The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed all our lives in so many ways. Be it working from home, staying apart from family, or keeping a watchful eye on kids and the elderly, this COVID-19 pandemic has made social distancing and life in isolation a new normal. For some, this new staying at home has even brought a change in their food habits often causing gut issues.
No wonder, it has become a popular trend worldwide with people complaining about painful and severely constipated tummy even among those individuals without any gut abnormalities in the past. The medical experts gave it a new name ‘Quarantine Constipation’ and the good news is that it is easily treatable, with the help of a few lifestyle changes.
Also Check Out: 5 Best Ayurvedic Remedies To Treat Constipation - Infographic
The actual cause behind this sudden constipation is due to the total disruption of the circadian rhythm, which is the biological clock of the body (i.e. a process in the brain that regulated the sleep-wake cycle).
Even our bowel has a circadian rhythm of its own where like an alarm clock you feel the need to visit the loo in the morning. But this natural process is getting disturbed during the lockdown mainly due to poor eating timings, unhealthy dietary habits, sleep deprivation, excessive stress and lack of physical activity. And all these causative factors ultimately cause indigestion and diminish the excretion of stools from the colon and out of the body.
If you're one of the few following regular disciplined lifestyles prior to lockdown, you may not face this discomfort, but if you are facing this uneasiness, feel free to nod your head as you are not alone.
We already know that increasing water intake and going for regular exercises helps in managing this discomfort. But let’s find out what essentials to shop for and eat during this lockdown period if you are troubled with the sudden onset of quarantine constipation.
Foods To Include In The Diet To Manage Quarantine Constipation:
Constipation usually happens due to an imbalance of gut bacteria. Including foods containing probiotics like homemade yoghurt, kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, cheese or kombucha is a nutritious way to balance the gut flora and prevent constipation. These foods usually help by producing lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids aiding gut movements, making it easier to pass the stool. Also Check Out: 5 Awesome Wellness Incentives Of Probiotics-Infographic
Consuming citrus fruits with soluble fibres is a nutritious way to curb constipation. The presence of flavanols in the form of naringenin in most citrus fruits not only upsurges fluid secretion into the colon, causing a laxative effect but also accelerates colonic transit time by preventing constipation. Make sure to include vitamin C-rich foods in breakfast to prevent constipation throughout the day.
Spinach And Other Leafy Greens
Leafy greens in the form of brussel sprouts, spinach and broccoli are not only abundant in soluble fibres but also extremely rich in folate, vitamin C and K. When consumed regularly these greens add bulk and weight to the faeces and helps in easy expulsion from the body. You can have these greens boiled, grilled or steamed in the form of salad, in a stew or even curry to make it tastier and more nutritious.
Beans And Legumes
While shopping for essentials, make sure to add different types of legumes and beans if you are having a disturbed gut. Legumes like soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, navy beans, and kidney beans are excellent sources of fiber. Although they are a little gassy, they still rank high in the list of FODMAP foods, which not only helps in treating IBS symptoms but also provides relief from constipation and helps in retaining water in the faeces to facilitate smooth expulsion.
Hot Tea Or Coffee
Most of us have the habit of reaching out to a cup of coffee or tea early in the morning. Although nothing in excess is good for the body sipping on a cup of warm tea or coffee increases the urge to go to the loo by stimulating the muscles of the digestive system. Especially the caffeinated variety is good as it contains a small amount of fibre that not only helps in preventing constipation but also balances the gut flora. Try making a herbal tea by adding fennel seeds and sip it every day to soothe the gut and prevent constipation.
Ways To Treat Quarantine Constipation At Home
Include More Fiber
Staying at home and working remotely has instilled many unhealthy habits like continuous snacking on junk just to kill the time which increases gut problems. Instead of snacking on unhealthy options, try including fibre rich foods like nuts, whole fruits, leafy veggies, whole grains, legumes and lentils. This not only helps in relieving constipation but also helps in retaining water in the faeces to facilitate smooth expulsion.
Hydrate Your Body
Hydration is crucial even if you are in the comfort of your home since dehydration aggravates the constipated condition. Be it coconut water, fresh juice, detox water or just plain purified water, this not only helps you rehydrate and get things moving but also helps prevent skin disorders and other bodily issues. So, make sure you drink 7-8 glasses of water daily to prevent dehydration.
Opt For Exercise
Social isolation has turned people quite lethargic. Many people let go off the routine workout session which not only increases weight but also leads to other anomalies, the first one being constipation. Instead of lying around lazily throughout the day, try doing some kind of workout. It can be anything from brisk walking in the balcony, terrace or lawn, dancing to your favourite tunes or simply doing some free hand exercises. Working out helps in easing constipation and also keeps the weight under check.