Constipation does not feel good. Whether you’ve been backed up for a couple of days, or been passing incomplete stools, constipation is frustrating, uncomfortable and often painful.
Roughly 14-percent of Americans experience a bout of chronic constipation at some point in their lives, which can come in a number of forms and result from a variety of causes. Symptoms include passing stools fewer than three times per week, straining to pass stool, feeling like you haven’t emptied yourself, feeling blocked, or an inability to pass a stool.
Causes can be dehydration, dietary, effect from medicine, illness or disease.
The healthiest and most effective way at dealing with constipation is to eat more fiber-rich foods. American fiber consumption is relatively low, with most eating less than the recommended 28-35 grams per day. The best food sources for constipation are typically fruits, which are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as other compounds that help stool move through your digestive system. Here’s a look at a few fruits that can help with digestion, transit time, and work to relieve constipation.
Prunes are one of the most-recognized remedies for constipation. They are dried plums with plenty of fiber. The insoluble fiber in prunes adds bulk by increasing water volume in stool, while the soluble fiber is fermented in the colon to help improve stool weight. Other compounds in prunes feed gut bacteria to further aid the laxative effect.
A doctor once told me that “pears were golden” for treating constipation. One medium-sized pear hooks you up with about 5,5 grams of fiber, while also providing a high amount of fructose and sorbitol. These two compounds are not well-absorbed in the body and draw water into the intestines to stimulate a bowel movement.
Apples are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The most abundant form of soluble fiber in apples is pectin, which pulls water to the intestine to soften stool and speeding up transit time.
These are just three fruits you can fit into your day that can help battle constipation and keep you regular. Including more plant-based foods is typically the best bet for constipation, regardless of the cause.