I am 26 yrs old and most of my life I have struggled with chronic constipation, which led me to develop hemorrhoids.
I recently had them removed and the doctor has me drinking citrucel and metamucil. However these fiber supplements are hard for me to swallow, and I can't quite find the right balance in the pill form.
I've been researching the vegetarian lifestyle and I'd like to know if this would help me become healthier and feel better - C.R.
Ouch! Poor you! A vegetarian lifestyle and vegetarian diet would definitely help, especially one that has a lot of liquid and fiber. In general, if you're prone to constipation, that means that you're a 'dry' or 'vata' person, in Ayurvedic terms, and need a juicier diet.
You need foods that relieve constipation. Favor vegetables, cooked grains, soups and stews, cooked cereal, salads, fresh fruit, juices, herbal teas, water etc. Beans should be cooked soft, and are ideal in small amounts as part of soups or stews. Avoid drier and heavier foods. Easy on the cheese, chocolate, caffeine - they have a drying and binding effect.
There's a lot of research to support these suggestions, and I also know it works from my own experience. Adjusting my diet to my physical characteristics through Ayurveda was very helpful. Regular mild exercise like walking is good too.
Ayurvedic tips on for better elimination are available at MAPI (Maharishi Ayurvedic Products International)
The SV 10 Tips and Nutrition Reports should be helpful.
Here's another advice letter about veg diet and constipation.
While you recover from surgery, please check with your doctor before you make radical dietary changes.
All the best, Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian