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Foods that soften stool

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.

Considerations

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.

Bran Cereal

Stool softening can start with your morning breakfast. Choose cereals with high fibre content, such as Fiber One or Raisin Bran.

Plums

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.

Pears

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

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.

Water

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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About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.