Constipation occurs when you are unable to have a bowel movement regularly. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, you may be constipated if you have not had a bowel movement in three days. Many lifestyle factors can affect your intestinal health, including your diet.
Causes of Constipation
Your dietary choices can lead to constipation. When you have constipation, stool moves too slowly through your intestine, which results in a hard, dry stool; the longer it is inside your intestine, the more water is removed. A weak intestinal tract may also lead to a reduction in the movement of stool, as may an obstruction such as a tumor or diverticulitis. Other factors causing constipation include a diet low in fiber, pregnancy, medications, a sedentary lifestyle and stress.
Constipation may be solved with dietary changes. Increasing your fiber intake may be enough to help keep you regular. A diet adequate in fiber can keep you regular by increasing the size, weight and softness of your stool. When fiber is inside your digestive system, it retains water. This water retention makes for a softer, pliable and larger stool that is much easier for you to excrete.
Contents of Celery
Celery is one food that reduces or prevents constipation. Most Americans do not eat enough fiber, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. The recommended intake of fiber is 20 to 35 grams per day. Including celery in a meal and a snack can offer a good portion of your fiber intake. One cup of celery contains nearly 2 grams of fiber. The water content of celery may also help. One cup of celery weighs 101 grams. Nearly 97 grams of this total weight is water. Increasing your intake of fluids can offer some relief form constipation.
Pairing celery with peanut butter or a salad will increase your fiber intake even more. If you need to have a crunch with your sandwich, try substituting celery for chips or pretzels. Dip celery in hummus, low-fat ranch dressing or a light cream cheese mixed with chopped up vegetables.