How to Keep Your Bowels Moving Naturally

Plenty of fluids keep bowels moving naturally.
Plenty of fluids keep bowels moving naturally. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Your digestive system is vital to the overall health of your body and it's important to keep things moving naturally. Your large intestine absorbs nutrients and eliminates what your body doesn't need. When it comes to bowel movements and what's considered normal, it varies from person to person. A well-functioning digestive system works on a healthy diet in conjunction with exercise.

Drink plenty of water and fluids. Water lubricates the entire system including your colon. It assists in breaking down and softening solid waste, making it easier to pass through your body. Healthy fruit juices like apple and carrot juice also help to keep your system hydrated. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is ideal, but healthy teas and other fluids are a must to achieve natural movement in your bowels.

Eat fiber. Many people don't get enough fiber in their diet and suffer from constipation or a bloated feeling. There are plenty of foods that are rich in fiber and having a serving with each meal is helpful in keeping bowels moving smoothly. Some of the foods that have fiber include legumes, such as chick-peas, baked beans, lima beans and soybeans. Other foods include vegetables, fruit and brown breads such as whole wheat, pumpernickel and rye. Two to four servings of fruits and three to five servings of vegetables a day is ideal for natural movement.

Exercise. Most people know that exercise is good for overall health, but some people may not know that exercise assists in keeping the bowels moving. Even moderate exercise like walking or swimming will help. Some people also believe that eating yogurt with active cultures aids in the digestive process because it contains healthy bacteria and fights the bacteria that causes conditions such as gastritis.

Tips & Warnings

  • Laxatives should be avoided if possible and are not meant for prolonged use.

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