Knowing the foods that can help you poop is a great help to relieve constipation.
Constipation can affect anyone both children and adults. It is a problem of the digestive system manifested by difficulty in expelling feces. This condition happens when the colon absorbs too much water from the food taken.
What is constipation?
If the colon absorbs more water and the food moves slower in the digestive tract, the feces become hard and dry. Thus, defecation becomes very painful.
There are several factors that cause constipation such as the age, medications and physical inactivity. Constipation can be resolve by changing lifestyle and eating habit. Some foods that are the culprits why you suffer from constipation.
According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended fiber intake of men below 50 years of age is 38 grams a day. While women below 50 years old should consume 25 grams of fiber everyday. The fiber requirements of adults 50 years old and above is lower, 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men, as the food consumption in this age group decreases.
Aside from drinking more water, there are several foods that can help to soften the feces, thus makes defecation a lot easier and effortless.
Fiber Rich Foods that Relieve Constipation
- Aloe vera juice
Aloe vera juice is a bottled beverage that you can find in many stores. The juice was extracted from the aloe vera plant that is commonly used as a laxative. In fact, many laxative products contain aloe. You can start drinking 2 ounces of the juice and increase to 8 ounces as you progress.
Research revealed that if you don’t eat more fruits and vegetables, most likely you will experience constipation. Broccoli is one of the vegetables that is high in insoluble fiber. That’s why it’s important to include this green vegetable in your diet.
If you will eat cereal makes sure that it is high fiber. The fiber content in the cereal makes the feces to soften in the colon, thus makes defecation easier. Choose a cereal that contains more than 5 grams of fiber each serving.
Perhaps, you will wonder how coffee can aid constipation. Coffee offers many health benefits such as improving your memory and circulation. The antioxidant content of coffee also stimulates the movement in your colon. It makes the muscle in your colon to contract, thus prevent constipation. That’s why having a cup of coffee in the morning can be a great idea for those people who frequently suffer from constipation.
- Dried fruit
Experts recommend consuming dried fruits if you are experiencing constipation. Although the water content of the fruit is extracted, the nutrients are still intact. Most of the dried fruits contain antioxidants and high in fiber that plays a great role in improving your bowel movement and other health benefits.
- Fresh fruits
Fresh fruits like pears, plums, oranges, berries, strawberries and apples help to relieve constipation. These fruits are high in fiber that doesn’t only soften the feces, but also push the bowels out. Likewise, some of these fruits contain naringenin, a flavonol that has laxative effect that treats constipation.
- Green beans
If your stomach can’t tolerate traditional beans, give a try with green beans. The good thing about green beans is that they are high in fiber, but lower in carbs and protein. Thus, they can fight constipation better. Other variants of beans have gassy side effects, but the green beans don’t have because it contains a little amount of fermentable sugars.
Fruits that contain more fruit sugar or fructose can cause gas that can make your tummy to bloat. Kiwi is different because it contains lower sugar, but high in fiber. Eating a cup of kiwi, you can obtain 5 grams of fiber and other nutrients like vitamin C needed by your body.
- Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds can relieve constipation. Consuming flaxseeds is a good idea because it can load you up with fiber. However, you should not eat flaxseeds alone because it is difficult to digest. Instead, you can add a scoop of flaxseeds to oatmeal, salad or smoothies. Choose the ground flaxseeds to get the health benefit from it. Likewise, flaxseeds are high in omega 3 that is good for the heart.
Another is almonds that are full of attributes such as heart-healthy fats and soluble fiber. Almonds are great for snacks.
Oatmeal contains oat grains that are high in both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber that promotes healthy heart and help with digestive problems. The insoluble fiber assists the food to pass quickly in your stomach and intestines. The soluble fiber easily dissolves in water that forms like a gel inside your stomach.
Thus, these two types of fiber bulk up and soften the stool, thus makes it easier to eliminate.
Popcorn is indeed a favorite snack of many people. Eating a plain popcorn loads up your day with fiber. Three cups of popcorn contain 3 grams of fiber, but you don’t have to worry about the calorie intake because it only has 93 calories.
A cup of spinach isn’t only high in fiber, but also a great source of magnesium. The mineral content along with fiber makes the colon muscles to contract and helps to draw more water into your tummy making it easier to flush the stool out. Consuming spinach and other magnesium-rich foods is a good idea to prevent constipation.
- Sweet potato and Baked Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with powerful nutritional benefits. This root crop has higher content of fiber that prevents constipation. Thus, promote healthy digestive tract and regular bowel movement. In the same manner, baked potatoes are also nutritious not to mention the fact that it does not contain fat.
- Whole-Grain Bread
Whole grain bread provides superior nutrition including vitamins, minerals, protein, phytochemicals and fibers. Consuming whole grain bread doesn’t only improve the bowel movement, but also reduces the risks of developing other diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and colorectal cancer.
If you’re suffering from constipation frequently, health experts would recommend to stay away from dairy products. But, yogurt is an exemption to the rule because it contains lactobacillus bacteria that stimulates regular bowel movement. Likewise, the probiotic content supports healthy tummy.
Constipation may happen if you’re eating foods that are low in fiber and high in fats. Keep in mind that fat is difficult to digest, thus fatty foods pass through the small intestine and colon slower.
Aside from drinking adequate amount of water, you should eat those foods listed above that relieves constipation. However, if the condition persists, you should call your doctor to treat the problem and rule out the right solution for it.
is a registered dietitian with over 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She has a Master’s degree in Nutritional Science from Dhaka University and has worked with various clients to help them achieve their health goals through personalized diet plans. Mounota is passionate about educating people on the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle and has written extensively on the subject for various publications.