No one likes talking about constipation, but the truth is that it’s a very common problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 16 out of 100 American adults suffer from constipation. If you’re one of the millions of people struggling with this issue, don’t despair—there are plenty of things you can do to find relief. One simple solution is to incorporate more constipation-relief foods into your diet.
Here are nine foods that can help relieve constipation quickly.
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Let’s start with the basics: water. While water is not technically food, water is key to preventing and alleviating constipation. Dehydration can lead to harder stools, making it more difficult to pass them. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and you’ll be on your way to better bowel movements.
2. Olive Oil
Does drinking olive oil help with constipation? Yes. Olive oil is a natural laxative that can help ease constipation. Its slippery texture can help soften stool and stimulate bowel movements. Try adding a tablespoon to your meals or consuming it on an empty stomach to promote regularity.
For some people, a morning cup of coffee can perform wonders for their digestion. Coffee is a natural stimulant that can increase the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, helping to relieve constipation. Just remember, moderation is key, as excessive caffeine intake can cause dehydration.
Fruits are a sweet way to battle constipation. They’re packed with fiber, which can add bulk to stools and help them pass more easily. Some popular choices include:
- Apples: Apples are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Their skin contains pectin, which can help soften stools and make them easier to pass.
- Pears: Pears are another fruit rich in fiber. They also contain fructose, which can have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts.
- Prunes: Prunes, or dried plums, have long been known as a natural remedy for constipation. They contain both fiber and sorbitol, which can help soften stool and stimulate bowel movements.
- Raisins and Apricots: Just like prunes, they’re high in soluble fiber as well as natural sugars. Both can help ease constipation.
- Oranges: Oranges will definitely help with constipation. Eating an orange with its pulp can offer additional fiber, helping to relieve constipation.
5. Probiotic-rich Foods
A healthy gut is crucial for smooth digestion. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi can help increase the good bacteria in your gut, therefore promoting regular bowel movements and reducing the risk of constipation.
6. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are a fiber powerhouse, making them an excellent addition to any diet for those looking to relieve constipation quickly. Lentils, black beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, soybeans, and chickpeas are all great options, providing soluble and insoluble fiber to help bulk up stools and keep your digestive system running smoothly.
Consuming a different variety of vegetables can help keep constipation at bay. Some of the best choices include:
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in fiber and magnesium, which can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract and promote regular bowel movements.
- Broccoli: This cruciferous veggie is packed with fiber and antioxidants, making it a great choice for promoting regularity and overall digestive health.
8. Herbal Teas
Sipping on herbal teas can be a soothing way to combat constipation. Some of the best options include:
- Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea is known for its ability to relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, making it easier to pass stools.
- Senna Tea: Senna is a natural laxative that can stimulate bowel movements. However, use it with caution and in moderation, as overuse can lead to dependency.
- Chamomile tea: You can use chamomile tea to fight constipation because proven to help make stools softer and easier to pass.
9. Whole Grains
You might fix constipation with whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oats. This is because they are rich in fiber. Thus, swap out refined grains for whole grains to give your digestive system a boost.