The virtue of foods rich in cellulose is that, once they have parted with their nutrients,
the cellulose remains and , as it is capable of holding water like a sponge, it encourages
peristaltic action and also prevent the drying out of food debris which causes constipation.
A moment’s consideration of the dietary adopted in most civilized countries, reveals
that it is excessively constipating because of it’s relative lack of cellulose.
These foods are meat, fish, eggs, boiled potatoes, white bread, biscuits, cake,
confectionery, processed breakfast serials, jams, sandwiches , etc.
Vitamin B1, which helps to stimulate the peristaltic action of the intestines,
is notoriously lacking in the diet of constipated people.
The foods containing cellulose are the fruits, both fresh and dried, and vegetables –
particularly such salad vegetables as lettuce and celery.
Potatoes do not contain much cellulose , a mere 3.1% against 18% by cabbage and
25% by pears. At the other extreme is white flour, with less than a half per cent
Prunes are rich in cellulose and those subject to constipation are advised to soak
six to eight good quality prunes in a cup of water overnight, and eat them on rising,
then drink two glasses of water.
Wheatgerm promotes muscular tone and regular bowel activity, and this food
should be eaten as breakfast instead of processed cereals, and plenty of fluid
should be taken during the day.
Exercises to Prevent Constipation
The following simple exercises are helpful for those who suffer from constipation.
1. Squat down, knees bent, back held straight, then arise to an erect posture again.
Do this a few times each day.
2. Hold both arms straight out at right angles to the body and walk on tiptoes.
This pulls in the abdominal muscles.
3. This exercise can be done before rising.
Lie flat on the back and bring the thighs back against the chest as far as possible.
4. Place hands on hips, with the body erect, to circle from the hips six times
in each direction.