods. However, it is prudent that you seek medical advice before giving coconut oil internally to a kid who is suffering from periodic or recurrent constipation. The same thing can be said about infants.
Why Consuming Coconut Oil And Its Products Can Be Problematic At Times?
While the medium-chain fatty acids present in virgin coconut oil and coconut products help in resolving constipation, consuming coconut can also be problematic in some cases. This is because coconut has some substances that may cause digestive issues under certain situations. The side effects include bloating, abdominal pain, cramping and diarrhoea. However, these instances are not widespread.
[ Read: Is Oatmeal Good For Constipation? ]
1. Fructose Mal-Absorption
Individuals with fructose mal-absorption may face problems after eating coconut. While coconut oil does not have fructose, other coconut products do. If you have fructose mal-absorption, eating coconut flesh or consuming coconut milk may lead to bloating and abdominal pain. One indication of this condition is difficulty in digesting honey, pears, asparagus and corn syrup laced with fructose.
Coconut based food also contains fructans,which are short-chain fermentable carbohydrates. These lead to gastrointestinal problems. Coconut products barring coconut oil contain this compound. If you are fructan intolerant, it is likely you will have issues in digesting foods like wheat, Brussels sprouts, garlic and onions.
3. Salicylates And Amines
These are food chemicals present in some foods made from coconut and coconut oil. These may pave way for digestive problems at times.
A few teaspoons of coconut oil are all you need for a healthier lifestyle. Try this remedy today, and share your experience with us by commenting in the box below!
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