What Foods Help With Constipation
If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), your system may be less able to process food with soluble fiber, and insoluble fiber can trigger symptoms of this condition.
In most cases, constipation is a sign that your diet needs more fiber and fluid. If you don’t drink enough fluids, fiber-rich foods can increase your risk of constipation. However, the best thing you can do to relieve constipation is to increase your fiber intake.
Fiber is helpful for constipation because it gives the stool mass and softness. It also speeds up the transit of the stool through the digestive system, which helps you stay regular.
Depending on age and gender, adults can consume between 25 and 31 grams of fiber per day.4 Older adults may not get enough fiber or lose interest in food.
If you are not used to eating high-fiber foods, start slowly and gradually increase your fiber intake to 5 grams per day. Add whole-grain meals such as oatmeal, brown rice, and wholemeal bread, as these foods are high in fiber and can help replenish your stool. You can also add fiber to your baby food by adding pureed vegetables and fruit.
Regular exercise and plenty of fluids are key to keeping the entire digestive system going, but there are certain foods that can prevent or alleviate constipation. These foods can add large amounts, soften the stool, shorten intestinal transit and increase the frequency of stool. Use this quick-pick list of fiber-rich foods to explore more closely how these foods can alleviate your constipation.
In contrast, low-fiber eating habits can contribute to constipation. Experts recommend adults consume at least 25 grams of fiber a day, but the average American gets only about 15 grams of fiber a day. The amount of fibre in foods, including foods labeled as carbohydrates, often goes over the top.
Insoluble fibers accelerate the transport of food through the digestive tract, preventing constipation. Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber are apples, bananas, barley, oats, and beans. Foods high in fibre include refined grains such as white bread, buns, white rice, spaghetti, and other pasta dishes, cereals, and white flour baked goods.
Whole grains are an excellent source of insoluble fibre, which gives weight to the stool and speeds up the flow of material through the gut. Insoluble fibres do not dissolve in water, which is found in whole grains, foods, and vegetables.
A 2017 study found that 100 grams (g) of cooked pulses provide 26 percent of the recommended daily dietary fiber intake for the US and that a 100 gram serving of pulses also contains significant amounts of other nutrients that can help soothe constipation such as potassium, folic acid, zinc, and vitamin B6. Pulses (marine beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds) add fibre to your diet. Most beans (lentils, chickpeas, and rice) are rich in fiber, a nutrient that promotes good digestion and reduces constipation.
Sweet potatoes contain a good amount of fiber that can alleviate constipation. SUMMARY Sweet potatoes are a great source of insoluble fibre, which adds mass to the stool and also prevents constipation.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines are rich in fiber and contain several compounds that reduce constipation, including pectin and naringenin. Plums are also high in fiber sorbitol, says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman in the previous episode of What You Should Do With Food. Plums with high fiber content and sorbitol in the intestine have healthy phenolic compounds that can help with constipation.
Apples and pears contain a lot of water, which can facilitate digestion and prevent constipation. Blackberries and raspberries are rich in fiber and water, which can also alleviate constipation.
Rhubarb is rich in fiber and contains sennoside, a compound that softens the stool and promotes defecation. Beans full of fiber can relieve constipation symptoms, Beckerman says. Beans contain both insoluble and soluble fibre, which helps the stool move more easily through the gut.
While painful, rare defecation is unpleasant in most cases, constipation can be treated by eating the right food. Relieving constipation and maintaining a healthy digestive system involves not only the foods you eat and don’t eat but also other strategies such as daily exercise and sitting down in the toilet to get back to a regular poo schedule.
A number of different causes of constipation are said to be behind this, including dieting (lack of fibre and healthy fats), lack of exercise, stress, and dehydration. For example, when babies begin to eat solid food, constipation can result. Constipation in children is when the child has hard stools and little bowel movement.
A 2013 study found that in healthy women who did not consume too much fiber for two weeks, eating breakfast cereals with wheat bran improved gut function and reduced constipation. A 2014 review concluded that eating plums increases the frequency of defecation and improves stool consistency in people with constipation. Kiwis are a good source of fiber and contain actinidine, an enzyme that improves intestinal motility and reduces constipation.