Foods for Constipation Relief

The primary cause of constipation is a diet high in animal fats (meats, dairy products, eggs) and refined sugar (rich desserts and other sweets), but low in fiber (vegetables, fruits, whole grains). Research shows that high fiber diets result in larger stools, more frequent bowel movements, and therefore less constipation.

Foods that have a laxative effect include almonds, apricots (dried), avocados, beans, celery, coconut, raisins, dates, endive, figs, grapes, mangoes, olive, papayas, parsley, persimmons, pineapple, prunes, rhubarb, soybeans, turnips, walnuts and most vegetables. Olive oil has a mild laxative action and can help lower blood cholesterol levels.

For breakfast consider prune juice, oatmeal, shredded wheat, whole wheat toast or raisin bran. For a morning BM, drink warm prune juice at bedtime.

For snacks consider yogurt, raisins, bean and gucamole dip, fig newton cookies and apple, rhubarb or cherry pie.

Liquids add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. People who have problems with constipation should try to eat more soup and drink real fruit juice and water every day. So-called fruit drinks are nothing but sugar water loaded with high fructose corn syrup and fruit flavoring.

Exercise is as crucial as adequate water intake. Exercise aids the movement of stool in the intestines.

Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement may initiate a cycle of constipation. After a period of time, you may stop feeling the urge. This can lead to progressive constipation. Some people, for example, may avoid using public toilets or ignore going to the toilet because they are too busy.

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