Best Foods To Eat When Constipated
Use this quick pick list of high-fiber foods, and then explore more in-depth about why these foods will help your constipation. You will also find precautions for those who may be sensitive to some of the foods on the list.
- Fruit: Berries, peaches, apricots, plums, raisins, rhubarb, and prunes are some of the best high-fiber fruits. For a fiber boost, eat the peel as well.
- Whole Grains: Steer away from white flour and white rice and enjoy whole grains instead, which provide more fiber. Whole grains include oats, brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, barley, and rye.
- Vegetables: Whether you’re eating the leaves, stalks, or roots, you’ll get fiber from vegetables, including what is in potato skins.
- Nuts: Walnuts and almonds will also add fiber to your diet.
- Seeds: Several kinds of seeds are excellent sources of fiber. You can add them to your smoothies or sprinkle them on yogurt or salads. Chia, ground flaxseeds, and psyllium are some of the most touted.
- Beans and Legumes : Legumes such as chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, navy beans, and kidney beans are good sources of fiber. However, they have a well-earned reputation for being gassy. If you have irritable bowel syndrome , beans and legumes are on the list of high FODMAP foods that may exacerbate IBS symptoms.
- Hot Tea: An herbal tea made with anise or fennel might be a soothing way to ease your constipation.
Pears Plums And Apples For Constipation Relief
- With the skin, an average pear provides 5 to 6 grams of dietary fiber to regulate the digestive system.
- Pears also are great for babies with constipation. Look for baby foods with pears as an ingredient, and pear juice can also aid constipation in infants.
- Fresh plums do not have much fiber, but dried plums prunes have as many as 12 g fiber per cup and are excellent for relieving constipation.
- One large apple has more than 5 g fiber.
Sweet Potatoes For Constipation Relief
- One medium baked sweet potato with skin has 3.8 grams of fiber, which can help get things moving along. This high fiber content in sweet potatoes helps prevent and relieve constipation. The skin contains most of the fiber so leave it on for the biggest benefits.
- Regular baked potatoes are also a good source of fiber, with 3 grams in a small baked potato. Leave the skin on, and high-calorie toppings such as butter or sour cream off.
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Bring On The Broccoli
Like beans, broccoli is a superstar source of fiber. It’s also low in calories and a great source of nutrients. For the best fiber bang for your buck, eat your broccoli raw, because cooking it can reduce its fiber content. But if you prefer it cooked, try steaming, broiling, or baking your broccoli to avoid extra calories. You can toss it with a small amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper for additional flavor.
Fiber Is Generally Good For Digestion
Dietary fiber is the name given to the non-digestible carbohydrates in plants. It can be found in all plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds.
Its usually categorized into two groups, based on solubility:
- Insoluble fiber: Found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains.
- Soluble fiber: Found in oat bran, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and peas, as well as some fruits and vegetables.
That said, most fiber-rich foods contain a mixture of insoluble and soluble fiber in varying proportions.
Even though your body cant digest fiber, eating enough of it is thought to be very important for your gut health. This is partly because dietary fiber increases the size of your stools and makes them softer.
Larger, softer stools help keep you regular, as they move more quickly through your bowels and are easier to pass .
These two types of fiber help with this in slightly different ways.
Insoluble fiber bulks up your stool and acts like a brush, sweeping through your bowels to get everything out and keep things moving.
The soluble variety absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance. This helps your stool pass smoothly through your bowels and improves its form and consistency.
The fermentation of one type of soluble fiber, known as prebiotics, in the large intestine can also help maintain a healthy gut by increasing its number of good bacteria .
This could also improve your health by decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity .
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Does Nut Butter Cause Constipation
Peanut butter and almond butter are the two most popular nut butter. Some other famous nut butters are cashew butter, walnut butter, and pecan butter. A normal intake of all of these nut butter does not cause constipation.
However, some people have a nut allergy, especially peanut allergy. In that case, they may get constipated after eating peanut butter.
Moreover, all nut butter contains a moderate amount of saturated fat. As saturated fat is a well-known constipation factor, too much consumption of nut butter can promote constipation.
A Word About Nut Allergies
Nuts are one of the most common food allergens, and intestinal problems may indicate an allergy. Nut allergy symptoms include cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. You may also experience an itchy throat or develop a rash. If you think you have an allergy to nuts, you should stop eating them right away and see your doctor for testing and management. Nut allergies can be dangerous, and even life-threatening, and need to be treated by your physician.
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Cashews As A Food Allergen
Nuts — including cashews — can cause an allergic reaction. If you’re allergic, one possible gastrointestinal sign of a reaction is constipation. Nut allergies can be serious and cause life-threatening symptoms. If you’re experiencing constipation after eating nuts and you suspect an allergy, see a doctor.
Best Snacks For Constipation
Fruit: Apples and pears are quite portable.
Granola: Make your own granola to reduce added sugar and to ensure that you are adding grains, seeds, and nuts that you can tolerate.
