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What Foods Help With Constipation

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The Truth About Juice

BEST Foods to Help Constipation that Relieve Stomach Pain and Bloating

Some sources suggest prune, pear, and apple juices help to increase the water content in poop and can ease constipation.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends steering clear of fruit juice for children younger than 1 year old. You can stick with these fruits as purées for similar effects.

What is it about prune juice? The high levels of sorbitol and phenolic substances in prune juice and dried plums act as a laxative and diuretic properties. So if your child is over 1 year old, you can use small amounts of prune juice to encourage their system to run.

If youre like most parents, youll be up for whatever you can try to help your baby get comfortable fast. Here are a few tricks that you can use to ease your babys constipation:

  • Warm baths. These can relax those abdominal muscles and get them working.
  • Exercise. Lay your baby on their back and push their legs alternately as if theyre cycling a bike. Alternatively, hold their knees and feet together and push their feet towards their belly.
  • Massage. Use your fingertip to draw clockwise circles on your babys stomach.

If you see that despite your home remedies, your baby still is having hard stools or hasnt pooped after 2 or 3 days from their last hard stool, then contact your pediatrician. Especially if you consistently notice blood in their poop or your baby is extremely irritable and appears to be in pain.

Rely On Processed Foods

Not only are processed foods high in fat and sugar and harmful to your health they are also low in fiber and should especially be avoided when you are constipated, says De Latour. They wont make things worse, but they certainly wont help. And a diet that relies on too many pretzels, cold cuts, and other processed foods may lead to constipation to begin with, so reach for an apple or orange instead.

Whole Grain Bread For Constipation Relief

Whole grains have lots of fiber, which is a good choice not only for the bowels, but also the heart.

  • Researchers at the University of Finland in Helsinki found whole grain rye bread to be better than wheat bread and laxatives for relieving constipation. They reported their findings in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010. Their subjects ate enough slices to get 30 grams of fiber a day, but you don’t have to eat that much for it to work.
  • Arabinoxylan, the main component of dietary fiber in rye, helps keep food moving through the intestine.
  • Ezekiel bread is another good choice for relief of constipation. It is bread made of sprouted whole grains and legumes, which provides a good dose of fiber and nutrients.

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Foods That Relieve Constipation Quickly

Do you suffer from constipation? If so, youre not alone.

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems in the United States.

It can be caused by a variety of things, including diet, lifestyle, and medications.

Luckily, there are plenty of foods that can help relieve constipation quickly.

In this article, well cover:

Ease Into Making Changes To Your Diet

5 Foods That Prevent Constipation

You dont have to toss out everything you like to eat and choke down a gelatinous drink like psyllium just to up your fiber and water intake. When making lasting changes to help GI function, its important that the changes are feasible and affordable says Molly Brogan, RD, a dietitian in the department of nutrition at Albany Med Health System in New York. Brogan says that if fresh fruit will blow a patients budget, she eases them into a fiber-filled diet with other small swaps, such as a serving of half-brown, half-white rice. Or shell have them add raisins or cooked carrots to a muffin recipe.

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Add Fiber To Your Diet

According to USDA Dietary Guidelines, adult women should eat about 28 g of fiber daily and men should eat 35 g. But we often see people with constipation eating almost none, says Finkel.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that can help slow down the digestion process, so you can have regular bowel movements. Foods high soluble fiber include oats, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and some fruits and vegetables. Chia seeds, for example, are rich in soluble fiber a single serving of chia seeds is loaded with about 10 g of fiber, and it is noted for having digestive health benefits. You can also get soluble fiber from psyllium, a common fiber supplement.

Then theres insoluble fiber, which repels water and adds bulk to stool to get it moving in the digestive tract, helping to ease constipation. Insoluble fiber can be found in wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.

While fiber can be beneficial for both diarrhea and constipation, its important to remember that fiber works best when it absorbs water, so drink plenty of H2O. Fiber can actually cause constipation if you dont drink enough water.

