Extra virgin olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and is considered a healthy cooking oil. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin K and vitamin E. It has powerful biological effects and being anti-inflammatory, Balances the level of sugar, prevents oxidation of blood cholesterol, thus lowers the risk of cardiac diseases and stroke. But do you know that olive can also relieve constipation?
What Is Constipation?
Constipation is a common health issue. It is referred to as slow bowel movements or having fewer bowel movements a week. The stool becomes hard and dry, thus is harder to pass.
There is dissatisfaction and straining to pass stool. Other symptoms that accompany constipation are abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, indigestion etc.
There are many possible causes of constipation such as poor diet, low fiber diet, sedentary habits, lack of exercise, improper hydration and certain medications. Also, neurological issues where nerves around the rectum and colon is affected or pelvic muscle issues or colon cancer may also lead to constipation.
How Olive Oil Can Help Treat Constipation
Olive oil is a mild laxative. Although the relief offered is slight, it is worth adding olive oil to your daily diet to get rid of constipation. Read below why?
Olive oil promotes the release of bile which is a natural laxative. The oil promotes the gallbladder to release bile and helps digest the fat. It maintains the stool moisture so that no pain or difficulty is experienced while passing bowels. Also, bile stimulates the gut mucosa and stimulates the movement of stool. Besides promoting the bile release consumption of olive oil reduces bloating, irritation and swelling of the intestine. Thus the intestine is relaxed and stool passes smoothly. It stimulates the digestive system and the food is digested properly. Proper digestion is key to regular and smooth movement. Being rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K and vitamin E, olive oil keep the digestive tract healthy and constipation at bay.
According to a study that was published in Journal of Renal Nutrition a daily dose of olive oil effectively improves most of the symptoms of constipation in kidney patients who were undergoing hemodialysis. The starting dose was millilitres and then increased according to the requirement.
How To Consume Olive oil For Constipation
You can use olive oil for constipation in the following ways:
1. Olive Oil On Empty Stomach– Consume 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil on an empty stomach in the morning. After consuming oil make sure not to consume water for an hour. Take this every day till you get rid of constipation completely. If your child is constipated, give him/her a teaspoon olive oil before giving any food in the morning to alleviate the symptoms and issue of constipation.
2. Olive Oil With Orange Juice– Orange juice has laxative properties and its consumption makes a coat around the colon. This promotes smooth bowel movements.
To a glass of freshly extracted orange juice, add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Mix well the ingredients and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning. For kids add a half teaspoon virgin olive oil to a half cup of orange juice and give them on an empty stomach in the morning.
3. Olive Oil And Banana– Banana is rich in potassium and fibre. These nutrients are essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system. Potassium smoothens the digestive tract muscles and the insoluble fibres present in banana promotes the movement of food in the digestive tract. Also, banana relieves gas and bloating. Peel a banana and cut it into thin slices. Toss a teaspoon olive oil over it and have it 3 times in a day.
4. Olive Oil, Vegetable salad- Add 1- 2 teaspoon olive to a vegetable salad made of vegetables rich in magnesium and fibre, such as Brussel sprouts, green peas, beans, broccoli, sweet potato, celery and green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.
5. Olive Oil And Coffee– Caffeine present in olive oil makes it an effective diuretic that stimulates the contraction of the colon and improves the digestion. Caffeine speeds up the movement of fluids in the digestive tract. Warm coffee softens the feces so that it moves smoothly. Coffee with olive oil lubricate the digestive tract and eases constipation. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a cup of coffee. Mix well and drink it two times in a day in the morning and evening.
Olive oil is one of the best home remedies to treat mild and moderate constipation. If you do not find any relief, consult your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Does Consuming Olive For constipation May have a negative effect On Your Health?
Olive oil is the healthiest cooking oil and is very well-tolerated if consumed in small doses. Adding 1-2 spoons olive oil to your diet to address constipation is likely not to carry any risk. However, do not exceed the recommended dose as being a natural laxative if taken in large amounts it may cause diarrhea.
One tablespoon of olive oil provides you with 120 calories. So when you include olive oil in your diet routine carefully do the calorie counting to maintain ideal weight.
Diabetic patients on medications better consult your doctor before taking olive oil because olive oil may lower the level of blood sugar.
*Use extra virgin, cold pressed and organic olive oil that is pure and contains the most of nutrients and antioxidants.
- Is olive oil safe for children?
Babies and small children should not be given olive oil to relieve constipation.
According to American Academy of Pediatrics if your baby is above 6 months you can give them pureed prunes, Karo syrup or juice of apple or pear to relieve constipation. Add high fibre food such as whole grains, fresh vegetables, apricots etc to toddler and older children diet regimen to prevent constipation on first hand.
- Why consuming only virgin olive oil is recommend?
Virgin olive oil is that is extracted by simply pressing the fruit is not processed or extracted with chemical. Virgin olive oil is not refined. Light olive oils that are filtered lack some natural compounds.
- Are there other oils that can help treating constipation?
Castor oil has been used since ages to treat constipation. It causes the intestinal muscles to contract and stimulates the bowel movement. However for proper dose better consult your doctor because its action is not mild in comparison to olive oil. Also in pregnant women it may cause the uterus to contrast so better avoid it or consult your gynaecologist before consuming it. Other oils that work in similar manner to soften stool and relieve constipation are flaxseed oil and mineral oil.
- How to prevent constipation in future?
Occasionally treating constipation with olive oil may provide you comfort but you cannot depend on olive oil or other laxative for long or your bowels will get used to them or become dependant on them for stimulating bowel movements. Better bring changes in your life style and eating habits. Consume fiber rich foods, drink more water and get more exercise. If these measures do not help you better consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of underlying cause.
- Is it safe to consume olive oil for constipation in pregnancy?
Olive oil is mild laxative. If consumed in small amount it do not cause uterus contractions but in some females it can. So better consult your gynecologist.
We will suggest to better increase fiber consumption, water consumption and stay active to relieve constipation in pregnancy