Hummus: This fiber-rich snack is very portable and you can enjoy it with raw vegetable sticks such as carrots or celery.
Nuts: Brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts are generally well-tolerated by all.
Trail mix: Make your own to ensure that you are eating foods that are suited for you. You can add some nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and dried fruit .
Vegetables: Carrots and celery are classic nibbles.
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Using Mineral Oil For Constipation
Mineral oil coats the stool and the inside of the bowel with moisture. This helps keep the stool from drying out.
You can buy mineral oil here. Its available in liquid or oral form, or as an enema.
Drink the plain liquid or mix it with water or another drink. A mineral oil enema usually comes in a squeezable tube. This allows you to deliver the oil directly into your rectum.
Because mineral oil takes about 8 hours to work, consider taking it right before bedtime. This may limit or reduce your chance of waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
Avoid taking it with meals because mineral oil can interfere with your bodys absorption of several important nutrients. This is also why its not recommended for pregnant women to treat constipation.
Dont take mineral oil within 2 hours of taking another medication because it can interfere with the other medications effectiveness.
Do The Nuts Cause Constipation
Scientific sources and personal experience have shown that daily consumption of sufficient fiber helps relieve constipation. Adequate fiber for adults is between 20 and 35 grams per day. It is better to read the amount of fiber weight that is on the food packaging label and be informed about the amount of fiber.
Several kinds of fresh fruits, legumes, brown rice, whole-grain bread, and most nuts are high in fiber.To get enough fiber daily, you need to change your lifestyle and eating habits. For example, eat a handful of almonds containing 3.3 grams of fiber instead of snacks. Or add some nuts to your salad. Use nuts in some meat dishes that do not have fiber.
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Popcorn For Constipation Relief
- Air-popped popcorn is a good choice for a high-fiber snack that can help provide relief from constipation.
- A filling 3 cups of air-popped popcorn contains 3.5 g fiber, and less than 100 calories.
Stay away from movie theater popcorn or popcorn laden with butter as the high fat content not only contains lots of calories, the fat can cause constipation.
How Many Nuts Can I Eat With Constipation
If you are suffering from normal constipation a serving of 50 grams of nuts can do wonders for you. This serving size is able to provide the essential fiber and magnesium requirement for constipation relief.
Moreover, this little serving size will check the saturated fat consumption also. This is another added benefit for getting rid of constipation.
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Fibre And Bowel Health
Fibre is the part of food that cannot be digested. It travels through our gut relatively unchanged. This means it can help our bowels work better by moving digested food through the body. Some fibre can also help reduce cholesterol. For example, the type found in oats, pulses, fruit, and vegetables.
Fibre and Constipation
Having more fibre can help relieve constipation by softening and adding bulk to stools. If you experience constipation, try slowly increasing the fibre in your diet.
The following foods are great sources of fibre:
- Wholemeal bread and breakfast cereals
- Brown rice and pasta
Dry foods like toast or crackers may help settle your stomach.
Does fibre affect my weight?
Fibre can help us feel fuller for longer. If you are trying to watch your weight, fibre may help you control your portion sizes, and snack less often. High fibre foods may make you feel too full. Especially if you feel you are struggling to maintain your weight or you are losing weight.
Top tips for increasing fibre
Eating When You Have Constipation
Try these things to relieve your constipation:
- Do not skip meals.
- Avoid processed or fast foods, such as white breads, pastries, doughnuts, sausage, fast-food burgers, potato chips, and French fries.
Many foods are good natural laxatives that will help you move your bowels. High-fiber foods help move waste through your body. Add foods with fiber to your diet slowly, because eating more fiber can cause bloating and gas.
Drink 8 to 10 cups of liquids, particularly water, every day.
Ask your health care provider how much fiber to take each day. Males, females, and different age groups all have different daily fiber needs.
Most fruits will help ease constipation. Berries, peaches, apricots, plums, raisins, rhubarb, and prunes are just some of the fruits that may help. Do not peel fruits that have edible skins, because a lot of the fiber is in the skin.
Choose breads, crackers, pasta, pancakes, and waffles made with whole grains, or make your own. Use brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice. Eat high-fiber cereals.
Vegetables can also add fiber to your diet. Some high-fiber vegetables are asparagus, broccoli, corn, squash, and potatoes . Salads made with lettuce, spinach, and cabbage will also help.
Legumes , peanuts, walnuts, and almonds will also add fiber to your diet.
Other foods you can eat are:
- Fish, chicken, turkey, or other lean meats. These do not have fiber, but they will not make constipation worse.
- Snacks such as raisin cookies, fig bars, and popcorn.
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What Do Long Skinny Poops Mean
Narrowing of the stool may be due to a mass in the colon or rectum that limits the size of the stool that can pass through it. Conditions that cause diarrhea can also cause pencil thin stools. Persistent pencil thin stool, which may be solid or loose, is one of the symptoms of colorectal polyps or cancer.
