Knowing which foods can have these effects can help you limit the risk.Other issues with food could also cause you to experience more frequent bowel movements, including contamination with organisms that cause food-borne illnesses and food intolerance.Sugar alcohols, found naturally in some foods and also used in many sugar-free products, may cause excessive bowel movements when consumed in large amounts.Sorbitol is most likely responsible for at least part of the laxative effect, since both prunes and prune juice are high in sorbitol. .

14 foods that can help you poop and relieve constipation

Eating certain foods can help to improve the frequency of bowel movements.Dehydration is a common cause of constipation, and drinking plenty of water can often help to ease or resolve the symptoms.When a person becomes dehydrated, their intestines cannot add enough water to stools.Many dairy products, including yogurt and kefir, contain microorganisms known as probiotics.Prunes contain a lot of fiber, a nutrient known to ease and speed up bowel movements.A 2014 review concluded that eating prunes may increase the frequency of bowel movements and improve stool consistency in people with constipation.In most of the studies included in the review, the participants ate 100 g of prunes daily, or about 10 prunes.A 2013 study found that eating a breakfast cereal containing wheat bran every day for 2 weeks improved bowel function and reduced constipation in healthy women who did not usually eat much fiber.The researchers found that the people who ate broccoli sprouts had fewer symptoms of constipation and quicker bowel movements.Apples and pears contain several compounds that improve digestion, including fiber, sorbitol, and fructose.These fruits also contain high levels of water, which can help to ease digestion and prevent constipation.Grapes have a high skin-to-flesh ratio, which means that they are rich in fiber, and they also contain a lot of water.Blackberries and raspberries are rich in fiber and water, which can both ease constipation.To get the most nutrients from whole wheat products, eat them raw or lightly cooked.A 2015 study found that olive and flaxseed oils help to relieve constipation in people undergoing hemodialysis.Sauerkraut contains probiotic bacteria that may help to improve digestion and reduce constipation.A 2016 study found that 2 tablespoons of homemade sauerkraut contain around the same amount of bacteria as probiotic supplements. .

The 17 Best Foods to Relieve Constipation

This may be due to dehydration, a poor diet, medications, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system, or mental disorders.This sugar alcohol is not absorbed well by the body, causing water to be pulled into the colon and leading to a laxative effect in a small number of people ( 4 , 5 ).One older study in 40 people with chronic constipation found that eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of prunes per day significantly improved stool frequency and consistency compared with treatment with psyllium, a type of dietary fiber ( 6 ).Another older animal study found that rats fed a diet of apple fiber had increased stool frequency and weight, despite being given morphine, which causes constipation (12).Summary Apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can soften the stool and promote its movement through the digestive tract.Researchers found doing so led to significant increases in the number of daily bowel movements, compared with a control group ( 18 ).Another study found that eating two kiwis daily for 2 weeks was associated with more bowel movements and looser stools in 11 healthy adults ( 19 ).At the end of the study, participants reported increased frequencies of bowel movements and faster colonic transit times ( 20 ).An enzyme known as actinidin is also hypothesized to be responsible for kiwi’s positive effects on gut motility and bowel habits ( 21 , 22 , 23 ).Summary Kiwis are a good source of fiber and contain actinidin, an enzyme that may improve gut motility and reduce constipation.Another study in 40 people with constipation found that taking 10.6 ounces (300 grams) of fig paste per day for 16 weeks helped speed colonic transit, improve stool consistency, and alleviate stomach discomfort ( 27 ).They can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and go well with cheese and gamey meats, as well as on pizza, in baked goods, and in salads.Animal studies have shown that naringenin increases fluid secretion into the colon, causing a laxative effect.Summary Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins are high in fiber and contain several compounds that can reduce constipation, including pectin and naringenin.Summary Greens like spinach, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are rich in fiber, which can help add bulk to stools to support regularity.A recent study in 44 healthy adults with constipation found that taking 0.4 ounces (12 grams) of inulin from chicory per day increased stool frequency and softness ( 39 ).Summary Jerusalem artichokes and chicory contain a prebiotic called inulin, which can enhance gut health and improve the frequency and consistency of stool.One older study found that people who ate 10 grams of fiber extracted from artichokes every day for 3 weeks had greater numbers of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli bacteria.A study in rats found that sennoside A from rhubarb works by decreasing levels of aquaporin 3, a protein that regulates the movement of water in the intestines ( 45 ).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.Summary Rhubarb is high in fiber and contains sennoside A, a compound that helps soften stools and promote bowel movements.One study looked at the effects of eating sweet potato on people undergoing chemotherapy, which can cause constipation ( 50 ).Summary Sweet potatoes are a great source of insoluble fiber, which can add bulk to stools to prevent constipation.Summary Pulses such as beans, peas, and lentils contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help soften and add bulk to the stool.Summary Chia seeds are loaded with soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like consistency in the digestive tract to soften and ease stool passage.In addition to numerous other health benefits, flaxseeds are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, making them an ideal digestive aid ( 58 ).One 2012 study in mice found that those fed a flaxseed-supplemented diet had shortened small intestinal transit time and increased stool weight and frequency ( 60 ).The researchers suggested that insoluble fiber acts like a sponge in the large intestine, retaining water, increasing bulk, and softening the stool.Additionally, short-chain fatty acids are produced during the bacterial fermentation of soluble fiber, which increases motility and stimulates bowel movements ( 60 ).Interestingly, researchers have suggested that flaxseeds’ laxative effect may be attributed to their oil content, which may have lubricant properties ( 60 ).One 2010 study in 51 adults with constipation investigated the effects of eating 8.5 ounces (240 grams) of rye bread per day ( 63 ).Summary Whole grain rye bread is a good source of fiber and has been shown to increase the frequency of bowel movements while also decreasing intestinal transit time.Although more research is needed, two older studies have shown the positive effects of oat bran on bowel function.First, one study from the United Kingdom showed that eating two oat-bran biscuits per day significantly improved the frequency and consistency of bowel movements and reduced pain in participants ages 60–80 ( 66 ).Another study in nursing home residents in Austria found that adding 7–8 grams of oat bran to their diet per day resulted in a significant reduction in laxative use ( 67 ).Summary Oat bran is brimming with fiber and has been shown to improve bowel function and reduce constipation in some older studies.Another study in 45 people with inflammatory bowel disease found that drinking 13.5 ounces (400 mL) of kefir twice daily improved the composition of the gut microbiome and decreased symptoms like bloating ( 69 ).A high fiber diet helps add bulk and weight to stools, soften them, and stimulate bowel movements.Regular exercise is another critical factor in improving symptoms of constipation and developing healthy bowel habits.If you have constipation, try to gradually introduce some of the foods above to your diet, as well as drink plenty of water and engage in physical exercise, to improve your regularity, stool consistency, and overall comfort. .

