Constipation is more common than you may think. In addition, the incidence of constipation increases considerably with age. In adults over the age of 80, almost 1 in every 2 persons has it. Instead of taking laxatives, fiber supplements or stool softeners, incorporating foods that make you poop in your daily food regimen may be a healthier alternative.
Various reasons may lead to constipation. This includes lack of exercise, consumption of too much dairy, dehydration, and lack of fiber in the diet. People with the problem usually empty their bowels less than three times a week. Other symptoms include:
- lumpy, hard or dry stools or stools which resemble small marbles or stones
- a feeling that bowels are not completely empty
- a need to strain, discomfort or pain when trying to pass stool
- a slightly distended belly
- no appetite
- small patches of blood (bright red color) in the feces or on toilet tissue when wiping
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Nutritious Foods that make you Poop
High-fiber foods, healthy fats and adequate dehydration paired with regular exercise is a winning formula to combat constipation. With respect to fiber, it is good to mix both soluble and insoluble kinds. The former, made of carbohydrates, dissolves in water. The latter comes from the walls of plant cells and doesn’t; dissolve in water. What follows is a list of 25 wonder foods to get your bowels moving with better regularity.
A small apple (149 grams or 5.3 pounces) contains 4 grams of fiber. Apples are also a source of pectin, a specific kind of soluble fiber recognized for its laxative power. A study was done on 80 people with constipation. They were given pectin supplements. Following a period of four weeks, the pectin hastened transit time inside the colon and decreased constipation symptoms. It also improved the health of the digestive system by increasing the quantity of beneficial gut bacteria.
Apples are also rich in water. For best results, have it raw and with the skin. You can even use slices of the fruit to top oatmeal or yogurt for a healthy but delicious meal.
These juicy, tasty fruits are rich in fiber and a good source of sorbitol. Chances are a grandparent or parent may have told you this is one of the foods that make you poop. There are 6 grams of fiber in a medium pear (178 grams or 6.3 ounces) Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol. It functions as an osmotic agent to bring water into the intestines, kindling a bowel movement.
Pears also contain the non-absorbable sugar called fructose and which is a laxative. In combination with almond butter, pears are a wonderful low-calorie snack.
There are 7 grams of fiber in four figs, and under 200 calories. Dried figs contain more fiber with 75 grams having 7.5 grams of fiber. This is about 30 percent of the daily fiber requirement. You can even enjoy your figs baked.
A study was conducted in humans to determine how fig paste affected constipation. 40 people with constipation participated in the study. The study found that fig paste assisted with easing abdominal discomfort, speeding up the pace of colonic transit and with making stool consistency better.
Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, a stool softener and fibers that increase stool bulk. So it is one of the foods that help you poop. They also contain a flavonoid called naringenin with laxative properties. Carry an orange with you to work for a snack or else incorporate it into your salad.
Kiwis win as a summer fruit, with many health benefits. They have plenty of antioxidants and are full of such nutrients as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium and folate. They also contain fiber. Kiwis have a reputation for being able to encourage movement in the intestines so food passes quickly.
The problem with many fruits is that they are loaded with sugar and this can bring on gas. Kiwis are low sugar but high fiber and so, will not cause bloating. Enjoy it as such or in a smoothie.
6. Chia Seeds
A single ounce of chia seeds (28 grams) is all you need to get 11 grams of fiber. So it is one of the best foods that make you poop. Going by weight, they are composed of approximately 40 percent fiber. They are especially rich in soluble fiber. A study revealed that these fiber-dense seeds could absorb water a maximum of 12 times their weight. This makes the process of elimination even easier. Add some chia seeds into your yogurts, puddings, and smoothies.
Broccoli is a green superfood. In addition, it contains sulforaphane, which helps with regulating gut bacteria and encourages healthy digestion. Sulforaphane could also assist with controlling excess growth of intestinal microorganisms. Such overgrowth could impede healthy digestion.
If roughage is not something you are used to, it may be better to go slow with broccoli. As is the case with beans, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, a bowl of broccoli could make you gassy.
8. Oat Bran
Oat bran is next in the list of foods that make you poop. Though old-fashioned, people consume oats and rolled oats widely. Moreover, oat bran is richer in fiber. Half a cup of raw oat bran (47 grams) contains 7 grams of fiber.
A study was conducted on 15 elderly participants over a period of three weeks to see the effects of eating oat bran. The results were compared to that of a control group.
The study found oat bran to be well-tolerated in the elderly participants. What’s more, it assisted participants in keeping their body weight constant. It decreased the use of laxatives by as much as 59 percent. Thus, it is an effective and safe natural treatment for constipation.
Any kind of beans, whether black bean or pinto or some other is beneficial to alleviating constipation. For instance, 100 grams of raw pinto beans contain 16 grams of dietary fiber. Beans contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. This ensures that things keep moving through the digestive tract.
Try mixing different beans to make a healthy salad. You could also consider adding them to dips or soups.
One cup of pitted prunes (dried plums) contains 12 grams of dietary fiber. The fiber increases stool bulk enabling it to move smoothly out, Prunes also contain sorbitol and fructans which are fermentable sugars with laxative benefits.
