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End Constipation With These High-Fiber Foods

Constipation is defined as having less than three bowel movements each week, or having movements that are difficult or uncomfortable to pass. While medications to treat constipation exist, many people prefer a more natural solution.

Simple dietary changes can be made to treat constipation. Lifestyle changes such as drinking plenty of water and being more physically active can be helpful, but there are specific high-fiber foods that may be the best natural treatment available without a prescription.

Dietary Fiber

End Constipation With These High-Fiber FoodsPlant foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain healthy vitamins and minerals, but also contain an indigestible substance called “fiber”.  This dietary fiber comes in two different forms:

Soluble fiber will absorb water and transform into a gel-like substance that softens stool. Insoluble fiber does not absorb water, but does add bulk to stool that helps push the waste through your system.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 31g – 28g each day and woman consume 20g – 25g. It’s important for both men and women to drink plenty of water as well, as both kinds of fiber require a well-hydrated system to perform optimally.

Powerful Prunes

Prunes have a stellar reputation as being a fiber-powerhouse, and for good reason.  A serving of six prunes contains 4g of quality fiber. A study performed by the journal “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics” in April of 2011 found that participants that consumed prunes on a daily basis had bowel movements more frequently. Additionally, each movement was reported to have passed with less straining.

Fruits and Veggies

End Constipation With These High-Fiber FoodsThere are several additional fruits and vegetables that aid healthy bowel movements.

Berries contain fiber and water, making them perfect for treating constipation. The blackberry and raspberry top the list with nearly 8g of fiber in each cup, followed by the blueberry and strawberry with 3g – 5g.

Stone fruits are also loaded fiber. Apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, and pears are great options, with roughly 3g – 6g per serving.

Some other notable fruits include oranges,bananas, and mangoes.

Eating high fiber vegetables is a great way to also get vitamins and minerals without the sugar that fruits deliver. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, and cauliflower all contain fiber and a dose of other healthy components.

Healthy Whole Grains

Foods from whole grains are another option for meeting daily fiber recommendations. Many whole-grain foods contain around 3g – 6g per serving.

End Constipation With These High-Fiber FoodsUnprocessed grains that deliver a high amount of fiber per serving include brown rice, oats, and quinoa.

Grains which have only been minimally processed are second best, including breads and pastas made with whole-wheat flour.

Processed/refined grains should be avoided. This includes white bread, bleached white rice, and most pastas. They are relatively devoid of fiber and will do more harm than good for you digestive health.

Nuts, Seeds, and Beans

These nuts contain around 2g per serving: Hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and pecans.

These seeds also deliver decent amounts of fiber: Flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and delicious sunflower seeds.

Beans pack a massive amount of fiber. To get 10g – 15g per serving, eat black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, and kidney beans.

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*The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the Editor. Results may vary from person to person and cannot be guaranteed.

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