We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Amir Abadir to our staff at the Center for Digestive Health. Dr. Abadir is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. Dr. Abadir received his MD degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. At the University of Toronto, he completed both his core residency training in Gastroenterology followed by a fellowship in Therapeutic Endoscopy where he received specialized training in advanced endoscopic procedures including endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
Pretty much everyone has dealt with constipation at some point. If you haven’t, you’re one of the lucky ones – but don’t claim victory just yet.
Here are some common foods found in every grocery store that help ease constipation with some easy recipes to get them into your diet.
Yea, yea, we need to eat more veggies. Everyone knows that. But sometimes, it’s not what you eat, but when you eat it. When you indulge in a digestive “no-no,” some roughage for dessert might be just what your gut needs.
“Adding that crunchy fibre as a finishing touch can help push the rest of the food through the digestive tract,” says Reader’s Digest Canada.
For your last-course salad, try this savory and bold arugula corn salad with bacon from Simply Recipes.
- 4 large ears of corn
- 2 cups of chopped arugula (about one bunch)
- 4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- ⅓ cup of chopped scallions
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
- ⅛ Tsp of ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- The recipe tells you to cook the fresh corn in the husk on a grill or steamed on the oven. But, since corn isn’t always in season, you can use some canned corn in its place.
- You can substitute turkey bacon, cubed ham or turkey, or even some olives for the bacon. The point is to have a salty, indulgent bite in the salad, so pick your protein poison.
- If you don’t have scallions, some leeks, shallots, or minced white, yellow, Spanish or red onion will work. If you want to take the edge off of their potency, soak them in a bit of vinegar before you mix them in. To make life easier, throw the onion in the food processor instead of chopping by hand.
- Add half a clove of minced garlic, a teaspoon of dijon mustard or a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the dressing for some zing. Most vinegars will work in this recipe, so if you don’t have white wine, use what’s in your pantry.
This cruciferous veggie has a pungent smell but even more potent digestive benefits. The high fiber and vitamin C content also works as an immune system helper.
Try Ina Garten’s famous parmesan-roasted broccoli for a wonderful cold-weather dish.
- 4-5 pounds of broccoli (about 8 cups of florets)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp of pine nuts, toasted
- ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped basil (about 12 leaves)
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
- Buy pre-cut broccoli. It saves time, hassle and waste.
- Use whatever nut you like. You can toss in some walnuts, pecans, peanuts, shelled pistachios, slivered almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or any other crunchy favorite.
- Parmesan has a lower lactose level than most cheese, but if your goal is to improve digestion, you might want to forgo it.
- Most fresh herbs will work, not just basil. Parsley is a great substitute. And if you don’t have any fresh, a dash of dried will add some flavor.
- You can substitute the broccoli with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or carrots and turnips. Almost any veggie will taste good with these ingredients.
Pears are a sweeter way to help ease constipation. “The amount of fiber in other fruit pales in comparison to that in a pear,” says How Stuff Works. “Its gritty fiber may help prevent cancerous growths in the colon.”
You can put pears in just about anything, from sweet treats to savory appetizers. We liked this recipe for prosciutto-wrapped pork with sweet potatoes and pears from Real Simple. You get a double dose of digestive help from the sweet potatoes, and this is a complete meal in one pan.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut lengthwise into wedges
- 2 firm red Bartlett pears, cut into wedges
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 piece pork tenderloin (1 1/4 pounds)
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 Tbsp honey
- If you’re avoiding sugar, you can omit the honey.