Prunes For Constipation Relief

  • Prunes were grandma’s remedy. They could be yours, too. Prunes are high in insoluble fiber as well as the natural laxativesorbitol, which can help you “go.”
  • Researchers at the University of Iowa tested dried, pitted plums against psyllium in 40 adults who were constipated. Those given the plums had measurably higher spontaneous bowel movements than those given the laxative.
  • Prunes juice is also helpful at relieving constipation in babies.

Medically Reviewed on 2/11/2022Aliment Pharmacol TherJournal of Nutrition

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Chia Seeds Or Flaxseeds

Chia seeds and flaxseeds are an easy way to add more fiber into your diet, says Sam. Sprinkling a spoonful of each into your smoothie, oatmeal, or yogurt, or using it as a salad topping, can give a low-fiber meal the extra poop-producing power it needs.

Per 1-ounce serving chia seeds: 138 calories, 9 g fat , 12 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Per 1-ounce serving flaxseeds: 152 calories, 12 g fat , 8 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 9 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 5 g protein.

The 17 Best Foods To Relieve Constipation

Foods that Fight Constipation

About 14% of people experience chronic constipation at some point .

Symptoms include passing stools less than three times per week, straining, lumpy or hard stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, feeling blocked, or being unable to pass a stool.

The type and severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people experience constipation only rarely, while its a chronic condition for others.

Constipation has a variety of causes, but its often the result of the slow movement of food through the digestive system.

This may be due to dehydration, a poor diet, medications, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system, or mental disorders.

Fortunately, certain foods can help relieve constipation by adding bulk, softening stool, decreasing gut transit time, and increasing stool frequency.

Here are 17 foods that can help relieve constipation and keep you regular.

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Foods And Drinks That Help With Constipation

Constipation can be an uncomfortable and debilitating experience. It may involve:

  • pooping fewer than three times a week

  • experiencing dry, hard, or lumpy poop

  • having difficult, painful, or uncomfortable poops

  • pooping, but feeling like you havent completely emptied your bowels

If you have constipation, there are foods and drinks you can add to your diet that may be able to help.

The following foods and drinks provide vital nutrients like fiber, which can soften or hydrate your poop to make it easier to go, or probiotics, which may help you poop more often.

Constipation Symptoms And Causes

Constipation is a pressing digestive issue that affects your bowel movement. How often you have a bowel movement is subjective however, fewer than two to three weekly bowel movements is a conventional description of constipation. At least one bowel movement daily is considered normal however, two or three would be better.

It becomes a concern when you fail to have a bowel movement for longer than three days. After three days, the stool is far more difficult to pass. Other common constipation symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Gas and bloating

The most common cause of constipation is a low-fiber diet. Other causes include inadequate fluid, lack of physical activity, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, or taking medications such as diuretics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antispasmodics, iron supplements, blood pressure medications, antacids, anti-Parkinsons disease drugs, or pain medications like narcotics.

It can also be a symptom of a specific condition or disease, such as diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, hyperthyroidism, pituitary disorders, diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome , an imbalance of gut bacteria , or colon cancer.

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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.

Can Foods Help With Constipation

Foods To Help With Constipation

Two of the key factors in regular bowel movements are fibre and fluids. Fibre helps to regulate water content in our stool, softening stools so that they pass through the digestive tract more easily. Generally speaking, constipation occurs when food moves too slowly in the intestines, resulting in too much water absorption, which can result in hard, lumpy or dry stool that is difficult to pass. Therefore, constipation can be aided or alleviated by consuming high-fibre foods and adequate water.

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Look To Your Diet To Get Things Moving

Fresh produce and hearty beans are some of the high-fibre foods that make you poop. Whether youre experiencing the discomfort of constipation or simply want to feel lighter, eating foods high in fibre and other nutrients can get you feeling better fast. Keep reading to learn which foods you should add to your diet.

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.

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Foods To Avoid If You Have Constipation

In the same way that there are foods that help ease constipation, there are foods that can promote constipation and make things worse. These include foods with little or no fiber and those made with refined wheat, saturated fats, or trans fat.

Among the food to avoid if you have constipation are:

  • Baked goods, such as cupcakes and cookies
  • Fast foods, such as burgers, tacos, and pizzas
  • Fried foods, including french fries and fried chicken
  • Processed meat, like hotdogs, sausages, and salami

Drink More Water For Constipation

5 Science-Backed Foods to Relieve Constipation

She also stresses the importance of adequate hydration. Water is essential to helping fiber work its magic.

