Top Foods For Constipation Relief (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
In this Article
- What is constipation?
- 1. Beans
- 2. Kiwi
- 3. Sweet potatoes
- 4. Popcorn
- 5. Nuts and seeds
- 6. Whole grain bread
- 7. Pears, plums, and apples
- 8. Berries
- 9. Flaxseed
- 10. Broccoli
- 11. Dried fruit
- 12. Prunes
3. Sweet potatoes
- One medium baked sweet potato with skin has 3.8 grams of fiber, which can help get things moving along. This high fiber content in sweet potatoes helps prevent constipation. The skin contains most of the fiber so leave it on for the biggest benefits.
- Regular baked potatoes are also a good source of fiber, with 3 grams in a small baked potato. Leave the skin on, and high-calorie toppings such as butter or sour cream off.
- Air-popped popcorn is a good choice for a high-fiber snack that can help provide relief from constipation.
- A filling 3 cups of air-popped popcorn contains 3.5 g fiber, and less than 100 calories.
Just be careful to stay away from movie theater popcorn or popcorn laden with butter as the high fat content not only contains lots of calories, the fat can cause constipation.
5. Nuts and seeds
Nuts are a filling food that is also packed with fiber to help ease constipation.
- Almonds, pecans, and walnuts have more fiber than other nuts. Just 1 ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts) contains 3.5 g fiber, 1 ounce of pecans (about 19 halves) contains 2.7 g fiber, and 1 ounce of walnuts (14 halves) has 1.9 g fiber.
- Seeds are another good fiber-filled choice. A scant 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds contains 1.1 g fiber, while 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds (about 85 seeds) has a whopping 5 g fiber. Sprinkle seeds on top of salads for added fiber and crunch.
Remember that nuts and seeds are high in calories, so keep portions small. Choose nuts and seeds that are raw or dry roasted, rather than roasted in oil.
6. Whole grain bread
Whole grains have lots of fiber, which is a good choice not only for the bowels, but also the heart.
- Researchers at the University of Finland in Helsinki found whole grain rye bread to be better than wheat bread and laxatives for relieving constipation. They reported their findings in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010. Their subjects ate enough slices (12.3 grams each) to get 30 grams of fiber a day. But you don't have to eat that much for it to work.
- Arabinoxylan, the main component of dietary fiber in rye, helps keep food moving through the intestine.
- Ezekiel bread is another good choice for relief of constipation. It is bread made of sprouted whole grains and legumes, which provides a good dose of fiber and nutrients.
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