Foods to Prevent Constipation

foods that prevent constipation

Does oatmeal cause constipation?

Oats do in fact help with constipation because they are very high in soluble fiber.  This type of fiber dissolves in water and creates a sort of gel in your digestive tract when it mixes with food too.  This gel is soft and pasty, a little like silly putty.  Of course, this is much easier to ‘pass’ than a harder stool.1

Is orange juice a good laxative?

Orange juice is delicious but also high in fiber, like oats.2  Beware however, not just any orange juice will do.  Orange juice with pulp is much higher in fiber and thus more effective against constipation. In addition, it stimulates peristaltic activity.  In other words, it tells your body to keep food moving through your digestive tract.3

Do grapes help with constipation?

Like many fruits and veggies, grapes contain fiber, which of course helps ‘keep things moving.’  But grapes are also quite high in water.4  Remember, fiber (especially soluble fiber) mixes with water to create that ‘gel’ that gently moves through your guts.  Fiber must have adequate amounts of water to function optimally and grapes supply it.  Granted you could just drink a bunch of water but then where’s the fiber going to come from?  Grapes are idea because they supply both at once.

Does dairy constipate you?

It depends on the person, but some people do get constipated when they consume dairy products.  Infants to children are especially prone to this, likely because of a sensitivity to milk from cows.A number of studies have found that kids with constant constipation problems improved when they stopped drinking milk from cows or replaced it with soy.6,7  If you are lactose intolerant, beware, because you may end up with diarrhea instead!

Is papaya good for constipation?

Found within papaya is a digestive enzyme called papain (technically a family of similar enzymes).  These break down food by chopping apart long chains of sugars.  Once broken down, they can then be absorbed by the body.  If they aren’t absorbed properly, they stick in that ‘ball of gel’ and make, well…less ‘gel-y’).  Of course this is no good because it can ‘undue’ much of what the fiber is doing.  It can also lead to bloating and gas.

Honey for constipation

Honey is thought to be a home remedy for constipation and in fact, the research suggests that it works.1  You can just consume it raw, but that’s a bit much for some people.  Others mix it water, milk or tea.  But remember, milk might constipate you, so you might avoid the milk. Also, consider a little lemon with it (more in a minute).  In any case, honey is full of enzymes that can help break down your food better and allow things to ‘move along’ a bit better.

Dried prunes for constipation

I suspect just about everyone knows that prunes can relieve constipation.  After all, that’s why ‘old’ people eat them, right?  Nonetheless, many would argue that they’re just gross. But they work.  In fact, prunes are even better at reliveing constipation than psyllium, a plant that is mostly made of fiber!9  Prunes also fight cancer of the colon and breasts, another great reason to eat them, even if you aren’t a fan.10

A natural laxative drink

There is lots of vitamin C in lemons, which pulls water into your guts.  This helps keep your poop soft and moving through properly.  Remember, fiber and water combine to make a ‘gel’ that travels through your digestive tract.  But when you’re dehydrated, you are more likely to also be constipated because there is not enough water to combine with the fiber to create an ideal ‘gel.’  But eating lemons is a pretty ‘sour’ prospect.  So, just add lemon to water and the lemons will tend to pull water into your guts, and voila!  You’ve solved your constipation problems.

There is no secret about how to make lemon water; just add lemon to water!  For the best results, use warm water and drink it right after you wake up and just before bed as well as throughout the day.

References

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