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Rye Beats Laxatives for Constipation Relief

Constipation affects 27% of the population of Western countries and most people rely on laxatives for relief. However, a recent study shows that rye bread may actually be more effective.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland and the findings were published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

For the study the researchers recruited 51 adults suffering from constipation and assigned them to one of five groups:

1. received the whole-grain rye bread (240 grams per day),

2. received buttermilk containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)

3. received both rye bread and LGG

4. received white wheat bread

5. received laxatives

The researchers found that rye bread out performed laxatives and white bread for constipation relief by 23% and 43% respectively. Additionally, they found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a probiotic that helps with digestion, had no effect on constipation.

The researchers believe that rye's fiber content is responsible for its ability to relieve constipation.

The biggest cause of constipation can be linked back to the type of food you eat on a daily basis. If you are not eating the right foods, this will often times result in not having the ideal 1-3 bowel movements per day.

Apart from rye, some other foods that help with digestion and have been shown to relieve constipation include:

Fruits and Vegetables

Nuts & Seeds (In Moderation)

Legumes

Rice

Oats

Alternatively, eating a lot of unhealthy foods like processed pasta, white bread, deep fried food or even too much meat and dairy can increase the likelihood of experiencing constipation.

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