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Food to Help with Constipation: How to Achieve Quick Relief

Food to Help with Constipation: How to Achieve Quick Relief

Constipation often entails the difficulty in the passing of stool because of a lack of fluid content in it. This is due to the water being absorbed back into the body. This reabsorption is often caused by the stool moving through the colon too slowly. In managing constipation, it’s important to reintroduce fiber and fluid into your diet. In this article, we go through food to avoid and food to help with constipation to help manage it and resolve it as soon as possible.

Food to Help with Constipation

High fiber diet

A high-fiber diet is ideal for dealing with constipation. The two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, both serve different purposes to help manage constipation. Soluble fiber allows for more water content in stool while insoluble fiber allows for more bulk. This means that fiber addresses both the frequency and water content of stool.

This then makes high-fiber ingredients ideal food to help with constipation. The goal is to build up the fiber content to around 20 to 30 grams daily. By gradually incorporating high-fiber food and eating three meals a day, constipation is better managed.

Grain

For grain and carbohydrates in general, it’s best to go for whole-grain options. This can apply to baked goods like bread and crackers, and other carbohydrate-heavy dishes like pasta, pancakes, and waffles.

Most people also recommend eating oatmeal, which is not only very filling but also fortified with a lot of soluble fiber, allowing for more water content to remain in the stool. Having barley and muesli could also help since both these products are high in fiber content.

Fruits and vegetables

For fruits and vegetables, it’s best to have them fresh and raw because most manufacturing processes could lower fiber content. If possible, eating them with the skin on would make a world of a difference when it comes to fiber content. This is because fruit and vegetable skins are rich in fiber.

Some fiber powerhouses are

  • Apricots
  • Beans that contain both types of fibers
  • Berries
  • Plums
  • Prunes that have a gram of fiber per piece and contain fermentable sugars (fructans and sorbitol) that act as natural laxatives
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb

Vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, skin-on potatoes, spinach, and squash along with legumes like peanuts, walnuts, and almonds also fall under food to help with constipation.

Meat

For meat, it’s best to choose lean meat because of the low-fat content. Chicken, fish, and turkey are all good options because even though meats aren’t really rich in fiber, choosing lean meat won’t make constipation any worse.

Processed food

When managing constipation, it’s important to limit processed food. This is because most manufacturing procedures involved lowers the fiber count of what it is you’re eating. The same applies to fast food as well.

Try to avoid baked goods like white bread, pastries, doughnuts because these are low in fiber. Avoid fatty and heavily processed meats like burgers and sausages, or snacks like potato chips and french fries because the high-fat, low-fiber content of these food products can make constipation worse.

Beverages

Staying hydrated is a priority when it comes to managing constipation. The lack of fluids in your body could also cause stool to be hard to pass in addition to it going through the colon too slowly. Try to aim to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water or around 2 to 2.5 liters of it in a day.

Try to avoid soft drinks and other sugary drinks because these could easily dehydrate you. Instead, opt for unsweetened fruit juices that are high in fiber content.

Medicine

For medicine, it’s important not to do anything without the guidance of your doctor. This applies to taking even over-the-counter laxatives or laxative products like tea and barley drinks. Take medication only if your doctor has allowed you to and only as often as you are prescribed to.

That said, consult with your doctor if you want to take any medication to make sure that it would be okay for you. Call your doctor if you experience any pain or vomiting and most especially if there is blood in your stool.

Key Takeaways

In general, a high-fiber diet would help constipation become more manageable. Introducing fiber should be done gradually because a sudden increase in fiber content could cause bloating and gas that would make your situation much worse.

Learn more about Special Diets here.

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Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos Updated May 18
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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