The large intestine draws water out of the stool before its passed out of the body. So if you are dehydrated due to exercise, hot weather, a medical condition or just not drinking enough water, you can end up with hard, dried-out stool that is more difficult to pass.

As you increase your dietary fiber, its important to increase your hydration at the same time, she advises.

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What To Know About Foods That Help You Poop

When you’re dealing with some stopped intestinal traffic, changing your diet is a good first step. Consider “fiber FTW” your poop-friendly words to live by. The good news is that there are so many, very tasty, foods that help you poop. “Most dietary fiber is not digested or absorbed, so it stays within the intestine where it modulates digestion of other foods and affects the consistency of stool,” explains Dr. Sonpal. There are two different types of fiber, he says, which each have their own benefits, according to Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD. “Soluble fiber” is made up of carbohydrates and dissolves in water while “insoluble fiber” comes from plant cell walls and does not dissolve in water .

Getting a good mix of both is probably your best bet. Add in some healthy fats, and you’ll be hitting the squatty potty in no time. With that in mind, here are 10 different foods that help you poop to…ahem, keep things moving along.

For more intel on foods that make you poop, check out this video:

Healthy Foods That Help You Poop

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.

Constipation is a common problem affecting an estimated 20% of the population .

Delayed colonic transit, or a decrease in the movement of food through the digestive system, is one of the most common causes. A low fiber diet, aging, and physical inactivity can also contribute to constipation.

While remedies for constipation typically include laxatives, stool softeners, and fiber supplements, incorporating a few regularity-boosting foods into your diet can be a safe and effective alternative.

Here are 15 healthy foods that can help you poop.

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Other Remedies For Constipation

Keep in mind that the bowels may need to be retrained. Here are some common rules to retrain the bowels:

  • Figure out the cause of your constipation and make necessary changes. For example, stop over-using laxatives, or discover which medication is causing your constipation.
  • Never hold in a bowel movement.
  • Drink up to eight glasses of pure, filtered water daily.
  • Set a specific time to defecate every day, such as after breakfast or after exercising.
  • Maintain a regular exercise routine of 20 minutes a day, three times weekly.

Once youve followed these steps and have eaten the best foods for constipation relief, there are also other natural treatments for constipation:

  • Supplements such as probiotics, magnesium, or digestive enzymes
  • Herbal supplements like psyllium husks, aloe vera juice, fenugreek, gentian root, dandelion root, or the Ayurveda herb triphala
  • Homeopathic remedies, including nux vomica, natrum muriaticum, sepia, lycopodium, calcarea carbonica, bryonia, alumina, sulphur, or silicea
  • Effective essential oils for constipation may include cinnamon leaf, lovage, sweet fennel, sweet marjoram, nutmeg, bitter or sweet orange, cubebs, palmarosa, black pepper, yarrow, turmeric, or tarragon

Eating When You Have Constipation

Top 4 Tips for Treating &  Preventing 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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Which Vegetables Cure Constipation

Some of the best vegetables for relieving constipation include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

These vegetables are all high in fiber, which is essential for maintaining regularity.

Besides being high in fiber, they also contain other nutrients that are beneficial for gut health.

For example, broccoli is a good source of vitamins C and K, while cabbage is a rich source of vitamin C.

Both Brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain sulforaphane, a compound with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

If youre looking for a quick constipation remedy, reach for one of these vegetables.

You can add them to soups, stews, salads, or simply steam them as a side dish.

No matter how you eat them, theyre sure to get things moving again in no time.

Best Fruits For Constipation

Fruits are a great food for constipation. Most are an excellent source of dietary fiber and also provide a host of nutritional benefits.

Both fresh and dried options are good. Some, like prunes, contain cellulose that not only increases the amount of water in stools but also promotes fermentation that adds to the stool weight.

Others, like apples and pears, contain pectin that also increases water volumes while speeding the movement of stools through the intestine.

Here are some fresh fruits that can ease constipation:

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