The nature and hardness of symptoms can vary from individuals. Some people encounter constipation only infrequently, while for others, it may be a chronic condition.

Constipation has a class of causes but is frequently the result of a slow food movement through the digestive system.

However, this may be due to dehydration, illness, poor diet, medications, diseases attacking the nervous system, or mental disorders.

Luckily, several foods can help ease constipation by combining bulk, softening the stool, increasing stool frequency, and reducing gut transit time.

Below are 17 foods Healthy Basic Diets For Constipation.

1.Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that originated in the Caucasus mountains in West Asia. The word kefir is obtained from a Turkish word meaning “pleasant taste.”

It is a probiotic, which means it contains bacteria and yeasts that help your health when ingested. Kefir holds various species of microorganisms, depending on the source.

One four-week study had participants drink 17 ounces (500 ml) of kefir per day after their morning and evening meals. Participants used fewer laxatives at the end of the study and experienced improvements in stool frequency and consistency.

Moreover, a study in rats fed kefir showed increased moisture and bulk in the stool, which would make it easier to pass.

Kefir can be enjoyed plain or added to smoothies and salad dressings. It can also be mixed in with cereals and topped with fruits, flaxseeds, chia seeds, or oat bran to add some fibre.

2.Apples

Apples are highly rich in fibre. One medium-sized apple with the skin on (about 182 grams) holds 4.4 grams of fibre, 17% of the suggested daily intake.

Roughly 2.8 grams of that fibre is insoluble, while 1.2 grams is soluble fibre, frequently in the form of the dietary fibre called pectin.

In the gut, pectin is immediately fermented by bacteria to form short-chain fatty acids, which pull water into the colon, softening the stool and reducing gut transit time.

One research in 80 people with constipation discovered that pectin could stimulate the movement of the stool through the intestines, increase symptoms of constipation, and improve the number of helpful bacteria in the gut.

Another study found that rats fed a diet of apple fibre had improved stool number and weight, notwithstanding being given morphine, which causes constipation.

Apples are an easy way to promote the fibre content of your diet and ease constipation. You can eat them whole, juiced, or in salads or baked goods. Granny Smith apples have a particularly high fibre content.

3.Kiwifruit

The daily intake of kiwifruit is about 2.3 grams of fibre (about 76 grams), which is 9% recommended.

In one study, 38 people over age 60 were given one kiwifruit per 66 pounds (30 kg) of body weight per day. This resulted in an increased number and ease of defecation. It also modified and improved the bulk of stools.

Another study in people with constipation found that eating two kiwifruits every day for four weeks resulted in more spontaneous bowel movements, decreased laxative use, and overall enhanced satisfaction with bowel habits.

Moreover, a third study gave 54 people with irritable bowel syndrome two kiwifruits per day for four weeks. Participants reported an increased frequency of bowel movements and faster colonic transit times.

It’s not just the fibre in kiwifruit that’s held to fight constipation; rather, an enzyme known as actinidain is also hypothesized to be responsible for kiwifruit’s real effects on gut motility and bowel habits.

Kiwifruits can be eaten raw. Cut them in half and scoop out the green flesh and seeds. They create an excellent supplement to fruit salads and can be combined with smoothies for a fibre boost.

4.Pears

Pears are another fruit highly rich in fibre, with about 5.5 grams of fibre in a medium-sized fruit (about 178 grams). That is 22% of the suggested daily fibre intake.

Besides the fibre benefits, pears are high in fructose and sorbitol compared to other fruits.

Fructose is a type of sugar that is poorly digested in some people. This indicates that some of it ends up in the colon, which draws in water by osmosis, arousing a bowel movement.

Pears also hold the sugar alcohol sorbitol. Like fructose, sorbitol is not completely absorbed in the body and acts as a natural laxative by bringing water into the intestines.

5.Figs

Figs are an excellent way to increase your fibre consumption and promote healthy bowel habits.

One medium-sized raw fig (about 50 grams) holds 1.6 grams of fibre. Moreover, just half a cup (75 grams) of dried figs contains 7.3 grams of fibre, which is almost 30% of your daily essentials.

A study in dogs investigated the results of fig paste on constipation over a three-week period. It found that fig paste increased stool weight and decreased intestinal transit time.

Another study in 40 people with constipation discovered that taking 10.6 ounces (300 grams) of fig paste per day for 16 weeks helped promote up colonic transit, improved stool regularity, and eased stomach discomfort.

In addition, figs comprise an enzyme called ficain, which is related to the enzyme actinidain discovered in kiwifruit. It is thought this may contribute to its positive effects on bowel function, alongside its high fibre content.

