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Foods to Eat to Help With Constipation

Updated on May 25, 2012
kittythedreamer profile image

Kitty is a Registered Nurse. She uses what she has learned on the job to inspire and encourage others to take control of their health.


Constipated? What Foods to Eat To Help With Constipation

I've dealt with it. You've dealt with it. We've all dealt with it at some point in our lives. Maybe you're even dealing with it right now and that's why you've come across this article. Many people would like to know what foods to eat to help with constipation. There are many different foods that you can eat to help relieve constipation, but there are also foods you should be eating to prevent constipation from even happening. We will be taking a look at both of these foods in order to aid you on your path to digestive health and comfort. So before going out and buying laxatives, stool softeners, or enemas, try some natural and tasty home remedies of foods to eat to help with constipation. Sometimes the natural way is much more healthy than the obvious way.

First and foremost, you must be drinking water every day. The doctor and professionals recommend at least 8 full-size glasses of day, but this isn't always realistic for everyone because we're busy or we just simply hate water. However, this means that you should still be drinking at least 4 full-size glasses of water every day. If you really cannot stand the taste of water, add some crystal light or fusion powder to your water. Or simply add a teaspoon of sugar and some lemon or fruit to your water to spruce it up. It doesn't matter what you do to your water as long as it's going down the hatch at the very least of 4 times a day!

Why is water so important in order to help relieve constipation as well as prevent constipation? Well, water is necessary in order to lubricate the stool moving through your colon. If there's no water for the stool to absorb while it's making its way through your colon (large intestine), then you will end up with a very hardened stool that many times will get stuck before being able to be passed...hence constipation. So drink more water as it is an important way to relieve constipation and prevent it.

Foods to Eat to Help With Constipation: Prunes & Other Fruits

Now that we've gotten the water lecture out of the way, that brings us to the prunes. Your mother used to make you drink the juice, and now I'm going to tell you to add them to your weekly diet. Especially if you're already constipated, prunes will help get things moving along quite nicely. I employed the prune-eating method just last week and was able to move my bowels that same night. Prunes are extremely high in fiber, and fiber is essential to a healthy digestive system. Fiber is bulk, and your digestive system needs bulk in order to move wastes out of your system effectively. Prunes are just another food to eat to help with constipation, but again they can be eaten on a weekly basis to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive system. Don't like the way prunes taste? Try prune juice over ice...or mix it with other juices. Get creative, but try it out as a food to help with constipation. You can't go wrong with prunes, you can only go more!

Other fruits that you can eat to relieve constipation and prevent constipation include dried cranberries, dried apricots, figs, dates, and even raisins. Dried fruit is high in fiber, just like prunes, and will also help to move your bowel system along. These are quite tasty foods to eat to help with constipation, you can be sure of that. Add them to your daily diet and prevent constipation from recurring.

There are many other foods in the fruit group that are high in fiber and help with constipation, but really the dried fruits work tremendously and quickly from my experience.

alfalfa sprouts
alfalfa sprouts
Triphala in a Smoothie
Triphala in a Smoothie
Tumeric | Source

Add Herbs to your Food to Help With Constipation

Maybe you haven't heard the hub-bub about herbs and how healthy herbal treatments can be for your body. You're going to hear it now. Herbs should be added to your foods to help with constipation, amongst many other reasons to add herbs to your daily life. Here are some examples of herbs that are easy to acquire and easy to add to meals, and will help you figure out the best foods to eat to help with constipation.

Alfalfa sprouts are easy to find and fairly inexpensive to buy. You can find them in the produce section at pretty much every grocery store. You can also find them at whole foods and markets. You know those little grassy seed looking things that come in a clear container? Those are alfalfa sprouts and many people dislike their taste. "They taste like grass!" is something that I've heard a lot, but here's the deal on alfalfa sprouts. They are EXTREMELY good for your digestive system. The Chinese knew this and consider Alfalfa to be a cleanser of the digestive system. It has been a part of Chinese medicine for centuries. The reason for the cleansing effect on our digestive systems and why you should add it to your foods to eat to help with constipation is because the sprouts contain eight essential digestive enzymes...and tell me how digestive enzymes don't help a digestive system! I'd like to see you try! Not to mention they're high in vitamins and minerals that your body needs for other purposes. If you don't like the taste, sprinkle some over a sandwich between lettuce slices. You will probably barely notice they're there! Slap them on a salad or grind them up and put them in a stir-fry. The options are limitless with alfalfa.

