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Eat Healthy to Avoid Constipation

Eat Healthy to Avoid Constipation

If your bowel habits get sluggish, you don't have to rush out to buy a laxative. Most people don't need them for mild constipation. Instead, look at your diet. Are you getting enough fiber?

To understand how to prevent constipation, it helps to know what causes it. As food passes through your colon, your body absorbs the water from it, and what's left forms into stool. Your muscles move it through the colon to the rectum, where you pass it. When this movement slows down, your colon draws too much water. Stools get dry and hard to pass, causing constipation.

The problem often happens because of a low-fiber or high-fat diet, lack of exercise, and not drinking enough fluids. Certain medications, not going when you feel the urge, laxative abuse, and pregnancy can also lead to constipation.

Foods and drinks:

  • Eat high-fiber foods such as raisins, raw vegetables, salads, bran cereals, whole-grain bread and fresh fruit.
  • Eat prunes or figs.
  • Eat oatmeal, applesauce, legumes (dried beans) and barley, to soften the stool.
  • Flax meal can be purchased already ground. Or, you can buy the seeds and grind them yourself. Flax meal is a good source of natural fiber and health-promoting Omega-3 fatty acids. It can be stirred into or sprinkled on foods.
  • Drink plenty of liquids—at least eight glasses a day. Water and herbal tea are best. Juices are not recommended, nor are caffeinated drinks, as your body can become dependent on these in the long run.
  • Drink several cups of warm-to-hot liquid in the morning. Herbal teas or water work well.


  • Do daily exercise, like a brisk half-hour walk.
  • Visit the toilet for 15 minutes in the morning, even if you are unable to have a bowel movement. This relaxes and stimulates your digestive system.
  • Sit quietly for 15 minutes after eating a meal to aid in digestion.
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5 Months ago