Whole wheat foods are an excellent source of insoluble fiber that increases stool weight and speeds up the passage of substances through the intestines. Whole grain breads and cereals, which also contain nuts and seeds, contain even more fiber in each serving.
Sauerkraut contains probiotic bacteria that improve digestion and reduce constipation. These bacteria can also enhance immune function and lactose uptake.
A 2016 study found that 2 tablespoons of homemade sauerkraut contains about the same amount of bacteria as probiotic supplements.
In addition to changing the diet, to eliminate constipation, it is also recommended to lead a physically active lifestyle, engage in breathing exercises and perform specially designed sets of exercises.
The risk of constipation increases with age. About 33 out of every 100 adults over 60 have symptoms of constipation. In this article, we will consider 14 products that will help save you from this unpleasant problem.
Dehydration is a common cause of constipation, so drinking plenty of water can help relieve or eliminate symptoms. Due to dehydration, the intestines cannot add enough water to the stool, so it turns out to be hard, dry and lumpy.
Yogurt and kefir
Many dairy products, including yogurt and kefir, contain microorganisms known as probiotics. Probiotics are often called “beneficial” bacteria because they can improve bowel health and soften stools.
In a 2014 study, scientists examined the use of non-flavored probiotic yogurt containing polydextrose, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis to treat constipation. They found that drinking 180 milliliters of this yogurt every morning for 2 weeks reduced the time it takes to defecate in people with chronic constipation.
Most beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas are very rich in fiber, which is a nutrient that promotes good digestion and reduces constipation.
A study in 2017 found that 100 grams of boiled beans provides about 26 percent of your daily fiber intake. A serving of 100 g also contains a significant amount of other nutrients that help relieve constipation (potassium, folate, zinc and vitamin B6).
Low-fat soups are nutritious and easy to digest. They also help soften the stool, making it easier to pass.
Prunes and plums are a time-tested home remedy for constipation in many parts of the world.
Prunes contain a lot of fiber – a nutrient that is known to make the intestines easier and faster. Prunes also contain sorbitol and phenolic compounds, which are no less beneficial for the intestines.
A 2014 review showed that eating prunes can increase the frequency of bowel movements and improve stool consistency in people with constipation. In most of the studies included in the review, participants ate 100 g of prune per day, or about 10 pieces.
Wheat bran is another popular home remedy for constipation. It is rich in insoluble fiber, which helps speed up the passage of food through the intestines.
A 2013 study found that eating breakfast cereal containing wheat bran every day for 2 weeks improves bowel function and reduces constipation in healthy women.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a substance that protects the intestines and facilitates digestion. Sulforaphane can also prevent the overgrowth of certain intestinal microorganisms that interfere with healthy digestion.
In a 2017 study, healthy people ate either 20 g of raw broccoli sprouts or 20 g of alfalfa sprouts every day for 4 weeks. Scientists found that people who ate broccoli sprouts had fewer symptoms of constipation and their bowels worked better.
Apples and pears
Apples and pears contain several compounds that improve digestion, including fiber, sorbitol, and fructose. These fruits also contain large amounts of water, which can facilitate digestion and prevent constipation.
To get the most out of apples and pears, eat them raw and whole, along with the skin.
Grapes are rich in fiber and also contain a lot of water. To relieve constipation, try eating a handful of raw, washed grapes.
On average, 100 g of kiwi contains about 2-3 g of fiber, which can increase the volume of the stool and accelerate its passage. Kiwis also contain actinidin, an enzyme that stimulates movement in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and some phytochemicals that are also good for digestion.
Blackberry and raspberry
Blackberries and raspberries are rich in fiber and water, which can relieve constipation. Try to eat a handful or two of raw, washed blackberries or raspberries daily.
Olive and linseed oil
Olive and linseed oils have a mild laxative effect, which can facilitate the passage of substances through the intestines and reduce constipation. These oils also contain compounds that improve digestion and have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
A study conducted in 2015 showed that olive and linseed oil help get rid of constipation in people on hemodialysis.