If you have bowel problems, read about these 14 foods that can help you poop and relieve constipation.
Do you know that constipation is the most widely spread among all ages in the United States? (1)
Of course, there are plenty of laxatives you can use, but should you?
Our goal is natural foods as remedies which can give your intestines a smooth sailing.
And that is the purpose of this post: what are the best foods to use, how to add them to your diet and what are pros and cons.
So, for your convenience, I have created six subsections to describe those remedies in a logical order:
- Dry Fruits
- Fermented Foods
Throughout the post, I will share with you how I use those foods.
After that, you will be able to come up with a perfect idea on how to adjust your diet in terms of variety and daily serving.
However, you should know that some of those foods will work for you and some – not so much. It will be a trial period.
So, start with your favorite and move down or up the list.
High Fiber Foods That Help Constipation
Guess what is the #1 component for all foods helping with constipation?
That’s why our focus is on a high fiber diet.
But first, let’s review what is constipation, it’s symptoms and how high fiber diet can help with the bowel movement.
You are constipated if you have irregularity, dry or hard stools, blockage in your rectum if you are straining to push the bowel down or using help to remove stool. (2)
Constipation is viewed as chronic if a person has two or more of these signs of discomfort for the last three months. (3)
What causes it?
Well, you are at risk if you are a woman, older adult, have weak muscles involved in bowel movement or some chronic conditions. (4)
Besides, you might be constipating because of:
- poor hydration
- not enough exercise
- lack of fiber in the diet (5)
So, what’s your fiber intake?
Harvard School of Public Health recommends that “children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health, but most Americans get only about 15 grams a day.”
Are you within the recommended range of daily fiber intake?
Also, do you know that there are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble?
Both play a critical role in our diets and equally important. Most plant-based foods contain both types of fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and becomes a gel-like substance.
The insoluble fiber is the indigestible part of plants and doesn’t dissolve in water.
How it helps constipation?
When it enters your intestines, it holds water, adds bulk to your stool and because of it makes your stool soft and easier to pass. (6)
It might also shorten bowel “travel” time.
So, what are foods that help constipation?
Best Whole Grains Foods That Help You Poop
1. Raw Unprocessed Wheat Bran
Everybody can afford bran and it’s incredibly effective!
This is what I do:
- add bran in baking and to my cereal
- sprinkle it in soup, salads and on sandwiches, add to the stew to thicken it
How much a fiber intake from bran?
1 cup of wheat bran gives you 24.8 gr of fiber. (7)
→ TAKEAWAY: Include bran in your diet and do it gradually because large amount quickly can torpedo constipation, bloating and gas. Be sure to drink enough water since fiber absorbs it like a sponge.
2. Whole Grains: Couscous, Buckwheat, Brown Rice
Among all whole grains, buckwheat is my favorite.
100 gr of buckwheat equal to 10 gr of fiber. It is the highest amount compared with some other grains. (8)
Buckwheat is an essential part of my diet because it’s delicious and one of the best foods that help constipation.
A super bonus is that buckwheat is considered low-calorie grain. It also can help with your body metabolism and assist with digestion. And proper digestion means better elimination!
3. Whole-Grain Bread: Rye and Sprouted Grains
Love your whole-grain toast? Which one?
Rye bread might relieve mild constipation better than wheat bread or laxatives without adverse effects.
Arabinoxylan – is a cellulose-type insoluble fiber, particularly in the rye. It can help to push the bowel down the colon faster and prevent constipation. (9)
My other pick is Ezekiel bread. It is organic and made out of sprouted whole grains and legumes. It adds an extra kick to the bowel function.
Is it the best whole grain bread?
It is for me.
Try different bread and see which one works best.
Nuts and Seeds High in Fiber to Relieve Constipation
What is your favorite snack? Nuts, maybe?
Why are they on the list of 14 foods that can help you poop and relieve constipation?
Because they are not only filling, and low in sugar. They are your superb fiber soldiers to combat bowel issues.
Below is a comparison of 1 ounce of different nuts:
I mix varies nuts and it is my favorite snack with green tea.
→ Tip: Because nuts are very dense, soak them overnight for better absorption. You also can roast them lightly since taste after soaking might change.
5. Seeds: Chia, Flax, and Hemp
These three musketeers are staples in my kitchen. They are full of fiber and known for a few health benefits, including promoting the elimination.
It is so easy to incorporate nuts into your diet!
For instance, you can add organic hemp seed in salads and soups and sprinkle flax seeds on your morning toast with avocado. With chia, I make a delicious mango dessert.
Among all three, flax seeds are my favorite. I use them in baking as flax meal or grind seeds myself. In addition, I love them in flax seeds organic crackers.
How much should you use?
1 cup of flax seeds for 12 medium muffins is 44 gr of dietary fiber. (13) With one muffin, it is 4 gr daily. Bingo!
→ Bonus: Besides fiber, flax seeds have omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They might help with inflammation and a superb anti-aging remedy.
Flax seeds are also rich in magnesium, iron, calcium and other vitamins. Above all, because flax seeds don’t contain gluten, they are perfect for people with a gluten-free diet.
High-Fiber Vegetables and Legumes for Constipation
What I love the most about cauliflower – you can eat it raw as a snack any time because of no dripping or marks on your clothes.
