Fiber-Rich Foods for Digestive Health: Tips for Preventing and Relieving Constipation in All Ages

Did you know that 16 out of 100 adults experience constipation in the United States? People over 60 experience constipation more often. However, constipation can occur to anyone. Constipation is a condition that makes it difficult to pass stool and you have less than 3 bowel movements a week. It may occur due to various reasons. However, you can manage it naturally by making necessary changes in your diet. Add fiber-rich foods to your diet to manage constipation as given below and start noticing differences in your bowel movement and get better digestive health. You can contact us by visiting our clinic or visiting our website at https://doralhw.org/.

 

7 Foods for a constipation-free life

Constipation can be discomforting and painful at times. However, with certain food changes in your diet, you can relieve your constipation and easily pass your stool. This also helps to maintain a constipation-free life. It includes:

  1. Probiotics:

Probiotics are bacteria that are beneficial for your gut health and soften stools. A 2017 review shows that probiotics improve constipation by 10 to 40% compared to a placebo.

Good sources of probiotics include:

  • Yogurt and kefir: While there are many other dairy products containing probiotics, yogurt, and kefir contain the most. A 2017 study found kefir significantly improves constipation in people with certain physical or mental disabilities.
  • Sauerkraut: A 2016 study found that 2 tablespoons of homemade sauerkraut contain the same number of bacteria as probiotic supplements.

 

  1. Apples:

Apples are a great source of fiber so consuming a raw apple keeps the doctor away. Eat a medium-sized raw apple with skin to get the fiber. Apple also contains a specific type of soluble fiber called pectin, which also produces a laxative effect. A recent review of 16 randomized controlled trials found that pectin can help:

  • Increase stool frequency.
  • Make stool soften.
  • Decrease your toilet time.
  • Reduce the requirement of laxatives.

You can also consume apples as a topping for other foods like yogurt, crepes, etc., or enjoy them as a healthy snack.

 

  1. Prunes:

Prunes usually work as a natural laxative, as they contain pectin and sorbitol, a type of sugar alcohol that your body doesn’t digest. So, it relieves constipation by drawing water into your intestines, easing your bowel movement. A serving of 5 prunes also contains 3.8g of fiber.

In a small 2022 study, researchers test the effectiveness of prune juice in relieving chronic constipation. The 84 participants were divided into 2 groups – one consumed prune juice and the other just got a placebo. After 3 weeks, the prune juice-consuming group stool gets significantly softened. After 7 weeks (about 1 and a half months) their normal stool rates increase.

Prunes are a wonderful way to add sweetness to salads and pilafs. So, add a small glass of prune juice to your diet to get quick constipation-improving benefits.

 

  1. Flaxseed:

Flaxseed has many health benefits as it contains a high fiber content and promotes bowel frequency. One tablespoon serving of flaxseed contains 2.7 g of fiber consisting of a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber.

A small 2018 study in diabetic people shows that eating 10 g of flaxseed daily for 12 weeks (about 3 months) can reduce constipation, improve their blood sugar, and blood fat levels, and help with weight loss. Another small study shows that people with chronic constipation found eating flaxseed flour with meals notice a reduction in constipation symptoms. You can consume flaxseed by sprinkling it onto oats, soups, and shakes.

 

  1. Pears:

Pears are one of the versatile fruits you can add to your diet. You can eat them raw or add them to your salads, smoothies, and sandwiches. It relieves your constipation in a few days.

Pears are high in fiber, sorbitol, and fructose, a type of sugar that slowly gets absorbed by the digestive system because large amounts get metabolized by your liver.

Like sorbitol, unabsorbed fructose may loosen your stools by bringing water into your intestines. However, still more research is needed to measure its effectiveness.

 

  1. Rhubarb:

Rhubarb contains high fiber content along with natural laxative properties which encourage regular bowel movements. Each stalk of rhubarb contains about 1 g of fiber to mostly bulk-promoting insoluble fiber.

Rhubarb also contains a compound named sennoside A which has laxative properties. It can decrease the levels of aquaporin 3 (AQP3), a protein that controls water transport in your intestines. This increases your water absorption, which softens your stool and promotes bowel movements. You can use rhubarb in baking goods or add it to yogurt or oatmeal.

 

  1. Sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, along with fiber. One medium-sized sweet potato with skin contains 3.76g of fiber. In one small study, researchers asked to consume sweet potato intake for constipation 57 people who were taking chemotherapy for leukemia. After 4 days, the researchers found that most constipation symptoms got better in participants, they experienced less strain and discomfort than the control group. You can consume sweet potatoes by mashing, frying, roasting, or using them in place of potatoes in any of your favorite recipes. You can also eat them as a bread substitute in avocado toast.

 

Constipation is a widespread problem that most people experience at some point in their life. While medication and supplements are helpful, you should try to fix your constipation naturally. Add these fiber-rich foods to your diet to manage your constipation and get better digestive health for normal bowel movements. Besides your diet, staying hydrated and physically active can increase stool frequency, improve your consistency, and eliminate constipation permanently.

 

If you need help with constipation or any other digestive problems, come to us. Our gastrologist ensures you can get the best treatment and tips to manage your condition naturally. You can schedule an appointment with Doral Health and Wellness Gastroenterology Center’s best gastro doctors in Brooklyn. If you are looking for treatments, you can also talk to our specialists and inquire with them. To schedule an appointment, please visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212 or call 1-347-384-5690.