Figs are a good snack on their own and also match well with both sweet and savoury dishes. They can be consumed raw, cooked, in baked goods, dried and go well with cheese and gamey meats, and on pizza and salads.

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins are a refreshing snack and a good source of fibre.

For instance, one orange (about 131 grams) contains 3.1 grams of fibre, which is 13% of the prescribed daily fibre intake. On the other hand, one grapefruit (about 236 grams) contains 2.6 grams of fibre, meeting 10% of your daily needs.

Citrus fruits are too rich in the soluble fibre pectin, particularly in the peel. Pectin can stimulate colonic transit time and decrease constipation.

In addition, citrus fruits hold a flavanol called naringenin, which may add to the positive effects of citrus fruits on constipation.

Animal studies have shown that naringenin improves fluid flow into the colon, causing a laxative effect. Nevertheless, more research on humans is needed.

It’s best to eat citrus fruits fresh to make sure you get the best amount of fibre and vitamin C.

7.Jerusalem Artichoke and Chicory

Jerusalem artichoke and chicory belong to the sunflower family and are great sources of soluble fibre known as inulin.

Inulin is prebiotic, which indicates it helps stimulate the growth of bacteria in the gut, promoting digestive health. It’s particularly beneficial for Bifidobacteria.

A study on inulin and constipation observed that inulin improves stool frequency, increases consistency, and reduces gut transit time. It also has a mild bulking effect by improving the bacterial mass in the stool.

Jerusalem artichokes are tubers that have a nutty flavour. You can obtain them in most supermarkets, sometimes under the name sunchokes. It can also roasted, steamed, boiled, or mashed.

Chicory root is not usually seen in supermarkets but has become a common coffee alternative in its ground form.

8.Greens

Greens such as spinach, brussels sprouts, and broccoli are rich in fibre and excellent sources of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.

These greens add bulk and weight to stools, making them more natural to pass through the gut.

One cup of cooked spinach contains 4.3 grams of fibre or 17% of your prescribed daily intake. To get spinach into your diet, try combining it with a quiche, pie, or soup. Baby spinach or tender greens can be combined raw to salads or sandwiches for a fibre boost.

Brussels sprouts are super healthy, and some people find them tasty. Five sprouts contain 10% of your daily fibre needs for only 36 calories. They can be steamed, boiled, grilled, or roasted.

Broccoli holds 3.6 grams of fibre in just one stalk (about 150 grams). This is equal to 16% of your prescribed daily fibre intake. It can be cooked and added into soups and stews and eaten raw in salads or snacks.

9. Artichoke

Scientific research shows that artichokes have a prebiotic effect, promoting good gut health and regularity.

Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates like inulin that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut, increasing their numbers and protecting against the growth of harmful bacteria.

One study found that people who ate 10 grams of fibre extracted from artichokes every day for three weeks had greater beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli bacteria. It also found that levels of harmful bacteria in the gut decreased.

Additionally, prebiotics has been found to increase stool frequency and improve stool consistency in people with constipation.

Cooked artichokes can be eaten hot or cold. The outer petals can be pulled off, and the pulpy part ate with a sauce or dip. The heart of the artichoke can be scooped out and cut into pieces.

10.Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes contain a good amount of fibre to help alleviate constipation.

One medium-sized sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains 3.8 grams of fibre, 15% of the recommended daily intake.

Sweet potatoes contain mostly insoluble fibre in the form of cellulose and lignin. They also contain the soluble fibre pectin.

Insoluble fibre can aid bowel movements by adding bulk and weight to stools.

One study looked at the effects of eating sweet potatoes on people undergoing chemotherapy.

After just four days of eating 200 grams of sweet potato per day, participants experienced improved symptoms of constipation and reported less straining and discomfort than the control group.

Sweet potato can be roasted, steamed, boiled, or mashed. It can be used in any recipe that calls for regular potatoes.

11.Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a leafy plant that is well known for its bowel-stimulating properties.

It contains a compound known as sennoside A, more commonly known as Senna, a popular herbal laxative.

A study in rats found that sennoside A from rhubarb works by decreasing aquaporin 3, a protein that regulates water movement in the intestines.

A lower level of aquaporin 3 means less water is moved from the colon back into the bloodstream, leaving stools softer and promoting bowel movements.

Furthermore, 1 cup (122 grams) of rhubarb contains 2.2 grams of dietary fibre, which provides 9% of your recommended daily fibre intake.

The leaves of the rhubarb plant cannot be eaten, but the stalks can be sliced and boiled. Rhubarb has a tart flavour and is often sweetened and added to pies, tarts, and crumbles. It can also be added to oats or muesli for a fibre-rich breakfast.

