A person can suffer from constipation when stool becomes hard to pass, and bowel movements become less frequent than usual. People’s bowel habits often vary, but those who suffer from constipation have less than three bowel movements in a week. Constipation can result from dehydration, medication, an unhealthy diet, or diseases of the nervous system. It is resolved by consuming foods to help constipation subside. Symptoms of constipation include feeling pain during defecation, dry or lumpy stool, and stone-looking stools.
Constipation is different for every person. Some may experience it only once in a while, but it can be a persistent condition for others. According to research, chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) is experienced by 14% of community members. Older individuals are more prone to constipation. Out of 100 adults in the U.S., around 33 experience symptoms of constipation. The significant factors in constipation are diet and lifestyle. Exercising is vital for a regular bowel movement. Having a fiber-rich diet and drinking ample water is often recommended. There are certain foods to help constipation, and this article will explore the best foods for constipation.
Prune juice for constipation has been tried and tested for years. Prunes are high in fiber, known for keeping the digestive system clean by easing bowel movements. A 28-gram serving of prunes has 2 grams of fiber, which amounts to 8% of the recommended fiber intake per day. Prunes also have phenolic compounds and sorbitol that aid the gastrointestinal tract. Phenolic compounds energize your gut’s good bacteria. Sorbitol helps the bowel absorb water. This compound promotes the laxative effect of prunes. Drinking prune juice for constipation can make the stool’s consistency better and raise bowel movement frequency. Prunes can be enjoyed in stews, salads, smoothies, cereals, or tossed on yogurt.
2. Yogurt and Kefir
Dairy products like kefir and yogurt are a good source of probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms known to positively affect the body, especially the digestive tract, hence the alias “good bacteria.” Yogurt is the best foods for constipation as it enhances your gut’s health and softens the stools. Meanwhile, kefir provides beneficial bacteria and yeast. Kefir is a healthy drink made from fermented milk and kefir grains. Kefir is known to improve stool consistency and bowel movement frequency. A daily glass of kefir can be a delicious addition to your breakfast and perfect as a healthy snack.
Pulses like lentils, beans, and peas are among the best foods to help constipation. Pulses belong to the legume family, which is a group loaded with fiber-rich foods. Pulses have soluble and insoluble fiber. These fiber contents aid constipation by softening the stool and adding bulk to them, making it easier to pass. A cup of cooked navy beans have around 19 grams of fiber or 80% of the recommended intake per day. Pulses are not only rich in fiber but of other constipation-relieving nutrients, too, like potassium, zinc, folate, and vitamin B6. Pulses are easily added to soups, salads, and meat dishes, but people with gout must consume it in moderation.
Apples contain lots of fiber and vitamin C. A medium-sized unskinned apple has 4.4 grams of fiber, which is equivalent to 17% of the suggested daily intake. Apple contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Research shows that pectin, a soluble fiber, aids constipation by speeding up the intestine’s stool movement. Pectin is being fermented in the gut through bacteria. The fermentation results in forming short-chain fatty acids that can pull water to the colon and soften the stool, reducing bowel transit time. It also raises the number of good bacteria in the gut. If you are suffering from constipation, apples can be a great addition to your high-fiber diet. You can have them baked, juiced, or just eaten whole.
Pears are low-calorie, high-fiber fruits. One pear has around 60 calories. A medium-sized fruit has 5.5 gms of fiber, which is 22% of your daily fiber needs. Pears also have fructose and sorbitol. Fructose is a type of sugar that stimulates bowel movement by pulling water in the colon. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that has laxative properties. Pears are not only fiber-rich, but it is also loaded with antioxidants and vitamins.