About 14% of people experience chronic constipation at some point and there are some food items that help in constipation.
Constipation has a variety of causes but is often the result of slow movement of food through the digestive system.
The type and severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people experience constipation only rarely, while for others it’s a chronic condition.
This may be due to dehydration, poor diet, medications, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system or mental disorders.
Symptoms include passing stools less than three times per week, straining, lumpy or hard stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, feeling blocked or being unable to pass a stool.
Everyone’s bowels respond to foods differently, but these are the following healthful food items that help in constipation,
Water– Dehydration is a common cause of constipation, and drinking plenty of water can often help to ease or resolve the symptoms.
When a person becomes dehydrated, their intestines cannot add enough water to stools. This results in hard, dry, and lumpy stools and can lead to constipation.
Yogurt– Many dairy products, including yogurt and kefir, contain microorganisms known as probiotics.
Probiotics are often called “good” bacteria, and they may help to improve gut health and soften stools.
Pulses– Most beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are very high in fiber, which is a nutrient that promotes good digestion and reduces constipation.
A 100 g serving of pulses also contains substantial quantities of other nutrients that help to ease constipation, such as potassium, folate, zinc, and vitamin B6.
Prunes– Dried plums, known as prunes, are widely used as a natural remedy for constipation.
The insoluble fiber in prunes, known as cellulose, increases the amount of water in the stool, which adds bulk.
Meanwhile, the soluble fiber in prunes is fermented in the colon to produce short-chain fatty acids, which also increase stool weight.
Apples– Apples are rich in fiber. In fact, one medium-sized apple with the skin on (about 182 grams) contains 4.4 grams of fiber, which is 17% of the recommended daily intake.
In the gut, pectin is rapidly fermented by bacteria to form short-chain fatty acids, which pull water into the colon, softening the stool and decreasing gut transit time.
Broccoli– Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a substance that may protect the gut and ease digestion.
Sulforaphane may also help to prevent the overgrowth of some intestinal microorganisms that can interfere with healthy digestion.
Grapes– Grapes have a high skin-to-flesh ratio, which means that they are rich in fiber, and they also contain a lot of water.
To ease constipation, try eating a few handfuls of raw, washed grapes.
Kiwis– On average, 100 g of kiwi contains around 2–3 g of fiber, which can add bulk to stools and speed up the intestinal flow.
Kiwis also contain actinidine, an enzyme that promotes movement in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and several phytochemicals that may play a role in improving digestion.
Citrus Fruits– Fruits like oranges, grapefruits and mandarins are a refreshing snack and a good source of fiber.
Citrus fruits are also rich in the soluble fiber pectin, especially in the peel. Pectin can accelerate colonic transit time and reduce constipation.
Also Read: Probiotic Rich Foods That Are Very Healthy