List of foods that can cause constipation and how to prevent it

However, people with digestive or other health conditions may find that eating certain foods can trigger or worsen constipation .People with chronic constipation may also find that specific foods impact their symptoms.A person may not be getting enough fiber if they eat a lot of meat, dairy products, and refined carbohydrates but do not eat many vegetables, fruits, or whole grains.It is worth noting that some people with digestive conditions or IBD find that eating high fiber foods can make their symptoms worse.People with IBS and some other digestive conditions may find that foods high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) worsen their symptoms.People whose bodies have difficulty digesting these foods may feel better by eating a low FODMAP diet, which involves avoiding high FODMAP foods for a set period of time.A 2011 study into constipation in children found that when the participants eliminated food allergens from their diet, their constipation improved.Some people believe that eggs can cause constipation.They are a low fiber food, though, so eating a lot of them may contribute to constipation.Egg allergies are also among the most common food allergies, which could explain why some people’s bodies have difficulty digesting them. .

10 Types of Foods That Can Cause Diarrhea

Other symptoms of food intolerance include stomach cramps or pain, bloating, and gas.Food allergies can also cause diarrhea, along with hives, itchy skin, congestion, and throat tightening.These are often foods that contain large amounts of spices, artificial ingredients, oils, or colonic stimulants.Research shows that while capsaicin can have various health benefits, such as treating pain and arthritis, it is also a potent irritant.Eating or drinking sugar alcohols, in particular, can have a laxative effect, inducing diarrhea and gas.Lactose intolerance means that your body doesn’t have the enzymes to break down certain sugars in dairy.cashew milk Summary Lactose intolerance is a common cause of chronic diarrhea.According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), drinking 2–3 cups of coffee or tea in a day can often cause diarrhea.Many people also add other digestive stimulants to their coffee, such as milk, sugar substitutes, or creamers, which increases the beverage’s laxative effect.Using dairy substitutes, such as oat milk or a coconut creamer, can reduce the laxative effects of coffee.Otherwise, if you think coffee is causing diarrhea, try switching to green tea or another hot beverage.Eating large amounts of fruit can cause diarrhea because this means taking in high levels of fructose.preservatives Some people find that they have looser bowel movements when fresh fruit and vegetables are more readily available in the summer months.Summary Eating large amounts of fruit, or other high-fructose foods, can cause diarrhea.Sugar alcohols, discussed earlier in this article, are another high-FODMAP food that can cause diarrhea.Summary Garlic and onions are notoriously difficult to digest, causing gas and diarrhea.If you aren’t used to eating large amounts of fiber, a big serving can lead to constipation, gas, or diarrhea.A high fiber diet can help reduce diarrhea and has benefits for your digestive and heart health.Summary Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower, are difficult for the body to break down.Common foods high in saturated fats include: french fries.Summary Fatty, greasy, or fried foods contain unhealthful fats that are difficult to digest.a low fiber diet Potassium-rich bananas are gentle on the stomach lining and help you absorb water and electrolytes you might otherwise lose through waste.Loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) are the most common active ingredients in medications that help relieve diarrhea.However, don’t take OTC medications for diarrhea if your symptoms also include fever or blood in your stool.Summary You can usually treat diarrhea at home with plenty of water and low fiber foods.They can help you figure out if it’s linked with a food intolerance or a digestive system disorder.Frequent diarrhea can be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or another gastrointestinal issue that could be treated.stool that contains blood or pus If you aren’t sure what foods are causing diarrhea or other digestive symptoms, you might benefit from trying an elimination diet.Summary If you have chronic or severe diarrhea, or other worrying symptoms, see a doctor for advice about its causes and treatments. .


