Constipation is a common problem that affects approximately 20 percent of the world’s population (1).
It is mostly caused by a decrease in the movement of food through the digestive system.
Consumption of a low-fiber food, old age, and physical inactivity are major causes of constipation.
However, there are some natural home remedies but incorporating a few regularity-boosting foods into your diet can be safe and effective alternative.
Keep reading as we share 11 best remedies to fight against constipation 🙂
They are a number of ways that pears can help alleviate constipation.
Also, being rich in sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that acts as an osmotic agent to draw water into the intestine and stimulate bowel movement (3).
What’s more, pear contains fructose, a type of fruit sugar that can only be absorbed in limited amounts.
This is partly due to the way in which fructose is metabolized in your body. The liver metabolizes a large amount of fructose but at a more slower rate (4).
However, some people may have fructose malabsorption, a condition that affects the body’s ability to absorb fructose.
Just like sorbitol, unabsorbed fructose also acts as a natural laxative by drawing water into the intestines (4).
Apples are another fruit that provide a great remedy for constipation.
They are a good source of fiber, with a small apple providing about 4 grams of fiber (5).
Normally, fiber passes through your intestine undigested, helping in stool formation and promoting regular bowel movements (6).
Not only that, apples also contain a specific type of fiber called pectin, which has a laxative effect.
A study shows that individuals with constipation who took pectin supplements after four weeks had reduced symptoms and even improved digestive health (7).
Flaxseeds have numerous health benefits and their ability to promote regularity makes them stand out.
A teaspoon serving of flaxseeds can provide you with at least 3 grams of fiber, including soluble and insoluble fiber (8).
Studies show that flaxseeds is a remedy for constipation and also speed up transit while also increasing stool frequency (9).
What’s more, flaxseed can also be used to treat both constipation and diarrhea.
Figs are one of the fruits you should consume most if you need a remedy for constipation.
They are rich in fiber, especially dried figs
75 grams of dried figs can provide you with about 7.5 grams of fiber, which can help provide about 30 percent of your daily fiber requirement (10).
Beans are high in fiber and can help stimulate stool regularity.
Not only that, they contain a good mix of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which ease constipation in different ways.
Soluble fiber, for instance, absorbs water and forms a gel-like consistency, softening stool and making it easier to pass (13).
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, passes through the digestive tract and adds bulk to stool (14).
A 2016 study published in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics shows that a mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet can effectively reduce constipation, while on the other hand reducing bloating and gas (15).
Lentils are packed with fiber, making it an excellent addition to your diet to relieve constipation.
Not only that, lentils can also increase the production of butyric acid, a type of short-chain fatty acid found in the colon. This short-chain fatty acid increases the movement of the digestive tract thereby promoting bowel movements (16).
A 2010 study shows that butyrate helps speed up intestinal transit, making it a potential treatment for constipation (17).
Artichokes can help reduce constipation as it has prebiotic effect which can be beneficial for gut health and bowel regularity.
Prebiotic is a special type of fiber that beneficial colon bacteria feed on, helping to optimize your digestive health (18).
A recent study shows that probiotics increase stool frequency and improved consistency (19).
Prunes are a good natural laxative and are particularly good in relieving constipation.
They are also a good source of sorbitol, a special type of sugar alcohol that is poorly digested in the body.
This helps alleviate constipation by drawing water into the intestines, helping to soften your stool (20).
A 2014 review shows that prunes can help soften stool, improve consistency and increase stool frequency (21).
Prune juice with no added sugar can be all you need to get some constipation busting benefits.
Kiwifruit is also beneficial in alleviating constipation. It is particularly high in fiber which makes it an excellent food source to help promote stool regularity.
This amazing fruit has also been shown to stimulate digestive tract movement, helping to induce bowel movement (22).
A 2007 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology shows that kiwifruit help speeds up intestinal transit time, decrease laxative use and improve symptoms of constipation (23).
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals as a well as a good amount of fiber that can help increase stool regularity.
It is made up of mostly insoluble fiber which includes a few specific types such as lignin, pectin, and cellulose (24).
Thanks to their fiber content, some studies have shown that sweet potatoes may help promote bowel movements.
A 2016 study examined the effect of sweet potato on constipation in leukemia patients who were undergoing chemotherapy.
It was observed that most markers of constipation had improved and participants had significantly less straining (25).
11 Castor oil
Castor oil is a great remedy for constipation. Castor oil is extracted from Castor beans.
Scientists have discovered that Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, the main fatty acid, which binds to the receptor of the smooth muscles of the wall of the intestines which in turn initiates increased contraction and relaxation of the intestinal wall which in turn pushes out stool.
It is to be noted that Castor oil shouldn’t be used for a prolonged period of time.
Here’s the Bristol Stool Chart to understand the texture of your stool;
Constipation is a common problem that affects most people at different and regular periods in their lifetime.
Although some medications and supplements can help alleviate this problem, healthy diet and a high-fiber diet can help achieve regularity in easy stooling.
Incorporating some of these foods along with increased water intake can help increase stool frequency and eliminate constipation.