Papaya, pumpkin and parwal: The three Ps you need in your platter to tide over constipation and boost gut health.

Constipation is a common digestive condition that can affect individuals at any age. While altering your lifestyle and taking certain good pharmaceutical agents can help, adding natural treatments to your diet can have amazing results. Three natural foods, among the many that are offered, stand out as particularly effective relievers of constipation: papaya, pumpkin, and pointed gourd or parwal. These have special qualities that can help control bowel motions and support a healthy digestive tract.

Papaya: Often referred to as the “fruit of angels,” it is delicious and a fantastic remedy for constipation. Rich in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, papaya aids digestion and prevents irregular bowel movements. It contains an enzyme called papain, which accelerates the breakdown of proteins and enhances overall digestion. Additionally, papaya is abundant in water content, making it an effective natural laxative that helps soften stools. Consuming papaya regularly can contribute to regular bowel movements, preventing constipation and discomfort. The best part is papaya works well for diabetics because the high fibre intake improves blood sugar, lipid and insulin levels. One small papaya provides about 3 grams of fibre, which is equivalent to just 17 grams of carbohydrates. Papaya also supports cardiovascular health as it is rich in fibre, potassium and vitamins.

Pumpkin: Beyond its association with autumn and festive delights, pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse that can alleviate constipation. This vibrant vegetable is packed with dietary fibres, including both soluble and insoluble fibres. The high fibre content in pumpkin adds bulk to the stool and stimulates regular bowel movements. Moreover, pumpkin is rich in water content, aiding hydration and preventing dry and hard stools. Additionally, pumpkin seeds contain natural oils that lubricate the intestines, facilitating a smoother passage of waste. Including pumpkin in your diet, whether in soups, roasted dishes or smoothies, can promote healthy digestion and ease constipation.

During conditions such as diarrhoea, soluble fibre slows GI transit time, meaning food moves through the GI tract more slowly, absorbing water in the process. Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of magnesium, which eases constipation. According to research in Food, Science and Nutrition in December 2021, people who consumed more magnesium through diet reduce chances of developing constipation. In fact, magnesium’s ability to promote bowel regularity is the reason that many laxatives have it as their key ingredient. Magnesium supplements have an osmotic effect, drawing water into the bowel to increase volume. If your dietary intake of magnesium falls short, try adding pumpkin seeds to meals or munch them as snacks.

Parwal (Pointed Gourd): Parwal, commonly known as pointed gourd or green potato, is a popular vegetable in various Asian cuisines. It may not be as well-known as papaya or pumpkin but its effectiveness in relieving constipation is remarkable. Parwal is an excellent source of dietary fibre and contains a significant amount of insoluble fibre. This adds bulk to the stool, promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. Additionally, parwal is a hydrating vegetable, ensuring adequate water content in the intestines and preventing dry and hard stools. Including it in your diet, whether in curries, stir-fries, or stuffed recipes, can contribute to a healthy digestive system.

When it comes to easing constipation, opting for natural remedies is a wise choice. Papaya, pumpkin and parwal, with their rich fibre content and unique properties, offer a holistic approach to alleviating constipation and maintaining a healthy digestive system. Incorporating these foods into your daily diet can provide relief from constipation and promote regular bowel movements. However, it is essential to consume them in moderation and ensure a balanced diet overall. Also remember a good fluid intake, fitness and a healthy lifestyle has no substitute. If you have chronic or severe constipation, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate guidance.

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