Foods for constipation include whole grains, beans, lentils, vegetables, and nuts. Eating ingredients that are rich in fiber can make your stools easier to pass. Fiber is the part of plant material that you can’t digest. Instead, fiber adds bulk to your stool and softens it.
In addition to eating fiber-rich ingredients, drinking more water, natural teas, and clear soups can help the fiber work better and get your digestive system moving again.
This article helps you understand constipation, lists the best foods for constipation, and explains how each food can help your digestive system stay normal.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is the medical term for when a person has a decrease in bowel movements or trouble passing stool.
Everyone’s bowel movements are unique; however, constipated humans generally have fewer than three bowel movements per week.
Foods and Drinks that Help with Constipation
Constipation can be an uncomfortable and debilitating experience. It may also contain:
- Experiencing dry, hard, or lumpy poop
- Having tough, painful, or uncomfortable poop
- Pooping, but feeling as if you haven’t completely emptied your bowels
If you have constipation, there are foods and drinks you can add to your food plan to ease it.
The following foods and drinks offer crucial vitamins like fiber, which could melt or hydrate your poop to make it easier to go, or probiotics, which may additionally help you poop extra regularly.
Prunes are dried plums, and they’ve been recognized as a constipation treatment for hundreds of years.
A quarter-cup (40 g) of prunes provides almost three g of fiber, just below 11% of your recommended daily value.
The varieties of fiber in prunes add water to your stools and bulk them out. A sugar alcohol called sorbitol in prunes also draws water into your colon. In some people, this causes a laxative effect.
Some of the plant compounds in prunes feed the “good” bug that stays in your intestine, too, which may help you to poop more effortlessly.
You can enjoy prunes as a snack on your or add them to your oatmeal, salad, cereals, stews, or smoothies. They’re a delicious sweetener in baked items, too.
Talk to your gastro doctor to learn more about natural ways to cure constipation.
Apples are another exceptional source of fiber. One medium apple, which includes the skin, gives you 4.8 g of fiber, or 19% of your daily fiber value.
A small quantity of the fiber in apples is pectin. It’s a soluble fiber, which means that it dissolves in water. As with prunes, your colon ferments pectins into materials that upload water to your poop and help soften it.
3. Olive and Flaxseed Oils
Olive and flaxseed oils have a slight laxative effect, supporting the flow of materials through the intestines. These oils also include compounds that enhance digestion and have antioxidant properties.
A 2015 randomized controlled trial located that olive and flaxseed oils help relieve constipation in humans undergoing hemodialysis — blood filtering.
In this study, the outcomes of each olive oil and flaxseed oil were similar to the ones of mineral oil, which is a laxative that medical experts on occasion recommend to treat constipation.
Probiotics are useful bacteria that can assist in improving intestine health and softening stools.
A 2017 systematic review of four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigated the effectiveness of probiotics as a treatment for constipation among elderly adults. Overall, the analysis counseled that probiotics improved by 10–40% with placebo.
The authors referred to the fact that the probiotic stress was caused by Bifidobacterium longum. Further RCTs are essential to determining the most effective probiotic strains, doses, and treatment gaps.
These are some of the best ingredients for constipation because of their excessive fiber and water content.
Berries are rich resources of soluble fiber, which forms a gel for your digestive tract that adds bulk to your stool and softens it.
Other berries to eat to save you and relieve constipation consist of:
Pears are another fruit rich in fiber, with approximately 5 grams of fiber in a medium-sized fruit (about 178 grams). That’s 22% of the RDI for fiber.
Alongside the fiber benefits, pears are specifically high in fructose and sorbitol, which are different fruits.
Fructose is a kind of sugar that a few people absorb poorly. This means that some of it ends up within the colon, where it pulls in water by osmosis, stimulating a bowel motion.
Pears additionally comprise the sugar alcohol sorbitol. Sorbitol, like fructose, is poorly absorbed by the body and acts as a natural laxative by drawing water into the intestines.
Eating plenty of colorful veggies is surely one of the best ways to alleviate constipation.
Vegetables are awesome resources of dietary fiber and have other laxative properties that prevent your stools from becoming too difficult to pass. Although it may no longer look like it, they also include masses of water.
While consuming vegetables raw is ideal, you can still get lots of fiber and different vital vitamins from greens after blanching, steaming, grilling, roasting, and even stir-frying them.
High-fiber veggies that may help prevent constipation contain:
- Green peas
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard vegetables
Many fruits, vegetables, pulses, and seeds can help relieve constipation. A high-fiber diet helps add bulk and weight to stools, soften them, and stimulate bowel movements. However, in some people, excessive fiber diets can make constipation worse, so it’s crucial to speak with your gastroenterologist about what’s appropriate for you.
1. What are the risks of constipation?
Constipation must not be ignored. If it is left untreated, critical complications can also arise, along with hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fecal impaction, and rectal prolapse, as well as different associated diseases that affect general health in the long term.
2. How long does constipation last?
Depending on the reason and how a person chooses to deal with it, constipation can last for several days or weeks. Laxatives commonly work within three days. If someone decides to deal with constipation with dietary adjustments, it can take a few weeks for signs and symptoms to ease.
3. Where is constipation pain positioned?
Constipated patients may experience tightness in their stomachs or a sharp, cramping ache deep in their gut. They may also feel full all the time—as if they have just eaten a huge meal—even if they have not eaten for numerous hours.
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