foods that help prevent and relieve constipation

12 foods that help prevent and relieve constipation

Food, Gastroenterology

While constipation can be a chronic condition, for most people it is usually an occasional inconvenience. Constipation may be triggered by travel, medications, physical inactivity, poor diet, or other factors, and, while medications can relieve it, certain foods and liquids often can help relieve it or prevent it in the first place.

Foods that help prevent and treat constipation


First on our list is not a food but may be the most important factor. Most people may not even think about it, but if you are dehydrated, whatever is in your intestines will be dehydrated as well. When you are well hydrated, your stools will be better “lubricated” and travel more easily and faster thorough the long intestine and exit when you want.

Yogurt and kefir

These foods are probiotics, that help maintain the microorganisms in your intestine in a good mix. Studies show that eating unflavored yogurt with active cultures every day for two weeks significantly relieves constipation.


Beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas are all very high in fiber, the nutrient which most stimulates good intestinal activity. Besides that, they are full of other nutrients and antioxidants.

Clear soups

Clear chicken stock or chicken noodle soup is nutritious, full of liquid, and easy to digest. The moisture helps make your stools softer and pass more quickly.


This traditional remedy really works. In most studies, the effective “dose” was about 10 prunes or 100 grams per day.

Wheat bran

Super-rich in insoluble fiber, adding some of this to your breakfast cereal mix, perhaps with yogurt, is a great choice.


Besides being at the top of the best vegetable list for many reasons, broccoli contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound which helps optimize the good microorganisms in your large intestine.

Apples and pears

Full of fiber and water, these fruits contain sorbitol and fructose, both of which boost intestinal motility. Best eaten raw, with the skins. Remember that apples are high on the pesticide list, so buy organic if you can and wash well.


Like apples, high in fiber and water, but high in pesticides as well, so buy organic and wash thoroughly.


Contains the enzyme actinidine which promotes digestive motility, and full of vitamin C, antioxidants and carotenoids. Kiwis are about 83% water.

Whole wheat breads, cereals, pastas

Try to always choose whole grain over white. They are much higher in fiber as well as nutrients. If they don’t taste as good for you, over time, slowly add them to white pasta products until you learn to enjoy the taste! Your taste buds will adjust and your health will thank you!

Olive oil

An all-star food for many reasons, olive oil has a mild laxative effect, and good to include in your daily diet.


Maybe something not for your daily diet, but sauerkraut is another food full of fantastic probiotic organisms to help optimize your large intestine micro-environment. Two tablespoons daily is as effective as taking a probiotic supplement.

All these foods and liquids are good, but don’t forget another factor: inactivity, or being sedentary. That is a prescription for bad digestion and constipation. Keep moving!

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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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