A study of 40 people with constipation showed that when given prunes, there was an improvement in the consistency and frequency of stool. This was in comparison to those people who had been given psyllium fiber supplements. Add prunes to pilaffs and salads. If you don’t like eating the fruit, make it into a juice but don’t add sugar.
Flaxseeds are rich in fiber and encourage regular bowel movements. There are 3 grams of fiber (soluble and insoluble) in 10 grams of flaxseeds.
A study conducted on mice showed that flaxseeds promoted faster intestinal transit. They also boosted the weight and frequency of stools, whether the mice were constipated or not. The study was carried out over a period of 14 days.
You should never eat flaxseeds whole because your body will be unable to digest them. Grind the seeds yourself or else purchase pre-ground flaxseeds. Add a scoop of ground flaxseed to oatmeal or smoothies. You can even sprinkle them over a salad.
Frequently, dehydration is the key cause of constipation. If true, drinking lots of water will resolve or ease the symptoms. Water is one of the key foods that make you poop.
The reason dehydration causes constipation is that the intestines are not able to add adequate water to the stools. The result is dry, lumpy and hard stools.
13. Clear Soups
You may already know that clear soups are easy to digest and nutritious. They are also good for constipation because they moisten dense and hard stools. The moisture softens the stools making it easier to pass them.
A number of yogurts contain probiotics or active, live bacterial cultures. These cultures replenish your gut’s good bacteria. This is beneficial to your gastrointestinal system’s entire health. A meta-analysis published in 2014 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that probiotics improved stool consistency. More importantly, they increased stool frequency by 1.3 weekly.
15. Green vegetables
One vegetable – broccoli has already been mentioned. There are some other raw green veggies such as artichokes and peas, that are loaded with fiber. Leafy greens such as spinach have insoluble fiber and can alleviate IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms.
Seasonal gourds and spinach are full of fiber and magnesium and other nutrients that aid the colon with contracting. Potassium helps with fluid balance regulation and muscle contractions.
16. Olive Oil
Olive Oil is known for being heart-friendly. In addition to its
anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, it improves digestion. It is also one of the foods that make you poop. The oil has a light laxative effect. This smoothes the movement of items through the intestine and alleviates constipation.
As per the findings of a 2015 study, flaxseed and olive oils are beneficial in reducing constipation in those undergoing hemodialysis.
Drizzle olive oil over Caprese salad or saute your vegetables in it.
Lentils are packed with fiber with half a cup of boiled lentils having an amazing 8 grams. The intake of lentils can enhance butyric acid production. Butyric acid, situated in the colon, comes under a category of fatty acids called SCFA (Short-Chain Fatty Acid). It improves the digestive tract movement to encourage bowel movements.
Raspberries and blackberries have more fiber than blueberries or strawberries. One cup of blackberries has more than 8 grams of fiber. On the other hand, one cup of blueberries has just 3.6 grams of dietary fiber.
Blackberries and raspberries are also rich in water. Both fiber and water are useful in alleviating constipation.
Top your oatmeal or bowl of yogurt with berries. You can even toss berries into a smoothie for a delicious thirst quencher on a hot day.
Almonds have copious amounts of protein, heart-healthy fats, and fiber. These nuts are also rich in magnesium, a mineral that assists with stimulating the digestive tract. Magnesium neutralizes stomach acid. It also gets the stool moving through the intestines.
Almonds are a great snack on their own or can be ground into almond butter. Alternatively, you could add some almonds to your breakfast smoothie.
20. Wheat Bread and Wheat Bran
Whole wheat bread is rich in insoluble fiber which increases stool bulk and hastens the flow of things through the intestines. As the intestines are unable to absorb insoluble fiber, they get rid of it fast. For maximum health benefits, eat the bread raw or mildly cooked.
If the whole wheat bread contains seeds and nuts, it means all the more fiber for you per serving.
A 2013 study was conducted on healthy women who were given a breakfast cereal having wheat bran in it, over a period of two weeks. The study found that the cereal reduced constipation in these women who usually did not consume much fiber. Do include wheat bread and/or wheat bran among the foods that make you poop.
Avocados are good sources of both fiber and magnesium. They bring water back into the intestines. The result is softer poop that passes easily. Here’s a serving suggestion. Use fresh avocado to top whole-grain toast.
Peppermint tea can reverse constipation. It does so by relaxing the muscles along the area of the intestine. Thus food can make its way through faster.
According to research, artichokes provide a prebiotic effect. Prebiotics are a kind of fiber. They feed the good bacteria situated in the colon thereby boosting digestive health.
Prebiotics are also helpful in alleviating constipation.
A 2017 examination of five studies that covered 199 participants came to the conclusion that prebiotics bettered stool consistency and boosted stool frequency.
Another study was done to analyze the effects of giving artichoke leaf extract to 208 participants with IBS. The artichokes did decrease IBS incidence. In addition, they assisted with correcting bowel patterns. You can purchase vegetables either fresh or jarred. Enjoy it in creamy dips or flavorful tarts.
To conclude, it is absolutely okay to have constipation. Incorporating foods that make you poop in your daily diet, drinking adequate water, and doing enough exercise will get your bowels functioning normally.