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Natural Stool Softeners

Natural stool softeners can be found in all sorts of foods.  Magnesium, in nuts, spinach and supplements, draws waters to the colon, softening the waste.  Soluble fibers, including pectin, are natural stool softeners, because they bind to the water that a person drinks. Pears, carrots, beets, cabbage, bananas, apples, and citrus fruits are high in pectin. Other soluble fibers are found in blueberries, cranberries, grapes, figs, peaches, beans, barley, and oats. The variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, grains and legumes that serve as natural stool softeners is surprisingly large.


Sources for Natural Stool Softeners

Magnesium

Almonds, cashews, soybeans, spinach, supplements( H2Go)

Pectin Sources

Pears, Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Bananas, Apples, Citrus Fruits

Other Soluble Fiber Sources

Blueberries, Cranberries, Grapes, Figs, Peaches, Beans, Oats, Barley

Magnesium
Magnesium can act, through osmosis, as natural stool softener. Magnesium osmotics draw water into the stool from the surrounding tissues through osmosis. The additional water makes the stool suppler so that it can readily move out of the body. Unlike regular osmotics, hyperosmotics such as H2Go can bind sufficient quantities of water molecules to the stool using a lower concentration of the solute. H2Go particles feature an enlarged  surface area of magnesium, to hold onto water molecules. Because each magnesium atom can bind with more water molecules, it's possible for H2Go to work with a much lower intake of magnesium.

Pectin, a Soluble Fiber
Dietary fiber is not broken up by the digestive system. It travels to the large intestine undigested. Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that dissolves in water. Soluble fiber will hold onto water from a meal, thus making the stool softer and easier to pass. It is important to drink plenty of water along with dietary fiber. Pectin is a type of soluble fiber. It is a component of the matrix that cements adjacent plant cells together. Pectin is an important ingredient in fruit jellies and jams. One homemade recipe for pectin starts with granny apples. The first step is cutting whole, washed granny apples into eighths without peeling or coring them. The apple slices are then simmered. The fluid is strained with cheesecloth and allowed to cool overnight. The next day, this liquid is reduced by half through boiling. The reduced liquid is rich pectin for making homemade jellies and jams.

Other Soluble Fibers

Soluble fiber is typically found in healthy and less processed foods.There are many types of soluble fiber. For example, barley contains beta glucan. This soluble fiber is found in pearl barley, not just whole grain barely. The gums in beans, seeds, barley, oats, and rice are another kind of soluble fiber. Gums are complex carbohydrates made by plants. They tend to be gelatinous when they are wet and hard when they dry. Gums evolved in plants to seal cuts and to combat animals that try to eat them.  Psyllium is a third type of insoluble fiber. Psyllium is extracted from the seeds of plants in the Plantago genus. India is a major producer and exporter of psyllium. Psyllium is valued for its mucilage. Psyllium mucilage absorbs water, expanding to 10 times its volume. Psyllium is frequently added to breakfast cereals to increase their fiber content. It is also sold separately as a supplement.

Magnesium and soluble fiber work as natural stool softeners. Soluble fiber helps raise the level of water in the stool. The water comes from liquids that a person drinks. There are several kinds of soluble fiber. Pectin, beta glucan, gums, and psyllium are all soluble fibers in vegetarian foods. Lane Labs encourages readers to eat healthy sources of soluble fiber. Reach for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans to get the benefits of these natural stool softeners.

References:

1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch and James Balch

2. Homemade Pectin on CooksRecipes.com
http://www.cooksrecipes.com/sauce/homemade-pectin-recipe.html

3. Pearl Barley on Ohio State University Extension
http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~news/story.php?id=3605

4. Psyllium in Alternative Field Crops Manual
From the Purdue University Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/psyllium.html