Yes, constipation is a little awkward to talk about, but it’s way worse to suffer in silence. And you’re far from alone if you commonly experience the telltale signs: bloating, pain when you try to poop, and trouble relieving yourself regularly. In fact, 42 million Americans deal with constipation every year.
1. Almonds – With heart-healthy fats and generally good-for-you attributes, nuts are no doubt small but mighty—and almonds also come with a dose of soluble fiber. Two handfuls (23 almonds for those who are counting) have 3.5 grams of fiber.
2. Beetroot – Beets are a natural source of electrolytes like magnesium and potassium that play a key role in muscle contraction and also in muscle relaxation. Due to their electrolytes, beets may be a good addition to juices, smoothies, salads and even on their own to help promote healthy digestion and de-bloat. It’s always a good idea to start slowly with the beets because for some they may result in more immediate effects of promoting digestion
3. Ground Flaxseed – These little guys may be the single easiest way to sneak more fiber into your diet. Just one tablespoon contains 2.8 grams of soluble fiber, and because they’re super versatile, they can basically be added to anything from smoothies to salads to baked goods. Bonus: Flaxseeds are also high in omega-3s, so you’ll be helping out your heart too!
4. Oatmeal – The oat grains in oatmeal contain soluble fiber that help with digestive issues and support heart health—talk about a win-win! And it’s hard to be bored with oatmeal when you have all of these ideas to take it from ordinary to outstanding.
5. Popcorn – As far as cravings go, popcorn is one of the healthier ones—provided you don’t load it with butter and salt. Plus, it’s a good thing to reach for when you’re plugged up. Air-popped popcorn has about 1 gram of fiber per cup, and with just 31 calories, it’s a-OK to dig in.
6. Prunes – There’s a reason doctors tell you to drink prune juice when you’re plugged up. The dried fruit contains sorbitol and dihydrophenylisatin, which can help alleviate constipation, says Justin Robinson, R.D., founder of Venn Performance Coaching and a Greatist expert.
7. Strawberries – Just another reason to get your fill of nature’s candy. Strawberries are high in fiber, thanks to their edible seeds. Ripe bananas also have a substantial amount of soluble fiber, which Hassick says can help push waste through the bowels (you really needed that visual, didn’t you?).
8.Water – H20 can’t stop, won’t stop with the health benefits. It not only keeps you hydrated, it also helps make bowel movements more regular. Yet another reason to hit the water cooler, stat.
9.Whole-Wheat Bread – Ditching white bread for the whole-wheat variety gives you an added dose of antioxidants and important nutrients—one of which is insoluble fiber. The average slice of whole-wheat bread has nearly 2 grams of fiber, more than double what you get in white bread.
10.Yogurt – While experts recommend staying away from most dairy products (yes, that includes ice cream), if you’re battling constipation, yogurt may be the exception to the rule. The lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt can help keep you regular, Hassick says. Plus, research suggests that probiotics keep things running smoothly.