100 gr of cauliflower gives 2.4 gr of fiber. I regard highly cauliflower among foods that help constipation.
Above all, it has essential properties for women’s health dealing with excess estrogen.
You can steam cauliflower and make cauliflower rice.
I have a particular affinity with asparagus. Why?
First, it has plenty of insoluble fiber and works wonders for me.
Second, it is prebiotic-type food, which is great for your good bacteria and digestive system.
So, you are feeding your friendly gut microflora and easing up your stool. Two-in-one. Super!
Asparagus is a tasty side dish. I steam it lightly and serve with the homemade tomato and garlic source mixed with different herbs.
8. Sweet Potato
Like sweet potato?
It is a natural way to get plenty of vitamins, minerals and, of course, dietary fiber.
If your ideal daily dose of the fiber is 20 to 30 gr, one portion of sweet potato –3/4 cup–is a quarter of that amount. (14)
So, it is perfect for your digestive system and recommended for all adults, kids, and older people.
How to cook it properly?
For example, that’s what I do:
- Cut vegetable in pieces.
- Put them on the steamer basket with a closed lid.
- When soft, let it cool off a little.
- Sprinkle with dill, herbs and olive oil.
9. Green Peas
Peas are my favorite snack.
100 gr of green peas equal to 5.7 gr of the total amount of dietary fiber. (15)
Add them to soup, salad or enjoy as a side dish. Above all, you don’t have to wash peas!
What Fruit Is Good to Help You Poop?
When I was a kid, I loved to sit under the pear tree and pick ripe fruits right off the ground.
When you take a bite – the juice, color, texture – it is mouthwatering! Never mind how great it is for your pooping issues.
One pear has even more fiber than an apple – 5.5 gr! (16)
You should eat it with the skin to reap the most benefits.
It is yummy and in addition, has plenty of vitamins.
Is avocado on your shopping list?
One medium avocado has 9.2 gr! (17)
In addition, it has a superb added value – healthy FATS! And this is a must if you have high cholesterol problems.
I love my avocado on flax or rye toast sprinkled with freshly grounded black pepper.
Please give more respect to this fantastic green fruit as one of the best foods that help constipation.
Each August, I spent on my grandma farm when during harvest apples were everywhere.
My brother and I ate tons of them, and we had never had poop problems. You could see me all the time with an apple in my hand. They called me “the apple girl.”
I love apples because they are juicy, crunchy, and very tasty. And one apple of average size is 4.4 gr of soluble fiber or PECTIN. (18)
Because pectin makes your stool bulkier, it can then move easier down through the colon.
What’s not to love?
Dry Fruits to Ease Constipation
13. Prune/Prune juice
The next on my list of 14 foods that can help you poop and relieve constipation is PRUNES.
Are you a fan of this black chewy wrinkled dry fruit?
If not, please reconsider.
It has a lot of fiber – 100 gr of dry prunes have 7.5 gr of dietary fiber. (19)
Also, have you heard about sorbitol?
It is a natural sugar which absorbs water and therefore acts as a diuretic and natural laxative. (20) No wonder that my grandma put prunes on the top of the list among foods that help constipation.
I grew up in a cold climate with short season for fresh fruits.
Well, we dried plums for winter months and got a super healthy snack.
As most dry fruits, prunes have a higher concentration of sugar. How to deal with it, especially since we need that sorbitol?
Follow my example: I soak a few prunes overnight in a room temperature water. In the morning I can use prunes as a spread on my Ezekiel flax toast instead of unhealthy commercial jam.
What to do with the prune juice?
Dilute it with water and drink or add it to your green shake.
Foods High in Probiotics
14. Fermented Foods
One of the reasons that a person might have ongoing constipation is a disbalance of the gut bacteria as one of the digestive tract issues. Click here to read more about why you should care about gut health.
In addition to eating fiber, you should bring your good bacteria to the right amount.
Eat fermented foods with good bacteria which will help you with digestion. Again, better digestion means fully digested food and works wonders for better pooping.
What should you eat?
Kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt but be aware that some bacteria in yogurt, for example, might be destroyed in the stomach. (22)
What else do I do?
I take high-quality probiotics supplements to be sure that my gut has enough of bacteria of different stains.
Please click here to learn more about how probiotics might help you to prevent constipation and affect your overall health.
For top-notch probiotics, read my review, “Gut and Health. Who Makes Best Probiotics.”
Conclusion: Best Natural Remedies That Help Constipation
So, which of those foods do you love?
Remember: if you want regularity, mother-nature can help.
Because it absorbs and holds water, makes your stool softer and helps you pass it with ease. Fiber might also shorten the time of intestinal transit time.
As a result, high-fiber grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables will help empty and cleanse your colon.
In conclusion, remember that the consequences of chronic constipation might be horrible, including painful hemorrhoids.
You don’t want it, do you?
So, make a mandatory part of your daily diet those 14 foods that help you poop and relieve constipation.
I invite you to enlighten us with your thoughts. Leave them below.
Founder of Detox Generation
Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author. All content, including text, images, and other formats, is for information purposes only. The author is not a medical professional, dietitian or integrative treatment specialist. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health specialists with any questions you may have.