13 foods that can help you stay regular and relieve constipation

Published on August 16, 2022 15:10 PM by FactsWOW Team

At some point, about 14% of people have persistent constipation (1Trusted Source). Less than three bowel movements per week, straining, lumpy or hard stools, a sense of incomplete evacuation, feeling blocked, or not being able to pass a stool are all symptoms. Symptoms might vary in nature and severity from person to person. Constipation can be a chronic condition for some people while it only occurs infrequently for others. There are several reasons why people get constipation, but the slow passage of food through the digestive system is a common culprit. Fortunately, some meals can reduce constipation by bulking up the stool, softening it, speeding up gut transit, and increasing the frequency of bowel movements. Exercise, a diet high in fiber, and a lot of water are the best ways to maintain regularity. But certain foods can be helpful if you have difficulties urinating. Fiber, which increases the size and water content of your stool, is an important role, albeit it is not the only one. Men should aim for 30 to 38 grams per day and women for 21 to 25 grams.

Here are 13 foods that can help you stay regular and relieve constipation.

1. Prunes

Prunes, which are dried plums, are frequently used as an all-natural constipation treatment. Per 1/4 cup (40 grams) serving, they have a high fiber content of almost 3 grams. This amounts to 12% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for fiber set by the American Heart Association. Prunes contain cellulose, an insoluble fiber that raises the water content of the stool, giving it the potential to be more voluminous. Short-chain fatty acids are also produced during the colon's fermentation of the soluble fiber in prunes, which can also lead to an increase in stool weight.

Prunes additionally contain sorbitol. Because this sugar alcohol is poorly absorbed by the body, water is drawn into the colon, which in some cases has a laxative effect. Prunes additionally have phenolic chemicals, which promote good gut bacteria and help in relieving constipation. This is thought to be a factor in their laxative action

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2. Apples

Apples contain a lot of fiber. In actuality, 4.8 grams of fiber, or 19% of the RDI, may be found in one medium apple with the skin on (approximately 200 kilos). Apples contain soluble fiber, primarily in the form of a dietary fiber known as pectin, even though the majority of that fiber is insoluble. Short-chain fatty acids are created when pectin is quickly digested by bacteria in the stomach. These acids can draw water into the colon, soften stools, and shorten gut transit times.

Apples are a simple method to increase your diet's fiber level and help in relieving constipation. You may slice them up and add them to salads or baked items, or you can eat them whole on their own. Apples with a high fiber content include Granny Smith varieties.

3. Pears

Another fruit high in fiber is the pears, which contain 5.5 grams in a medium-sized fruit (about 178 grams). In terms of fiber, that is 22% of the RDI. Pears are notably high in fructose and sorbitol when compared to other fruits, in addition to the advantages of fiber. Fructose is a type of sugar that some people have problems absorbing. As a result, some of it travels to the colon, where it osmotically absorbs water and causes a bowel movement. Constipation is relieved by it.

The sugar alcohol sorbitol can also be found in pears. Sorbitol, like fructose, is not readily absorbed by the body and, by transporting water into the intestines, works as a natural laxative. There are several ways to include pears in your diet. You can eat them with cheese, raw or cooked, or you can add them to salads, savory dishes, and baked products.

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4. Kiwi

There are around 2.3 grams of fiber in one kiwi (75 grams), which is 9% of the RDI.In one trial, a kiwi-derived supplement was eaten for 28 days by 19 healthy people. When compared to a control group, researchers discovered that doing so significantly increased the frequency of bowel motions each day. In another study, 11 healthy people who had two kiwis every day for two weeks saw more bowel movements and looser stools.

You can consume raw kiwis. Simply remove the green flesh and seeds by peeling or halving the fruit. They go well with fruit salads and can be included to increase the fiber content of smoothies. Kiwi is good for health as well as good in relieving constipation.

5. Figs

Figs are a fantastic method to increase your fiber intake and encourage regular bowel movements. 50 grams of a medium raw fig has 1.5 grams of fiber. In addition, just half a cup (80 grams) of dried figs has 7.9 grams of fiber or approximately 32% of the recommended daily intake.

Fascinatingly, the enzyme ficin found in figs is comparable to the enzyme actinidin found in kiwis. Along with its high fiber content, it is believed that this may help explain why it has a good impact on gastrointestinal function and also help in relieving constipation. Figs go well with both sweet and savory foods and make a delightful snack on their own. They go well with cheese and gamey meats, as well as on pizza, in baked products, and in salads. They can be cooked, eaten raw, or dried.

