Can't Poop? You May Need More Of This Mineral

Can't Poop? You May Need More Of This Mineral Hero Image

Constipation has always been a problem in my life. It's awful, and unfortunately it's apparently a family curse for me. So there is all the regular advice that I try to follow; drink lots of water, eat lots of veggies and fruits, less processed food, more whole grains and fiber. And I do all that.

But there are still times when that doesn't do the trick; and when I'm traveling, forget about it! But there is a magic bullet, so have hope my friends! It's the mineral magnesium. Take a magnesium supplement before bed and voilà, next morning everything is running smoothly. It's an easy, natural solution to a common problem that you can easily use anytime.

Why Magnesium Works So Well For Constipation

First of all, magnesium increases water in your intestines, which helps initiate peristalsis (the wavelike motion that moves matter through your intestines) and softens the stool. Second, it relaxes the muscles in your intestines, which encourages a smoother rhythm of the colon muscles.

Magnesium Is An Important Mineral For Other Reasons Too

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Besides helping with digestive movement, it is important for many other functions in your body as well. Magnesium plays an important role in muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure, immune system functioning and blood sugar level. According to the World Health Organization, about three fourths of all Americans don't reach the recommended daily intake of magnesium.

Eat Foods High In Magnesium

The first step is to eat plenty of food that is high in magnesium. The recommended daily intake for adults ranges from 310mg to 420 milligrams. Common foods high in magnesium include:

  • Almonds — 1 ounce: 80mg
  • Dark leafy greens — ½ cup: 78mg
  • Cashews — 1 ounce: 74mg
  • Black beans — ½ cup: 60mg
  • Avocado — 1 cup: 44mg
  • Brown Rice — 1 cup cooked: 42mg
  • Banana — 1 whole; 32mg
  • Salmon — 3 ounces: 26mg

Add Magnesium Supplements As A Laxative

If loading up on magnesium-rich foods isn't doing the trick to move things along in your digestive track, add some magnesium supplements. I have 400mg pills that I often take before bed. You may need to experiment with what amount works right in your body. A general suggestion is that if you're still constipated after trying a dose, up your dosage, and if your stools are too soft, lower the dosage or just stop taking it until you need it again or start to feel constipation coming on.

There you go — the magic of magnesium. Eat or take supplements of it, and enjoy the freedom of a smooth-moving digestive tract!

As with any supplements, please be sure to check with your doctor if you take medications that may interact.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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