When it comes to managing constipation with your diet, I think it helps to have a cheat sheet. You can use this sheet when you go shopping. The list of best foods for constipation includes five different categories of foods:
· Foods that lubricate the intestine
· Foods that promote bowel motility (motion)
· Soothing Herbs
· Foods that enhance bowel flora
· Bitter foods
We’ve all been told to drink more water and eat more fiber if we’re constipated. This advice seems straightforward enough, but it can also be confusing. What type of fiber? How much water? So, let me provide more details.
1. Foods that lubricate the intestine: These foods are a little bit high in good oil or fats. One of my favorite foods in this category is walnuts. Walnut oil is also a good option. Walnuts contain certain acids that stimulate bowel motions. Having two or three walnuts a day can make all the difference in the world. Other nuts like almonds and Brazil nuts can also be lubricating. Just don’t eat too many and chew them very well. Okra, beets, cauliflower, alfalfa sprouts, apricots, apples, peaches, prunes, pears, are other lubricating foods.
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Lubricating foods are very good for very hard, pebble-like, and difficult to move stool.
2. Foods that promote bowel motion: This category of food is good at bulking up the stool and easing it through the intestines. The result is that you will have more frequent and large bowel movements. Foods in this category include cabbage, papaya, sesame seeds, coconut, sweet potato, asparagus, kiwi fruit, and oat bran.
3. Soothing herbs: These foods are good for hemorrhoids and anal fissures. If you’ve had an operation on the digestive tract, these soothing herbs can be beneficial. Herbs in this category include marshmallow root, ground flaxseed, licorice root, and slippery elm bark. Slippery elm bark powder is a fantastic stool bulker. It also helps to build good levels of beneficial bacteria because it is mucilaginous.
4. Flora enhancing foods: This category of food includes miso, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir. Just remember to start out slowly with fermented or cultured food. They can cause side effects if you eat too much, too soon.
5. Bitter foods: These foods stimulate the liver and gallbladder to work more effectively. Many people don’t have proper bowel movements because they have poor bile flow. Bile softens the stool, so it’s important for preventing constipation. Bitter foods that are good for constipation include endive, chicory, radicchio, mustard greens, brassica vegetables, dandelion leaves, dandelion root, and grapefruit.
Remember to take this cheat sheet with you when you go shopping. It will help you make the best choices for managing your constipation.