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Keto Diet vs. Constipation: Science-Backed Solutions | Thomas DeLauer…
Fibrous Veggies/Fermented Foods: Not consuming enough fibrous vegetables and fermented foods is a problem that many have when switching to ketosis – consume more fatty meats and less vegetables, specifically non-starchy veggies with lots of fiber.
Fibrous Veggies: There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, that can be used to treat and prevent constipation – Both types of fiber are essential for keeping your intestinal system running smoothly. Soluble fiber allows more water to remain in your stool, making waste softer, larger, and thus, easier to pass through your intestines; insoluble fiber adds bulk to your fecal material, which speeds up its passage through your gut and prevents that constipated feeling (1,2)
Prebiotics & Probiotics: Probiotics act as a barrier against harmful bacteria by coating the GI tract so that they compete directly with pathogens for space and nutrients. Space is important for bacteria, because before they can colonize and multiply they need to attach themselves to the gut wall lining. By taking a probiotic supplement, you’re making sure that the bad bacteria in your gut don’t grow to harmful levels, and by doing that you’ll reduce the chance of suffering from constipation (3)
Study: A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that taking the prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) with a multistrain probiotic formula containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains increased the frequency of bowel movements, and improved stool consistency and constipation intensity in chronically constipated women when compared to those women taking a placebo (5)
Hydration: Lack of hydration can be a problem while in ketosis as the lack of carbs means you’ll retain less water – water keeps the food you eat moving along through your intestines and keeps your intestines smooth and flexible. Stools lose a great amount of bulk. This results to slower passage of stools down the colon, and therefore constipation (6)
Potassium: As you are holding onto less water when in ketosis, you’re excreting more minerals as well, specifically potassium. Potassium is needed in your colon walls to insure that peristaltic action occurs. Without potassium, colon walls are weak and unable to respond and contract properly when fecal matter needs to be move.
Magnesium: Magnesium plays a key role in muscle function, which is why it’s helpful for individuals who suffer from constipation. Your GI tract is one long muscle that must be healthy in order to produce consistent bowel movements – magnesium can help to relax intestinal muscles, allowing bowel movements to pass without issue. Magnesium is also known to attract water, so if you suffer from constipation attracting extra water to your digestive system can help loosen and free up stools. Because magnesium does attract water, it’s essential to drink plenty of water when taking magnesium for constipation – magnesium can lead to dehydration if you fail to drink an adequate amount of water with your supplement.