Dealing with constipation can be frustrating and uncomfortable. While your first thought may be to head towards the medicine cabinet, you should search your kitchen cabinets first for foods that may soften stools and provide relief. Make these foods part of your daily diet, along with exercise, to help prevent future bouts of constipation without developing annoying side effects, reduced bowel function and dependency as with the overuse of medications.
While certain foods may be effective at softening stool, too much of a good thing also can create problems such as irritated bowels and diarrhoea. In addition, some people may be sensitive to the effects of foods; therefore, play it safe and start with small amounts.
Stool softening can start with your morning breakfast. Choose cereals with high fibre content, such as Fiber One or Raisin Bran.
Both dried plums and plum juice work great in making stools softer and easier to pass. This is thanks to a high fibre content, along with the presence of sorbitol, a natural laxative.
Pear juice or canned pears may be effective laxatives, thanks to the fruit's fibre and fructose contents. Unlike plums, their effect is milder and, therefore, may be a better choice for those who find plum juice to be a bit irritating to their bowels.
Figs can be effective at relieving constipation, whether they are fresh or in their dry form. Soaking a few figs in water overnight may provide a natural stool softener that's all ready for you in the morning.
Many people still do not drink the 8 cups of water a day as they should. Water has an exceptional ability of preventing the faeces from becoming hard in the colon. Ultimately, water is what will help the fibre-rich foods to get moving, preventing them from stalling in the intestinal tract.
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