12.Beans, Peas, and Lentils

Beans, peas, and lentils are also known as pulses, one of the cheapest, fibre-packed food groups you can include in your diet.

For example, 1 cup (182 grams) of cooked navy beans, the type used for baked beans, contains a whopping 19.1 grams of fibre, almost 80% of the recommended daily intake.

Furthermore, in just one-half cup (99 grams) of cooked lentils, there are 7.8 grams of fibre, meeting 31% of your daily needs.

Pulses contain a mix of both insoluble and soluble fibre. This means they can alleviate constipation by adding bulk and weight to stools and softening them to facilitate passage.

To include more pulses in your diet, try adding them to soups, blending them to make healthy dips, including them in salads, or adding them into ground-meat dishes for extra bulk and taste.

13.Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are one of the most fibre-dense foods available. Just 1 ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contains 10.6 grams of fibre, meeting 42% of your daily needs.

The fibre in chia is made up of 85% insoluble fibre and 15% soluble.

When chia comes into contact with water, it forms a gel. In the gut, this can help soften stools and make them easier to pass.

What’s more, chia can absorb up to 12 times its own weight in water, which can help add bulk and weight to stools.

Chia is very versatile and can be added to many different foods, considerably boosting fibre content without much effort.

They work perfectly sprinkled onto cereal, oats, or yogurt. You can also add them into a smoothie or veggie juice or mix them into dips, salad dressings, baked goods, or desserts.

14.Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds have been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for constipation, thanks to their natural laxative effects.

In addition to numerous other health benefits, flaxseeds are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, making them an ideal digestive aid.

Just 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of whole flaxseeds contains 2.8 grams of fibre, meeting 11% of your daily need.

One study in mice found that those fed a flaxseed-supplemented diet had shortened short intestinal transit time and increased stool frequency and stool weight.

The researchers suggested that insoluble fibre acts like a sponge in the large intestine, retaining water, increasing bulk, and softening the stool. Meanwhile, the soluble fibre promotes bacterial growth, adding mass to the stool.

Additionally, short-chain fatty acids are produced during the bacterial fermentation of soluble fibre, increasing motility and stimulating bowel movements.

You can eat flaxseed on cereal or yogurt and use it in muffins, bread, and cakes.

However, not everyone should use flaxseed. Pregnant and lactating women are often advised to avoid it because it may stimulate menstruation.

15.Whole-Grain Rye Bread

Rye bread is a traditional bread in many parts of Europe and rich in dietary fibre.

Two slices (about 62 grams) of whole-grain rye bread contain four grams of dietary fibre, meeting 15% of your daily requirements. Some brands contain even more than this.

Research has found rye bread to be more effective at relieving constipation than regular wheat bread or laxatives.

One study in 51 adults with constipation investigated the effects of eating 8.5 ounces (240 grams) of rye bread per day.

Participants who ate rye bread showed a 23% decrease in intestinal transit times, on average, compared to those who ate wheat bread. They also experienced softened stools and increased frequency and ease of bowel movements.

Rye bread can be used in place of regular white wheat bread. It’s usually denser and darker than regular bread and has a stronger flavour.

16.Oat Bran

Oat bran is the fibre-rich outer casing of the oat grain.

It has significantly more fibre than the commonly used quick oats. In one-third cup (31 grams) of oat bran, there are 4.8 grams of fibre, compared to 2.7 grams in quick oats.

Two studies have shown the positive effects of oat bran on bowel function.

First, a study from the UK showed that eating two oat-bran biscuits per day significantly improved the frequency and consistency of bowel movements and reduced pain in participants aged 60–80.

A different study in nursing home residents in Austria found that adding 7–8 grams of oat bran to the diet per day resulted in a significant reduction in laxative use.

Oat bran can easily be combined with granola mixes and baked into bread or muffins.

17.Prunes

Prunes, also known as dried plums, are generally used as a natural treatment for constipation.

They hold high measures of fibre, with 2 grams of fibre per 1-ounce (28-gram) meal. This is 8% of the American Heart Association’s advised daily intake of fibre.

Cellulose, an insoluble fibre in prunes, increases the quantity of water in the stool, which supplements bulk. The soluble fibre in prunes is fermented in the colon to produce short-chain fatty acids, increasing stool weight.

More so, prunes contain sorbitol. This sugar alcohol is not absorbed well by the body, making water be pulled into the colon and leading to a laxative result in a small number of people.

Finally, prunes also comprise phenolic compounds that stimulate helpful gut bacteria. One research in 40 people with constipation discovered that consuming 100 grams of prunes per day increased stool regularity matched to treatment with psyllium, a type of dietary fibre.

You can enjoy prunes on their own or in salads, baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal, savoury stews, and cereals.