How to Help Constipation: 10 Best Foods to Help Constipation
Below are foods to help constipation, a very common gastrointestinal problem that includes not being able to empty your bowels satisfyingly and regularly. That would be less than thrice a week. Symptoms may involve hard stools, bloating, abdominal pain or swelling or discomfort, and other physical ones like rectal bleeding, anal fissures, hemorrhoids, and anal tears. There can be various causes as to why most of us get constipated. Typically though, it is only due to unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet, one that is low in fiber and other important nutrients. To treat and prevent this digestive issue, try avoiding caffeine, sugar alcohol like chewing gum, and gluten foods. Meanwhile, foods that help you poop are listed thereafter. Majority of these foods are a potent source of fiber, a compound needed to help move stuff along the digestive tract and keep the digestion process moving efficiently. Now here are the 10 best foods for constipation.
Top 10 Best Foods to Help Constipation
In this list of foods that help you poop, we’ll start with what’s usually eaten first thing in the morning. Due to their high-fiber content, with roughly 6 grams of both insoluble and soluble fiber per serving, it’s no wonder cereals are always in demand. There are also a lot of toppings you can add like berries and other dried fruits, nuts and seeds, and other superfoods which will be discussed shortly afterward. How to help constipation with high-fiber cereal. Simply choose the brand of cereal that promises the highest fiber content, and especially whole-grain will assure you you’re getting the most out of it. Make sure that you’re getting those with low sugar and salt content too. You can also use milk or water, simply because milk if ingested too much, can worsen your situation. And of course, as aforesaid, add some healthy toppings.
Whole Grain Bread
In connection with the first food above, bread made from whole grain should be included in your daily diet on how to help constipation. Its poop-inducing fiber is also good for the heart. Moreover, whole grain rye which can be used as flour for bread making is considered as better than any laxatives for relieving constipation. Arabinoxylan in particular, to which fiber is made of, aids in keeping the foods you eat moving through your digestive tract. 12.3 grams each day can already give 30 grams of fiber. Whole grains as foods that help you poop. In choosing whole grain bread, look at the ingredients if it says “whole” and not some “multigrain” or what. There should be roughly 3 grams of fiber per slice. Aside from fiber, they are also rich in complex carbohydrates to give you energy yet low in fat to stop you from worrying about getting too many calories.
Instead of nibbling on junk foods, try dried fruits for a quick snack that is even healthier. Here’s a fun fact: dried fruits and fresh ones have the same amount of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and other micronutrients. But since dried fruits are the condensed version, it contains up to 3.5 times of all the nutrients by weight; more importantly the fiber, which is the main star on how to help constipation. But of course, that would also mean an increase in calories. This is especially of note to those keeping an eye on their calorie intake. Dried fruits as foods for constipation. Prunes, for instance, have 6 grams of fiber for half a cup. Not only that, it also contains fructan and sorbitol that are natural laxatives. Raisins, on the other hand, provide 7 grams per cup. There are actually a lot of choices from figs, bananas, apples, cranberries, to dried apricots. You will surely never have the excuse with all these options. Add them to cereals, or simply nibble them as a snack.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, acai berries, cherries, goji berries, and even bananas and all other members of the berries family are always in the center stage of the superfoods discussion as they are among the best foods that help you poop. You can add them in cereals or pancakes for your breakfast (the basic, you know), or consume them as snacks, or make cool summer treats with juices or ice pops. You can actually take advantage of their versatility. What makes berries effective foods to help constipation? Aside from being a lavish source of antioxidants, it’s the fiber obviously, eaten together with the tiny seeds. Blackberries and raspberries each offer 7.6 and 8 grams, respectively, in half a cup each. Strawberries can give you the same amount at roughly one cup. Cherries, on one hand, provide 1.6 grams per 1 cup with pits (103 g). They are also low in calories so no worries!
