Constipation is a condition in which a person has difficulty passing stools, and may experience pain while doing so. It is often caused by a lack of dietary fiber, dehydration, or certain medications. Some people may also be genetically predisposed to constipation.(1)
There are many different food options that can help relieve constipation and make bowel movements easier. These include high-fiber foods, probiotic-rich foods, and foods that contain natural laxatives.
10 Best Foods For Constipation
1. High-Fiber Foods
Eating high-fiber foods is one of the best ways to relieve constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, which helps it move through the digestive tract more easily.(2)
Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Aim to eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
2. Probiotic-Rich Foods
Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso soup. You can also take probiotic supplements if you want to increase your intake of these beneficial bacteria.
3. Foods That Contain Natural Laxatives
Natural laxatives work by increasing the amount of water in the intestine, which helps to soften the stool and make it easier to pass.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
6. Olive Oil
7. Castor Oil
Castor oil has been used throughout the world since long ago as a natural laxative. It works by stimulating the intestine and increasing the amount of water in the stool. Castor oil is another natural laxative that can be used to relieve constipation. It works by stimulating the intestine and helping to move the stool along.(8)
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are a type of fat that is easily absorbed and used by the body for energy. MCTs can also help to stimulate bowel movements and relieve constipation.(9)
Senna is an herb that has been used for centuries as a natural laxative. It works by stimulating the intestine and helping to move the stool along. Senna is available in tea, capsule, and liquid form.(10)
10. Herbal Tea
If you are constipated, there are many different food options that can help relieve the condition. These include high-fiber foods, probiotic-rich foods, and foods that contain natural laxatives. Try incorporating some of these food options into your diet to help ease your constipation.
- Chronic idiopathic constipation in adults: epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and clinical management- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29996755/
- Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation- https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation/eating-diet-nutrition
- Probiotics – the versatile functional food ingredients- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4837740/#:~:text=The%20common%20sources%20of%20probiotics,kimchi%2C%20olives%2C%20and%20pickles
- Laxatives- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537246/
- Effect of apple vinegar intake on metabolic parameters and constipation in patients with schizophrenia treated with clozapine: a pilot study- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32762505/
- Effects of Coffee and Its Components on the Gastrointestinal Tract and the Brain–Gut Axis- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824117/
- The Effect of Abdominal Massage with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil on Constipation among Elderly Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8479287/
- Castor Oil- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551626/
- Health Effects of Coconut Oil-A Narrative Review of Current Evidence- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30395784/
- Senna- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547922/
- Effect of an herbal capsule on chronic constipation among menopausal women: A randomized controlled clinical trial- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823525/
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