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6. Citrus Fruits 

Oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins are just a few examples of citrus fruits that make a tasty snack and are high in fiber. Citrus fruits contain a soluble fiber called pectin, which is particularly prevalent in the fruit's peel. Constipation can be made easier and intestinal transit time shortened with pectin. Citrus fruits also contain a flavanol called naringenin, which may help explain how well they help in relieving constipation. Consume citrus fruits fresh to obtain the most fiber and vitamin C. Grapefruit tastes well in a salad or sliced in half for breakfast, and oranges and mandarins make for convenient snack foods.

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7. Spinach and Other Greens

In addition to being high in fiber, vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are also excellent sources of folate and vitamins C and K. These vegetable aid in giving stools weight and volume, which facilitates bowel movement. Try including spinach in a quiche, pie, or soup to add more of it to your diet. For an increase in fiber, add raw baby spinach or other soft greens to salads or sandwiches.

Additionally, Brussels sprouts are incredibly healthy, providing 14% of your daily fiber requirements and only 41 calories in just 5 sprouts. They can be roasted, grilled, boiled, steamed, or steam-cooked and eaten warm or cold. In contrast, one cup of broccoli has 2.4 grams of fiber (91 grams). This is 10% of the recommended daily intake of fiber. It can be consumed raw in salads or as a snack or cooked and added to soups and stews. These help in relieving constipation.

8. Artichoke

Artichokes have a prebiotic impact, supporting regularity and excellent gut health, according to scientific research. Prebiotics, which include inulin, are indigestible carbohydrates that feed the good bacteria in your gut, boosting their population and thwarting the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

Prebiotics has also been shown to enhance stool consistency and frequency in those who are constipated. You can eat cooked artichokes warm or cold. The pulpy portion of the flower can be eaten with a sauce or dip once the outer petals have been removed. The artichoke's heart can be removed and sliced into pieces. Artichoke helps in relieving constipation.

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9. Sweet Potato

A good source of fiber is found in sweet potatoes, which can help in relieving constipation. 3.6 grams of fiber, or 14% of the RDI, may be found in one medium sweet potato, which weighs roughly 150 grams. Most of the fiber in sweet potatoes is insoluble and comes in the form of cellulose and lignin. Pectin, a soluble fiber, is also present. Insoluble fiber makes stools heavier and bulkier, which helps with bowel movements. You can bake, steam, boil, or mash sweet potatoes. Any recipe that calls for ordinary potatoes can also use it.

10. Beans peas and Lentils

Pulses, which include beans, peas, and lentils, are among the least expensive and highest fiber food groups you may eat. A combination of soluble and insoluble fiber can be found in pulses. This means that they can ease constipation by giving feces weight and mass in addition to softening them to make transit easier. If you want to consume more pulses, consider adding them to soups, blending them to make nutritious dips, putting them in salads, or adding them to recipes with ground meat for additional flavor and body.

11. Chia Seeds

One of the foods with the highest fiber content is chia seeds. 9.8 grams of fiber, or 39% of your daily needs, may be found in just 1 ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds. 15% soluble fiber and 85% insoluble fiber make up the chia seed's fiber content. Chia transforms into a gel when it comes into touch with water. This may aid in digestion by softening feces and facilitating their passage.

Additionally, chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their own weight in water, which can assist give stools greater thickness and weight. Chia seeds are incredibly adaptable and can be used to significantly increase the fiber content of many dishes with little to no effort. They are ideal for sprinkled over yogurt, oats, or cereal. Additionally, you may use them in vegetable juices, smoothies, dips, salad dressings, baked products, and desserts.

12. Flaxseeds

Due to their inherent laxative properties, flaxseeds have been used as a traditional treatment for relieving constipation for generations. In addition to their wealth in dietary fiber, which makes them an excellent digestive help, flaxseeds provide a number of other health advantages.

Insoluble fiber, according to the researchers, functions like a sponge in the large intestine, holding onto water, increasing volume, and softening stools. The soluble fiber, however, encourages bacterial development and gives feces more bulk. Additionally, during the bacterial fermentation of soluble fiber, short-chain fatty acids are generated, increasing motility and promoting bowel motions. It's interesting to note that some experts have hypothesized that the laxative effects of flaxseeds may be due to their oil content, which may have lubricating characteristics.

13. Whole Grain Rye Bread

In many regions of Europe, rye bread is a traditional bread that is high in nutritional fiber. 3.7 grams of dietary fiber, or 15% of the RDI, can be found in two slices of whole grain rye bread (or 64 grams). Rye bread, as opposed to conventional wheat bread or laxatives, has been found to be more successful in relieving constipation, according to research.

Comparing those who consumed rye bread to those who consumed wheat bread, average intestinal transit durations were reduced by 23%. Additionally, they reported that their bowel motions were easier and more frequent and that their feces were softened. White wheat bread can be substituted with rye bread. It typically has a richer flavor and is denser and darker than conventional bread.

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