University of The Gambia Medical Students Association: Health Myths/Benefits

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Are you someone that visits the toilet and passes stools less frequently than is normal for you or strain hard to pass stools? This is a health problem known as constipation.

In addition to its discomforting nature, constipation is a risk factor for many other devastating health problems.

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Chronic constipation is infrequent passage of stools or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer.

Constipation is generally described as having fewer than three toilet visits a week i.e passing stools.

Diets rich in fibre might be your way out. Fibre can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool.

One such precious dietary fibre is dates. A tropical fruit considered one of the healthiest fruits in the world, highly regarded and used by Muslims to open and close their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

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Amongst the numerous benefits of this fruit is that it is highly rich in natural fibre, increasing the weight and size of your stools and softening it as well. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chances of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fibres may help solidify the stool by absorbing the water and adding to the bulk of the stool.

In one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates.

Other diets beneficial in helping reduce constipation include beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals and plenty of fluids.

References

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healthline.com

Mayoclinic.org

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