About 20 percent of all Americans deal with constipation. One of the main causes is slow movement of foods in the gut. It may be caused by aging, physical inactivity and lack of fiber.
If you don’t poop regularly, you will likely be given laxatives, fiber supplements and stool softeners. Truth is, you can achieve this by adding some foods to your diet. Eat more apples, lentils, pears, kefir, flax seeds, prunes, etc.
12 foods to regulate bowel movement
Lentils are packed with fiber which makes them an excellent choice for those dealing with constipation. A 99-gram serving of cooked lentils provides eight grams of fiber.
Lentils stimulate the production of butyric acid, a type of short-chain fatty acid in colon. It regulates the movement of the gut. Butyrate speeds up intestinal transit, as confirmed by an animal study.
Lentils give your salads and soups rich flavor and numerous health benefits.
- Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with minerals and vitamins, and also contain a lot of fiber. A medium-sized sweet potato of 114 grams contains 4 grams of insoluble fiber. There are several types of it, including pectin, lignin and cellulose.
Researchers show that sweet potatoes promote bowel movement. A 2016 study found that patients diagnosed with leukemia who received chemo drugs had less discomfort caused by constipation within 4 days.
There are so many ways to use sweet potatoes. Roast, sauté, mash and bake your sweet potatoes.
Figs are rich in fiber. A 75-gram serving of dried figs contains 7.5 grams of fiber or 30 percent of your recommended daily allowance.
A 2011 study found that fig paste improves the weight of stool and minimizes intestinal transit time, relieving any discomfort.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage rich in probiotics.
Probiotics improve stool consistency, increase frequency and reduce intestinal transit time. Kefir also promotes regularity.
A recent study found that kefir minimizes the use of laxatives, improves consistency and stool frequency, and speeds up the intestinal transit. Kefir also adds bulk and moisture to prevent constipation.
Use it in salad dressings and smoothies.
Prebiotics in artichoke enhance digestion and provide regularity. They feed healthy bacteria in the colon, and improve gut health.
A 2017 review of five studies found that prebiotics improve stool frequency and increase consistency. Participants took fiber from globe artichokes, and had their levels of healthy bacteria increased within 3 weeks.
Artichoke soothe the symptoms of IBS and normalize bowel patterns.
Rhubarb provides laxative effect and fiber. Both of these are important for your stool. A rhubarb stalk (51 grams) offers one gram of insoluble fiber that adds bulk to the stool.
Sennoside A is a compound in rhubarb with great laxative effect. It minimizes the levels of AQP3, a protein that curbs water transit in intestines. Low AQP3 levels stimulate the absorption of water, making stool soft.
Add rhubarb to your baked dishes, yogurt and oatmeal.
Beans are packed with fiber. A 86-gram serving has 7.5 grams fo fiber, and 91-gram serving of navy beans provide 9.5 grams of fiber. Beans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber softens stool, and insoluble fiber adds bulk.
Add beans to your soups, side dishes or dips.
Pears relieve constipation due to their fiber content. A medium-sized pear of 178 grams has six grams of fiber or 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol in pears, works as an osmotic agent. It attracts water to intestines and stimulates the bowel movement. Fructose is absorbed in limited amounts. Unabsorbed fructose acts as natural laxative as it pulls water to the intestines.
- Flax seeds
Fiber in flax seeds helps you poop regularly. A 10-gram serving contains 3 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Flax seeds speed up the intestinal transit, increase stool frequency and can be used in the treatment of diarrhea and constipation.
A 76-gram serving of kiwi has 2.3 grams of fiber.
Kiwifruit boosts the movement in the gut, and triggers the bowel movement. You won’t need laxatives, and your discomfort will be gone.
Prunes act as natural laxative. They contain sorbitol, and a 28 grams of prunes have two grams of fiber.
Your body doesn’t digest sorbitol easily. It relieves constipation by bringing water into intestines. According to researchers, prunes soften stool, improve consistency and increase stool frequency.
Add prunes to salads and pilafs. A glass of prune juice will relieve your constipation.
A 149-gram serving of apples has four grams of fiber. The fiber is undigested in the intestines, and forms stool, while promoting regular bowel movement.
Pectin speeds up the transit time and relieves constipation by increasing the level of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract.
Fiber-rich foods will relieve your condition. Both soluble and insoluble fiber do wonders for your body. These foods re easily consumed, and don’t need any fancy prepping. You can get everything ready in five minutes. Use whatever works for your intestines, and relieve your constipation naturally without using any laxatives.