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Top 10 Vegetables To Relieve Constipation

| Reviewed By Sneha Krishnan

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. Constipation occurs when a person has difficulty emptying the large bowel; less than three bowel movements a week. There are several ways through which you can get relief from constipation. From exercise to yoga to different types of food that can help provide immediate relief, you only have to consume medicines only if constipation prolongs for more than two days [1].

Constipation is most commonly caused by dietary factors or medication interactions. The best first-line treatment is to adjust your diet.

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 [2]. Many people resort to taking strong laxatives to find relief from constipation; however, laxatives can harm your intestines in the longer run.

Take a look at some of the vegetables that can make it easy for you to get the 'load off'.


1. Broccoli

Eating this green vegetable is helpful when suffering from constipation. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a substance which can help promote digestion and protect your gut. The compound also helps prevent the overgrowth of some intestinal microorganisms that can interfere with healthy digestion, thereby promoting quicker bowel movements [3].


2. Sweet Potato

An extremely beneficial addition to your diet when you are suffering from constipation, sweet potatoes contain various nutrients such as water, fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B6 that act as a natural laxative. They improve your bowel movements also by keeping your nervous system healthy [4].


3. Spinach

High in both fibre and magnesium, spinach helps the colon flush things out of your body, which has been linked with providing constipation relief [5].


4. Brussels Sprouts

Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are a rich source of fibre and folate, which help add bulk and weight to stools, which makes them easier to pass through the gut. This, in turn, helps provide relief from constipation [6].


5. Artichokes (haathee chak)

Rich in insoluble fibre and antioxidants, artichokes don't absorb water and adds bulk to your stool. Artichoke, when consumed, acts as scrub going down the intestines, taking along the digested food along with it and help get rid of the unwanted things in the form of stool [7].


6. Rhubarb (revandchini)

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 [8].


7. Green Beans

A good source of fibre, green beans are easy on your stomach. Consuming green beans can help promote better digestion and improve your bowel movement. The fibre content in the bean makes them an effective constipation fighter [9].


8. Cucumber

Constipated? Eat a bowl of cucumber salad to soothe your intestine and promote bowel movement. The high water content (96 per cent) in this green vegetable makes them one of the best foods to help with constipation [10].


9. Cabbage

High in dietary fibre, cabbages are great for constipation relief. You can eat it raw or in the cooked form to gain the benefits and improve your bowel movement [11].


10. Okra (ladies' fingers)

Adding this green vegetable to your diet can help strengthen your digestive system. Okra contains mucilaginous fibre (a soluble fibre that has water content and turns gooey) which can help relieve constipation. The mucilaginous fibre softens stool, which can relieve constipation [12].

Some of the other types of food that can help provide relief from constipation are popcorn, coffee, oatmeal, legumes, rice bran, chia seeds and flaxseeds [13].


On A Final Note…

Many foods can help relieve constipation. A fibre-rich diet help adds bulk and weight to stools, soften them and stimulate bowel movements. However, talk to your healthcare provider about what is right for you.

Sneha KrishnanGeneral Medicine
Sneha Krishnan
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