foods to help constipation

15 Best Foods To Help Constipation (And 7 You Must Avoid)

Being constipated can make your life miserable. It’s a common issue that affects over 15% of adults in the U.S.

But that risk goes up as you get older. For those over 60, around 1 in 3 experience constipation.

Fortunately, there are some foods that can help get things moving again. We’ll look at 14 of the top ones below. We’ll also look at 7 foods you’ll want to avoid.

15 Top Foods To Help Constipation

Here’s an overview of the foods that make it on most lists of foods that are good for those with constipation.

You’ll find some things in common in the types of foods on this list. Foods that are high in fiber are usually good ones to have if you’re constipated.

Dehydration can be one cause of constipation. Because of this, water and some foods that have a high water/liquid content can be helpful.

There are also foods that contain compounds that promote good gut bacteria and/or are natural laxatives.

  1. Prunes
  2. Water
  3. Figs
  4. Kiwi
  5. Pears
  6. Spinach (and other greens)
  7. Artichoke
  8. Broccoli
  9. Green beans/Peas
  10. Lentils
  11. Whole Grain/Rye
  12. Oat bran
  13. Chia Seeds
  14. Flaxseeds
  15. Yogurt/Kefir

The above foods can all help stimulate bowel movements. But you’ll want to be careful. Some of them can have the opposite effect in some situations and block things up even more. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about what options are best for you.

7 Foods To Avoid When Constipated

The following list of foods basically have the opposite qualities of the list above. They have little or no fiber in them. They can cause dehydration (or make it worse). And they also tend to take longer to digest and can add some bulk to your stool which will make them harder to pass.

Unfortunately avoiding the foods on this list may not be easy. Some people’s favorite types of foods/beverages appear on the list below. But, if you’ve got severe constipation, reducing or eliminating these foods from your diet (at least until things start moving again) may very well be worth it.

  1. Dairy
  2. Eggs
  3. White flour (white bread)
  4. Fried foods
  5. Caffeine (coffee, tea)
  6. Red meat
  7. Alcohol

Bottom Line

Foods may not be the cause of your constipation. It can be caused by a number of other issues. This is another reason why consulting with your doctor is highly recommended.