Best Seeds For Constipation
There are a few different types of seeds that are thought to be particularly helpful in easing constipation.
- Chia seeds: These little seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Sprinkle them on salads or add them to smoothies.
- Fennel seeds: Chewing on fennel seeds is thought to help to ease gas and bloating, along with easing constipation.
- Flaxseed: These pleasant little nutty-flavored seeds need to be ground to benefit from their fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Can be used in baking or added to smoothies.
- Psyllium: There is a lot of research support for the use of psyllium as a way to ease constipation which earns it its designation as a bulk laxative.
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Eat More Plums Pears And Apples
Constipation can make you feel bloated, and eating more fruit can be a constipation remedy because it, too, is high in dietary fiber. Plums, pears, and apples are good choices because much of their fiber can be found in their edible skins and they’re also high in pectin, a naturally occurring fiber. Both an unpeeled small pear and a medium apple with skin contain 4.4 g of fiber each.
When To Eat Nuts For Constipation
There is no recommended schedule for nut intake. However, it is good to eat nuts after your meal in the afternoon.
Nuts can be consumed as raw or roasted. The roasting of nuts does not change a lot of nuts nutrient value.
So, you can eat roasted nuts without any hazards. Some popular nut recipes are:
- Almond, cashew mix
- Roasted hazelnuts with pecan nuts
- Nut mix
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Do Raw Nuts Cause Constipation
A controlled intake of raw nuts does not cause constipation as these are packed with fiber and magnesium. However, too much intake of raw nuts can do nutrition overload which may lead to constipation problems.
Moreover, you should wash raw nuts properly. Unwashed raw nuts may contain H. Coli bacteria which may trigger diarrhea.
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Who Gets Constipation
Health and medical experience have shown that people who are more likely to be exposed to constipation or have experienced more constipation include the following:
- People who do not drink enough water daily
- Those who eat fewer fiber foods
- People who have little physical activity and do not exercise
- Pregnant women
- People who use more laxatives
- People who suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression
Drink Plenty Of Water
Every cell in your body needs water to function to its best ability. If you don’t drink enough water, your body will compensate by pulling water out of your intestines. This may result in hard stools that contribute to constipation.
Drink water throughout your day. You will know that you are drinking enough if your urine is clear.
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Tips To Reduce Intestinal Problems With Nuts
Nuts make a healthy addition to your diet, and you dont want to give up on the savory treat too soon because of a stomachache. To prevent discomfort, you might want to go slow when adding nuts to your diet. Instead of starting with a handful, eat a few nuts a day, then slowly increase the number each week until youre eating a handful without any tummy trouble. Drinking plenty of water when adding nuts to your diet may also reduce intestinal problems by helping to prevent constipation.
Surround Yourself With Nuts
Nuts are yet another fiber powerhouse. Among the best are almonds, pecans, and walnuts. A 1-ounce serving of almonds provides 3.5 g of fiber, while a similar size serving of pistachios will provide 2.9 g of fiber, and pecans 2.7 g. Just be sure to watch how many you eat, because nuts are calorie-dense. Prather offers this trick for gauging how much to eat: Cup your hand and fill only the palm part.
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Green Juice & Smoothies
Green juice and smoothies are like water in healthy eating worldessential, right? Except when your tummy cramps, bloats or constipates shortly after sipping up. This can happen for several reasonsfor one, smoothies and juices are easy to drink FAST. Also, they contain LOTS of veggie load in a small amount. 5-minutes later, and youve consumed 2 servings of leafy greens, a cucumber, an apple, celery stalks and parsley all in one setting! Green juices extract fiber from their processing, leaving the veggieswithout the fiberto help move things along.
Some blends can also contain LOTS of sugar from several servings of fruit. This is a lot for any body to digest at once. Lastly, smoothies are EASY to inhaleand drink air with them, causing bloating and/or constipation with digestive distress.
Green Juice & Smoothie Hack:
Drink slowly . Opt for ONE fruit in your blendsnot 2-4. Chew your healthy foods at meals as much as possible and consume a juice or smoothie as a snack sip if you need some fuel between instead.
Q & A: Diet And Constipation
Q. If someone is constipated, does it matter when they eat?
A. There is not much research around this. But, we know the process of eating stimulates the digestive system end to end, so at least theoretically, keeping a regular daily meal schedule could support regular bowel movements.
Q. Are there particular diets that cause constipation?
A. The keto diet, with its high levels of fat, can definitely cause constipation. If you are on a ketogenic diet for health reasons and become constipated, work with a dietitian or doctor to balance your dietary needs with some low-carb fiber sources, such as leafy greens.
The BRAT diet bananas, rice, applesauce and toast is one we recommend for a range of digestive issues, and it can help with both constipation and diarrhea.
Intermittent fasting can have variable effects on bowel movement regularity since there are so many different schedules to choose from.
If you have questions about constipation and diet or any other aspect of nutrition and how it might affect your health, consult a clinical dietitian or a doctor.
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