Have you been dealing with constipation for too long? Not being able to go to the bathroom on your own is not only uncomfortable but can be embarrassing. It also makes it difficult for women to go about their daily routines.
Food For Constipation
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 it’s a chronic condition for others.
Constipation has a variety of causes, but it’s 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 foods that can help relieve constipation and keep you regular.
Dried plums, known as prunes, are widely used as a natural remedy for constipation.
Apples are rich in fiber. In fact, one medium apple with the skin on (about 200 grams) contains 4.8 grams of fiber, which is 19% of the RDI.
One kiwi (about 75 grams) contains about 2.3 grams of fiber, which is 9% of the RDI.
In one study, 19 healthy adults consumed a kiwi-derived supplement for 28 days. Researchers found doing so led to significant increases in the number of daily bowel movements, compared with a control group.
It’s not just the fiber in kiwis that’s thought to fight constipation. An enzyme known as actinidin is also hypothesized to be responsible for kiwi’s positive effects on gut motility and bowel habits.
Kiwis can be eaten raw. Just peel them or cut them in half and scoop out the green flesh and seeds. They make a great addition to fruit salads and can be added to smoothies for a fiber boost.
Figs are a great way to boost your fiber intake and promote healthy bowel habits.
One medium raw fig (about 50 grams) contains 1.5 grams of fiber. Moreover, just half a cup (80 grams) of dried figs contains 7.9 grams of fiber, which is almost 32% of the RDI.
An older study in dogs investigated the effects of fig paste on constipation over a 3-week period. It found that fig paste increased stool weight and reduced intestinal transit time.
Figs are a delicious snack on their own and also pair well with both sweet and savory dishes. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and go well with cheese and gamey meats, as well as on pizza, in baked goods, and in salads
6. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins are a refreshing snack and good source of fiber.
For example, one orange (about 154 grams) contains 3.7 grams of fiber, which is 15% of the RDI. Meanwhile, one grapefruit (about 308 grams) contains almost 5 grams of fiber, meeting 20% of your daily needs.
Foods to Eat When You Are Constipated
Start with this quick-pick list of high-fiber foods. Then explore more in-depth about why these foods will help. 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 clear of white flour and white rice. Enjoy whole grains instead; they provide more fiber. Whole grains include oats, brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, barley, and rye.
- Vegetables: Veggie leaves, stalks, and roots are rich in fiber. That includes potato skins.
- Nuts: Walnuts and almonds will also add fiber to your diet.
- Seeds: Several kinds of seeds are great sources of fiber. You can add them to smoothies or sprinkle them on yogurt or salads. Chia, ground flaxseeds, and psyllium are some of the most popular.
- Beans and Legumes (with caution): Legumes such as chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, navy beans, and kidney beans are good sources of fiber. However, they have a well-earned reputation for making people gassy. If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), beans and legumes are on the list of high FODMAP foods. These are high-carb foods that may make IBS symptoms worse.
- Hot Tea: An herbal tea made with anise or fennel might ease constipation.