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Finding it difficult to pass stool? Is it making you feel distressed and limiting you from carrying out your daily activities? If yes, you may be having constipation. A disorder of bowel function usually cause constipation due to inadequate water intake, the insufficient fibre in the diet, disruption of regular diet or routine, stress etc.
Constipation occurs when a person has difficulty emptying the large bowel; less than three bowel movements a week. You only have to consume medicines only if constipation prolongs for more than two days.
Prolonged constipation can lead to several health complications such as the swollen abdomen, haemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapsed etc. It is important to observe changes in your regular bowel movement patterns . Various home remedies help treat constipation, such as intake of fibre-rich diet, drinking lots of water, regular exercise, yoga, meditation to ease stress etc.
Foods For Constipation
Constipation has a variety of causes; however, most cases are the result of the slow movement of food through the digestive system, which could be due to reasons such as dehydration, poor diet, medications, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system or mental disorders .
Consuming a diet rich in fibre and water can help avoid constipation. As health experts point out, adults should get 25 to 31 g of fibre a day . You should drink water and other liquids, which would make your stools softer and more comfortable to pass.
In most cases of constipation, especially occasional ones, making diet and lifestyle changes is very useful. Taking over-the-counter laxatives can be followed as a short-term solution because prolonged use of laxatives can result in dehydration and some cases, addiction .
Here, we have gathered a list of both fruits and vegetables as well as other types of foods that can help you get rid of constipation. Take a look.
Bananas are rich in potassium and electrolytes, which help in restoring good digestive health. These fruits are effective in treating gastric problems as they help in restoring bowel function and treat diarrhoea . Eat a whole banana, if you are having trouble going to the bathroom in the morning.
Citrus fruits like oranges have lots of stool-softening vitamin C and fibre. Oranges also contain naringenin, a flavonoid that can work as a laxative, allowing smooth passing of stools .
Raspberries can help increase the bulk of your stool to help food move smoothly through the digestive system . These berries also help by improving your digestion.
The high fibre and water content in kiwi makes it an excellent fruit to get your bowels moving. Also, kiwis are excellent laxatives and lead to the formation of a bulkier and softer stool .
Consuming apples can help provide relief from constipation due to the presence of pectin fibre, which can help accelerate the movement of the stool through the intestines, improving symptoms of constipation .
Researchers found that figs nourish and tone the intestines and act as a natural laxative due to their high fibre content .
Widely consumed as a natural remedy to treat constipation, prunes contain insoluble fibre which helps escalate the amount of water in the stool, adding bulk to stools and providing relief from constipation .
Consuming pear fruit can help ease constipation because they have an abundant amount of fructose and sorbitol (sugar alcohol found in fruits and plants with a diuretic, laxative and cathartic property) .
9. Bael Fruit
The pulp of this fruit has been used in Ayurveda as a quick remedy for constipation .
For some people, eating grapes can promote better bowel movement. This is because grapes have a high skin-to-flesh ratio, which means that they are rich in fibre and also are rich in water .
Read More Here: Fruits For Constipation Relief
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a substance which can help promote digestion and help prevent the overgrowth of some intestinal microorganisms that can interfere with healthy digestion, thereby promoting quicker bowel movements .
12. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes contain various nutrients such as water, fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B6 that act as a natural laxative, making them a good option for someone suffering from constipation .
High in both fibre and magnesium, spinach helps the colon flush things out of your body, which has been linked with providing constipation relief .
14. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a rich source of fibre and folate, which help add bulk and weight to stools. This, in turn, helps provide relief from constipation.
Artichoke, when consumed, acts as scrub going down the intestines, taking along the digested food along with it and helping get rid of the unwanted things in the form of stool.
An essential vegetable used for treating constipation, rhubarb has a laxative effect. The vegetable is well known for its bowel-stimulating properties due to the presence of a compound called sennoside, a popular herbal laxative .
17. Green Beans
Consuming green beans can help promote better digestion and improve your bowel movement.
The high water content (96 per cent) in cucumber makes them one of the best foods to help with constipation.
High in dietary fibre, cabbages are great for constipation relief . The fibre and water content in cabbage also help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Okra contains mucilaginous fibre (a soluble fibre that has water content and turns gooey) which can help relieve constipation .
Dairy products such as yoghurt contain microorganisms known as probiotics (good bacteria), which may help to improve gut health and soften stools . The good bacteria, like polydextrose, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis, help treat constipation.
Beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas are rich in fibre, something that promotes proper digestion and reduces constipation . A 100 g serving of pulses contains reasonable quantities of other nutrients that help ease constipation, such as potassium, folate, zinc and vitamin B6.
Health experts suggest that drinking clear soups can help manage constipation. Nutritious and easy to digest, drinking warm, clear soups can add moisture to hard, dense stools, which can soften them, making them easier to pass .
24. Whole Wheat Products
Foods made from whole wheat, such as whole-wheat bread, pasta, cereals etc. are an excellent source of insoluble fibre, which adds weight to stools and speeds up the bowel movement through the intestines .
25. Olive Oil
Olive oil has a mild laxative effect, which can ease the flow of materials through the intestines and relieve constipation . Along with the presence of compounds that improve digestion, olive oil also has antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
On A Final Note…
In most cases of constipation, especially occasional ones, making diet and lifestyle changes is very useful. Many foods can help relieve constipation. A fibre-rich diet helps add bulk and weight to stools, soften them and stimulate bowel movements. To help prevent or relieve constipation, avoid foods with little to no fibre such as fast food, chips, processed foods etc. However, talk to your healthcare provider about what is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What foods will make you poop right away?
A: Foods that help you poop immediately are apples, prunes, kiwifruit, pears and beans. Now you know what to eat before going to the loo.
Q. What helps constipation fast?
A: Some quick treatments that can help induce a bowel movement in a few hours are taking a fibre supplement, eating high-fibre food, drinking a glass of water, taking a laxative or by using a stool softener.
Q. Are bananas good for constipation?
A: Yes, bananas are good for constipation because they are high in fibre.
Q. Do eggs cause constipation?
A: Eating a lot of high-fat meats, dairy products and eggs may cause constipation.
Q. How do I empty my bowels?
A: Here is a list of things you can do to empty your bowels without straining, such as, sit on the toilet properly, allow your muscles to push forward, keep your mouth slightly open and breathe out. As you finish, pull up your anorectal muscles (the muscles that control your bottom).
Q. What drinks make you poop?
A: Prune juice, lemon juice and apple juice contain fibre, sorbitol, and water, and they can help relieve constipation.