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Foods to Eat to Help With Constipation

Kitty is a registered nurse. She uses what she has learned on the job to inspire and encourage others to take control of their health.

Is There Any Relief?

We've all dealt with constipation at some point in our lives. Maybe you're even dealing with it this very second. Is there any relief?

Yes! There are many different foods that you can eat to help relieve constipation, but there are also foods you should be eating to prevent constipation. Before going out and buying laxatives, stool softeners, or enemas, try some natural and tasty home remedies. Sometimes, the natural way is much more healthy than the obvious way.

Adequate water intake will relieve and prevent constipation

Adequate water intake will relieve and prevent constipation

Drink Your Water

Water lubricates the stool moving through your colon. If there's no water for the stool to absorb while it's making its way through your colon (large intestine), then you will end up with a hardened stool that will get stuck.

Medical professionals recommend at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, but this isn't realistic for everyone. If you really cannot stand the taste of water, add some crystal light or fusion powder to your water. Or, simply add a teaspoon of sugar and lemon to spruce it up.

Prunes for Fiber

Your mother used to make you drink prune juice, and now I'm going to tell you to add them to your weekly diet. Prunes will help get things moving along quite nicely. I used prunes just last week for constipation, and I had a successful bowel movement thereafter.

Prunes are extremely high in fiber, and fiber is essential for a healthy digestive tract. Fiber is bulk, and your digestive system needs bulk in order to move waste effectively. Don't like the way prunes taste? Try prune juice over ice, or mix it with other juices—get creative. You can't overdo prunes!

Prunes add fiber to your diet, which helps to keep bowels moving smoothly

Prunes add fiber to your diet, which helps to keep bowels moving smoothly

Other High-Fiber Fruits

Not a fan of prunes? Consider the following fruit alternatives:

  • cranberries
  • dried apricots
  • figs
  • dates
  • raisins

Dried fruit is high in fiber, just like prunes, and will help keep your bowels moving. Add it to your daily diet and prevent constipation from recurring. There are many other foods in the fruit group that are high in fiber, but dried fruit works tremendously and quickly from my experience.

Alfalfa sprouts contain beneficial digestive enzymes

Alfalfa sprouts contain beneficial digestive enzymes

Alfalfa Offers Beneficial Enzymes

Alfalfa sprouts are easy to find and fairly inexpensive to buy. You can find them in the produce section at pretty much every grocery store. Many people dislike the taste of alfalfa sprouts and claim they taste like grass. All that aside, they are EXTREMELY good for your digestive system.

Traditional Chinese practitioners have known about the cleansing benefits of alfalfa. The sprouts contain eight essential digestive enzymes. Not to mention, alfalfa is high in the vitamins and minerals that your body needs for other purposes. If you don't like the taste, sprinkle some over a sandwich between lettuce slices. You will barely notice that they're there! Slap them on a salad, or grind them up and put them in a stir-fry. The options are limitless.

Amalaki, an edible fruit, is incorporated into triphala, an Ayurvedic remedy said to relieve constipation

Amalaki, an edible fruit, is incorporated into triphala, an Ayurvedic remedy said to relieve constipation

Herbal Remedies

Maybe you haven't heard about herbs and how healthy they can be for your body. You're going to hear it now. Here are some herbs that are easy to acquire and easy to add to meals to help with constipation.


Triphala is an old herbal remedy rooted in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine of India. It is an herb blend of three fruits, amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki. Triphala is said to be a rejuvenating and non-habit-forming colon cleanser and tonifier. It can be found in pill form and also as tea. Add it to your fruit shake or smoothie in the mornings!

Don't take triphala if you are pregnant and/or experiencing diarrhea.

Turmeric is a natural remedy for constipation that can be incorporated into beverages

Turmeric is a natural remedy for constipation that can be incorporated into beverages


Tumeric is said to be healthy for the digestive tract, and there are even studies investigating turmeric as a potential aid for curing bowel cancer. Who doesn't want this as a part of their diet? Add turmeric to rice and soups, or ingest it in Persian and Indian cuisine.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Kitty Fields


Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on March 18, 2016:

Valene - Whatever works!

Valene from Missouri on March 17, 2016:

I find my menstrual cycle has a lot to do with my bowel habits and sometimes regardless of what I eat or drink, I just get bound up, especially right before my period. However, I have successfully used the Triphala and will continue to keep it in my arsenal against constipation.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 19, 2012:

The prune juice is always good for the older adults that are having issues, but you're right...they should be drinking water and most of them refuse to.

Bonny OBrien from Troy, N.Y. on May 18, 2012:

I never really have problem.Some of my residents do tho, and I have to give them prune juice.Most of them need to drink more water tho, which they won't.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 18, 2012:

Joyce - Try the herbs too. And please drink a lot of water. Good luck, sweetie.

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on May 18, 2012:

Medications have done this to me. I will get the dried fruit you suggested to have with cereal. Thank you.

Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 18, 2012:

Peg - No problem, any time! I have to remind myself to drink lots of fluids too.

Lady_E - Haha...I got ya. Agreed.

Lipnancy - I agree, apples and green leafy veggies are also awesome to help with constipation. Thanks!

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on May 18, 2012:

Great hub. Apples and Green Leafy vegetables seem to work very well too. So does oatmeal.

Elena from London, UK on May 18, 2012:

Lol at the first line of the first comment. Mmmh...

Very useful Hub, its better to eat these natural foods than take medication.


Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 18, 2012:

This is great information on a subject most of us want to forget. But as we age and our health habits take their toll it can become a source of discomfort and worse. Thanks for these ideas and for the reminder to drink lots of liquids.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 18, 2012:

Thanks, Bopeli! Absolutely papaya is a great food to eat to help with constipation!

Bopeli from Cambodia on May 18, 2012:

Good hub hah, and one more fruit that can help reducing Constipation is papaya/

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 18, 2012:

Ann - Good for you! :)

AnnRandolph on May 18, 2012:

Good information. What else can I say. I'm proud to state I'm regular.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 18, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy - Yes, sounds like someone that I took care of in the rehab hospital. This man that I knew was 75 and looked like he was about 95! It was really sad, and he was a mess...had a bowel obstruction from not eating well and being stubborn, just as you mentioned of the person you know. Immobility is a killer too. You have to be mobile in order to keep a good digestive system...heck, to keep your body working right in general! Thanks for commenting, and here's to healthy digestive systems for the two of us! :)

livingpah2004 - Yes, thanks!

livingpah2004 on May 17, 2012:

Prune is good to relive constipation. Well written Hub. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on May 17, 2012:

LOL--good job with a rather 'indelicate' subject. Luckily, that problem is not even in my vocabulary. I tend to have an over-sensitivity to fiber instead. I LOVE prunes, but I don't dare eat them!

One fellow we know, however became so bound up he had to be hospitalized for a week...and I won't go into what had to be done to him. It was very serious--he could have died. Why did this happen? Because he is about 70 years old and more stubborn than a mule. He had a heart attack about 5 years ago, and allowed himself to become so fearful that he literally sits in a recliner watching TV all day and night, sucking on oxygen which he does not need (in the hospital, his "perfusion" rate without it was just fine).

He will not walk any further than from his recliner to the table to eat, and back again, or to go "pee." He lives in that chair--sleeping off and on 24/7/365. Even after the hospital experience, he refuses to eat vegetables, fruit or salads because he "doesn't like them," stating that he's an adult and can eat or refuse to eat whatever he chooses. I can't see him coming to a good end.

Voted up.