Triphala is a part of the Ayurvedic medicinal system, an old herbal remedy practice from India. It is an herb blend of three fruits - amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki. These three fruits mixed together make triphala, and triphala is known to be a natural laxative, along with being a "colon cleanser, tonifier, and rejuvenative that is non-habit forming" (Wikipedia). There are particular cautions with using triphala to help constipation - don't take it if you are pregnant and don't take it if you are experiencing diarrhea. Triphala can be found in pill form and also as a tea. You can also add triphala to your fruit shake/smoothie in the mornings!

Tumeric is another that you should add to your food to help relieve constipation. It is said to be healthy for the digestive system and there are even studies happening right now to investigate tumeric as a potential aid for curing bowel cancer. Who doesn't want this as a part of their diet? Add it to other foods to eat to help with constipation. Tumeric can be added to any type of rice and many soups, and also to Persian and Indian cuisines. Go exotic and add tumeric to your diet today to help relieve and prevent constipation.

Written and copyrighted ©, Kitty the Dreamer, 2012. All Rights Reserved.


Submit a Comment

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 16 months ago from the Ether

    Valene - Whatever works!

  • Valene profile image

    Valene 16 months ago from Missouri

    I find my menstrual cycle has a lot to do with my bowel habits and sometimes regardless of what I eat or drink, I just get bound up, especially right before my period. However, I have successfully used the Triphala and will continue to keep it in my arsenal against constipation.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    The prune juice is always good for the older adults that are having issues, but you're right...they should be drinking water and most of them refuse to.

  • lucybell21 profile image

    Bonny OBrien 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

    I never really have problem.Some of my residents do tho, and I have to give them prune juice.Most of them need to drink more water tho, which they won't.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Joyce - Try the herbs too. And please drink a lot of water. Good luck, sweetie.

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

    Medications have done this to me. I will get the dried fruit you suggested to have with cereal. Thank you.

    Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Peg - No problem, any time! I have to remind myself to drink lots of fluids too.

    Lady_E - Haha...I got ya. Agreed.

    Lipnancy - I agree, apples and green leafy veggies are also awesome to help with constipation. Thanks!

  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

    Great hub. Apples and Green Leafy vegetables seem to work very well too. So does oatmeal.

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

    Lol at the first line of the first comment. Mmmh...

    Very useful Hub, its better to eat these natural foods than take medication.


  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    This is great information on a subject most of us want to forget. But as we age and our health habits take their toll it can become a source of discomfort and worse. Thanks for these ideas and for the reminder to drink lots of liquids.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Thanks, Bopeli! Absolutely papaya is a great food to eat to help with constipation!

  • Bopeli profile image

    Bopeli 5 years ago from Cambodia

    Good hub hah, and one more fruit that can help reducing Constipation is papaya/

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Ann - Good for you! :)

  • AnnRandolph profile image

    AnnRandolph 5 years ago

    Good information. What else can I say. I'm proud to state I'm regular.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    DzyMsLizzy - Yes, sounds like someone that I took care of in the rehab hospital. This man that I knew was 75 and looked like he was about 95! It was really sad, and he was a mess...had a bowel obstruction from not eating well and being stubborn, just as you mentioned of the person you know. Immobility is a killer too. You have to be mobile in order to keep a good digestive system...heck, to keep your body working right in general! Thanks for commenting, and here's to healthy digestive systems for the two of us! :)

    livingpah2004 - Yes, thanks!

  • profile image

    livingpah2004 5 years ago

    Prune is good to relive constipation. Well written Hub. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    LOL--good job with a rather 'indelicate' subject. Luckily, that problem is not even in my vocabulary. I tend to have an over-sensitivity to fiber instead. I LOVE prunes, but I don't dare eat them!

    One fellow we know, however became so bound up he had to be hospitalized for a week...and I won't go into what had to be done to him. It was very serious--he could have died. Why did this happen? Because he is about 70 years old and more stubborn than a mule. He had a heart attack about 5 years ago, and allowed himself to become so fearful that he literally sits in a recliner watching TV all day and night, sucking on oxygen which he does not need (in the hospital, his "perfusion" rate without it was just fine).

    He will not walk any further than from his recliner to the table to eat, and back again, or to go "pee." He lives in that chair--sleeping off and on 24/7/365. Even after the hospital experience, he refuses to eat vegetables, fruit or salads because he "doesn't like them," stating that he's an adult and can eat or refuse to eat whatever he chooses. I can't see him coming to a good end.

    Voted up.

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