Pears, Apples, Plums
There are a lot of fruits that are rich in dietary fiber. But among them, these three always stand out as the best foods to help constipation mostly because most of their fiber content— particularly a naturally occurring one called pectin—is in their skin which should also be eaten. This is aside from all the antioxidants, minerals, and multivitamins you can get for eating these foods that help you poop. How to help constipation by eating these fruits? One cup of sliced pears (about 140 grams) has 4.3 grams of dietary fiber. Sliced apples in the same amount (109 grams) on the other hand have 2.6 grams while one cup sliced plums (roughly 165 grams) has 1.4 grams. Also, try dried plums called prunes, as discussed above, for 12-gram fiber content per cup.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Do not stop if you are fond of partnering steak with a baked potato and preferably a large salad as well. If you’re not, then you might want to consider otherwise. Truth is a hundred grams of baked sweet potato delivers 3 grams of fiber while regular ones offer 2.2 grams in the same weight. Just skip the high-calorie garnishes and more importantly, keep the skin on since it has most of the fiber. Potatoes as foods to help constipation. Who wouldn’t enjoy French fries right? But they’re deadly, literally, so choose an alternative. Instead of frying potatoes cut in fries-like shape, simply dress them with some olive oil and bake in an oven until crunchy. That’s minus unhealthy saturated fats and calories of the French fries we usually eat as snacks. And of course, there are the mashed potatoes you can enjoy too.
Nuts and Seeds
On how to help constipation, nuts may be small in sizes but they are very, very effective as foods that help you poop since they are bursting with fiber. Among the top contenders for the best nuts are walnuts which give 1.9 grams of fiber per an ounce serving, almonds which provide 3.5 grams for the same portion, and pistachios that deliver 2.9 grams still for the same serving. For the seeds, two tablespoons each of the most well-known chia and flaxseeds provide 5 and 4 grams of fiber, respectively. Nuts and seeds, foods for constipation. A handful of nuts a day as toppings in your yogurt or salads or as an in-between snack is sufficient. A spoonful of seeds meanwhile can be used as glazes for your oatmeal, yogurt, salads, or smoothie. Opt for raw or roasted for the both of them than those cooked in oil. They’re quite high in calories anyway so do not add a couple handful more.
Legumes such as Beans, Peas, and Lentils
Black beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, garbanzo, soybeans, lima beans, pinto beans, lentils, you name it. Legumes are amazing foods to help constipation. Cook them properly and make the most of their versatility by mixing them into your soups, pasta, or salads to keep your digestive system working efficiently. Beans on how to help constipation. Get 10 grams of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, per cup serving of beans; it’s more than the fiber content of other vegetables. Additionally, half a cup of lima beans can give you roughly 5 grams. Navy beans meanwhile, on the same serving, can supply up to 9.5! Lastly, pinto beans can give about 7 or more grams per ½ cup.
While broccoli is one of the iconic foods for constipation, try increasing your broccoli consumption at a carefully maintained and slow pace. This is because too much fiber could result in bloating and cramping. Still, you can never go wrong with its rich content of multivitamins, minerals, and protein. Now we all know vegetables are a must for constipation treatment. Among others, broccoli should never miss a spot in your diet.
Broccoli as foods for constipation. Since cooking broccoli could lessen its fiber content, better consume it raw as a side dish. Or, to prevent higher calorie intake, you can have it steamed, baked, or roasted. A pinch of salt and pepper, and some olive oil, or even a low-fat dip can be added for flavor enhancement. Also, drink a lot of water to make the fiber perform its duties in your digestion more efficiently.
Popcorn and Dark Chocolates as Snacks
Among the most unlikely yet best foods to help constipation are dark chocolates and popcorn. When we say dark, it doesn’t obviously include milk and white chocolates since they only contain up to 10% of cacao, which in turn contains fiber. It’s also rich in antioxidants and magnesium, a mineral that relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract for a better and smooth excretion. As for the popcorn, being a whole grain snack containing insoluble fiber makes it effective in treating and preventing constipation.
Unlikely foods that help you poop. For dark chocolates, choose those with at least 72% cocoa. Better nibble them after a satisfying healthy meal so you won’t crave for more. For popcorn, particularly the air-popped one, refrain from putting too much salt or butter to get the most out of it and avoid taking in more than enough calories. Constipation can be managed well. Just make some changes in your oftentimes unhealthy lifestyle by quitting on unwholesome habits and adding the foods listed above into your diet.