Certain stimulant, lubricant and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under certain circumstances.Bulk-forming laxatives, also known as roughage, are substances, such as fiber in food and hydrophilic agents in over-the-counter drugs, that add bulk and water to stools so that they can pass more easily through the intestines (lower part of the digestive tract).Emollient agents (stool softeners) [ edit ].Lubricant agents [ edit ].Lubricant laxatives are substances that coat the stool with slippery lipids and decrease colonic absorption of water so that the stool slides through the colon more easily.Site of action: colon.Hyperosmotic agents [ edit ].Site of action: colon.Examples: glycerin suppositories (Hallens), sorbitol, lactulose, and PEG (Colyte, MiraLax)[3].Glycerin suppositories work mostly by hyperosmotic action, but the sodium stearate in the preparation also causes local irritation to the colon.Saline laxative agents [ edit ].Saline laxatives are non-absorbable osmotically active substances that attract and retain water in the intestinal lumen, increasing intraluminal pressure that mechanically stimulates evacuation of the bowel.[3] Saline laxatives may alter a patient's fluid and electrolyte balance.Stimulant agents [ edit ].Site of action: colon.Site of action: colon,small intestine (see below) [ citation needed ].Examples: castor oil[3].Chloride channel activators [ edit ].Effectiveness [ edit ].For children, PEG was found to be more effective than lactulose.Laxative abuse [ edit ].Physicians warn against the chronic use of stimulant laxatives due to concern that chronic use could cause the colonic tissues to get worn out over time and not be able to expel feces due to long-term overstimulation.Laxatives, once called physicks or purgatives, were used extensively in pre-modern medicine to treat many conditions for which they are now generally regarded as ineffective in evidence-based medicine. .

12 Foods That Serve as a Natural Laxative

“Fiber plays a number of key roles in optimizing health, preventing chronic disease, and promoting bowel regularity,” says Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.While these aren’t always the most palatable options (looking at you, kefir and kimchi), you can also keep your gut healthy by taking a daily probiotic like Culturelle, Alpert suggests.To increase your daily fiber and probiotic intake, gradually allow your body to adjust and drink plenty of water (this will also alleviate constipation), she recommends. .

16 Foods That Boost and Improve Your Immune System

Sambucus nigra, or black elderberry bush, is the version most commonly used to make syrup and lozenges.People take elderberry syrup as a remedy for colds, flus, and bacterial sinus infections. .

12 Foods to Eat for Constipation: Remedies for Painful, Hard Stool

Beans for constipation relief.Beans have a great mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which helps the food keep moving through the intestines to relieve constipation. .

Beano: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions

This supplement provides natural enzymes which help individuals to comfortably eat a range of foods, some of which are difficult for them to digest.Beano (alpha-galactosidase) commonly works to digest sugars that are present in many complex carbohydrates, including raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose.The colon is where gas is created and persists, making Beano effective in preventing it before it occurs.Beano should not be used to treat digestive symptoms which are the result of any physical condition or medical diagnosis.Research published in the Digestive Disorder Scientific Journal has shown Beano is effective at reducing the severity of flatulence. This study also analyzed the internal processes Beano works on, a mechanism called breath hydrogen excretion.Breath hydrogen excretion is internal gas created in response to the digestion of foods such as beans and vegetables.This study also demonstrated Beano is effective at significantly reducing breath hydrogen excretion.Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rashes, hives, swollen and blistered skin, fever, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, and/or throat.If you have diabetes or a genetic condition called galactosemia, you should not take Beano without consulting your healthcare provider first.An interaction such as this often has an unsafe impact on blood glucose levels, which will potentially cause additional complications.Beano doses for mild to moderate cases of flatulence are 5 liquid drops per serving of problem foods.Beano contains a minimal amount of sodium at 5 milligrams (mg) per tablet and is largely considered a sodium-free product.There are no differences in the effectiveness of liquid drops, oral capsules, or chewable tablets, as long as each is taken as recommended.Beano is helpful at relieving gas and bloating resulting from foods such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, and whole-grain products. .

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