Foods That Make You Poop: 20 Foods That Can Help Relieve Constipation
Being backed up is no fun. If you’re chronically constipated or haven’t pooped in more than a few days, it’s important to see your doctor—you could have a serious medical issue going on. But mild or occasional constipation can be relieved by drinking lots of water and making a few smart snacking choices. Here are 20 foods and beverages that will get things moving.
Like it or not, prunes are kind of synonymous with pooping. Here’s why: Prunes are high in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to your stool and speeds up digestion. They also contain sorbitol, which is often considered a natural laxative.
Coffee can stimulate intestinal motility in some people because it releases a hormone called cholecystokinin, which then triggers the gastrocolic reflex. Essentially, it stimulates your colon to make room for whatever’s coming down the pipe next.
Along with a host of other health benefits, oat bran’s crazy high fiber content can help cure occasional constipation. Just one cup of raw oat bran contains an impressive 14.5 grams of fiber—that’s about 1.5 times more fiber than the quick oats that come in paper envelopes.
Beans are high in soluble and insoluble fiber, which help relieve constipation in different ways: Soluble fiber softens the stool by absorbing water, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and speeds up digestion.
Jamie Lee Curtis was onto something with those yogurt commercials—the healthy snack contains probiotics that regulate the good bacteria in your digestive system. According to a 2014 study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, probiotics helped people poop 1.3 more times in a week.
In addition to packing a pretty hefty dose of regular ol’ fiber, apples contain a special type of fiber called pectin (which is also used for setting purposes in jams and jellies) that is known for its ability to speed up digestion.
Leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are chock-full of nutrients that aid in digestion like fiber, magnesium (encourages the colon to contract), and potassium (helps regulate the fluid balance in your body).
Oatmeal doesn’t pack quite the fiber-rich punch that oat bran does, but this tasty breakfast food can help get things moving just the same. The instant stuff may not be ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
Here’s an unexpected one. Believe it or not, this movie theatre staple is actually an excellent source of fiber. One cup of air-popped popcorn has about a gram of fiber and around 30 calories—so eat up!
Snacking on kiwis is a delicious way to get your digestive system moving. One kiwi has about 2.3 grams of fiber, so you don’t need to eat too many to get the job done.
Not only does one pear fulfill 24 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of fiber, it’s also high in sorbitol—the same thing that gives prunes their laxative effect.
One half cup of dried figs contains about 7 grams of fiber—that’s a lot. In addition to the crazy high fiber content, figs contain a proteolytic enzyme ficin, which some experts believe can act as a natural laxative.
Along with a decent dose of fiber, oranges are packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C can have an osmotic effect in your digestive tract, which means it pulls water into your intestines and softens hard stools. They also contain naringenin, a flavonoid that may cause laxative-like effects.
Chicory root can help with occasional constipation, but consuming it regularly may contribute to long-term gut health. High in a prebiotic called inulin fiber, chicory may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria which can help your digestive system.
Artichokes are super high in insoluble fiber. If you need a refresher, insoluble fiber is the one that adds bulk to your stool and gets your digestive system moving.
The humble sweet potato is actually a poop-promoting triple-threat: Not only is the Thanksgiving staple is high in fiber, it also contains natural laxatives pectin and cellulose. Win-win-win.
When it comes to fiber, chia seeds pack a potent punch. Just one tablespoon contains 5 grams of fiber, which is about ⅕ of the RDI. However, proceed with caution—this is definitely one of those “too much of a good thing” situations.
Flaxseeds contain tons of soluble and insoluble fiber. If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know that’s makes them a great choice when you need to get your digestive system moving.
Broccoli is a great source of fiber and it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which can help promote a healthy gut. One study found that eating 20 grams of broccoli sprouts improved symptoms of constipation. Alfalfa sprouts, which don’t contain sulforaphane, didn’t produce the same results.
Just one handful of almonds contains 25 percent of the RDI of magnesium, which neutralizes stomach acid and encourages your digestive system to work more efficiently.
That's all, folks. Happy pooping!