As the air becomes dryer, we too can experience internal dryness. In addition to experiencing dry skin this season (last week’s Tuesday Tip), we can also experience constipation. Constipation is often due to excessive dryness and cold within the body. If you are experiencing this, it could be due to many factors such as not enough fiber in the diet, lack of warm foods, too much dry or crunchy foods, dehydration, lack of good fat, too much pungent/spicy foods, or not enough exercise. If any of these apply to you:
Here’s 5 #tuesdaytips that can help with and/or prevent constipation
#1. Drink water. During the dry season, it’s important to counter balance the dry qualities of the air with choices that bring moisture to the body. Opting for room temperature or hot water will help bring some moisture. Remember like attracts like and opposites decrease.
#2. Choose warm foods. The colon is the main seat of vata dosha, an energy that is cold and dry. If you are experiencing constipation, there may be too much internal cold and dryness. Choose hot meals over cold meals. Avoid cold sandwiches, sushi or salads. Eating warm meals will help bring heat to the body and prevent the intestines from constricting.
#3. Avoid dry fruits and veggies. Often times constipation is brought on by excessive dryness. Foods like dehydrated fruits, veggies or granola, raw kale will increase the dry quality in the body. Instead choose fresh fruit, stewed veggies, stewed fruit or oatmeal to help return moisture to the body along with fiber .
#4. Reduce spicy foods. I’m all about spicing it up, but foods that are extremely heavy in spices, like dry ginger, red chili, or garlic to name a few can produce dryness in the body, especially in the fall. This can lead to constipation. Temporarily reduce the amount of spices, if you are eating too much. Always ensure spices are well cooked and your spice mix is balanced with a combination of heat and cooling spices. Check out my list here.
#5 Exercise. Movement is another way to generate heat within the body. A nice brisk walk early in the morning or early evening can help generate some movement in the colon too.