Alligga

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Have You Taken Your Flaxative Lately?

By: Evita Basilio

Fibre is the part of plants that our bodies cannot digest. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains contain fibre. Animal foods such as meats and eggs have no fibre.

Did you know? Canadian women need 25 grams of fibre per day and men need 38 grams of fibre per day. Most Canadians are only getting about half that much!

We’ve All Been a Little Stuck
Everyone has experienced constipation at some point in their life. Constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per week. Constipation means hard stools, difficulty passing stools (straining), or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. Fibre is important in maintaining a soft, bulky stool. Diets that are low in fibre can, therefore, cause constipation. Fibre is one of the mainstays in the prevention and treatment of constipation.

Constipation can be prevented by consuming enough fibre as part of a well-balanced diet, in addition to some other lifestyle changes:

  • Drink plenty of water (unless your doctor has you on a fluid-restricted diet). Fibre and water work together to keep you regular.
  • Avoid caffeine. It can be dehydrating
  • Check on milk. Some people may need to avoid it because dairy products may be constipating for them
  • Exercise regularly
  • Go to the bathroom when you feel the urge

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Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience unexplained and persistent changes in your bowel habits.

The Flaxative You Need
GroundFlax_RenderingA 2 tablespoon serving of ground flaxseeds contains 3.8 grams of fibre and a dose of omega-3 fatty acids to boot! Flaxseeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel that travels through your intestines. This type of fibre can help lower your total blood cholesterol. It also appears to positively affect intestinal flora as soluble fibre is a substrate for the production of short-chain fatty acids, which serve as a fuel source for colonic cells. Insoluble fibre stays intact, travels through your gut and helps pass food. It can help alleviate constipation and keep your digestive tract healthy. Alligga sells ground/milled flaxseeds at all our Farmers’ Markets. You can find out which market we are at next using our Event Calendar.

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