By Cathy Wong, ND – Examined by a board-certified physician.
Particular foods can help alleviate constipation, a typical condition marked by irregular bowel movements (and sometimes pellet-shaped stools), while other foods can worsen it. Although constipation might require medical treatment in many cases, lots of people can discover relief by eating certain foods and following other wise ways to reduce constipation.
Fiber Rich Foods for Constipation
Following a diet high in fiber-rich foods helps protect versus constipation, according to the National Institutes of Health.
By taking in 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily, you can help your digestive system type soft, bulky stools that are simple to pass. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends slowly increasing your intake of high-fiber foods in order to avoid bloating, cramping and gas.
Foods high in fiber include entire grains such as brown rice, barley, and quinoa, particular vegetables and fruits (especially dried fruits), flaxseeds, and beans such as beans and lentils. Here’s a look at the amount of fiber found in particular foods that might assist with constipation:
- navy beans (9.5 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup).
- kidney beans (8.2 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup).
- pinto beans (7.7 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup).
- artichokes (6.5 grams per artichoke).
- sweet potatoes (4.8 grams in one medium sweet potato).
- pears (4.4 grams in one small pear).
- green peas (4.4 grams per 1/2 cup).
- raspberries (4 grams per 1/2 cup).
- prunes (3.8 grams per 1/2 cup).
- apples (3.3 grams in one medium apple).
People with a sensitivity to gluten should go with veggies and fruit, quinoa, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, and wild rice, and avoid grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Oats may be acceptable if they are certified gluten-free.
When increasing your consumption of high-fiber foods, it is necessary to drink a lot of fluids.
Liquids help the body to digest fiber and provide constipation relief by including bulk to stools. Aim for eight glasses of water each day.
Magnesium Rich Foods for Constipation
There’s some proof that running low on magnesium might increase your constipation risk. For instance, a 2007 study of 3,835 women released in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that those with the most affordable magnesium intake were the most likely to experience constipation.
Adult males aged 19 to 30 requirement 400 mg of magnesium daily, while men aged 31 and up need 420 mg. Adult women aged 19 to 30 requirement 310 mg day-to-day and women aged 31 and up need 320 mg.
Here’s a list of magnesium-rich foods that might help battle constipation:
- almonds (80 mg of magnesium per ounce).
- cashews (75 mg of magnesium per ounce).
- prepared spinach (75 mg of magnesium per 1/2 cup).
- shredded wheat cereal (55 mg of magnesium in two rectangle-shaped biscuits).
- fortified instantaneous oatmeal prepared with water (55 mg of magnesium per cup).
- baked potato with skin (50 mg of magnesium in one medium potato).
- peanuts (50 mg of magnesium per ounce).
- prepared lentils (35 mg of magnesium per 1/2 cup).
- smooth peanut butter (25 mg of magnesium per tablespoon).
Foods to Avoid for Constipation Relief
Cutting down on fine-tuned, processed grains such as white rice, white bread and white pasta and changing them with entire grains can enhance your fiber intake and protect against constipation.
Lowering your intake of fatty foods, consisting of cheese, ice cream, and meats, might also reduce your constipation risk. In addition, it’s crucial to limit your consumption of caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea, soda and energy beverages. These foods might promote dehydration, which might in turn trigger constipation.
Using Food for Constipation
To treat constipation effectively, it’s essential to integrate a diet high in fiber-rich foods with particular lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and appropriate intake of fluids. In some cases, individuals may likewise require more treatment such as herbal or prescription laxatives or biofeedback.
If foods and lifestyle changes alone cannot eliminate your constipation, talk with your doctor about other treatment options. Self-treating a condition and preventing or postponing basic care might have serious consequences.