Many people have at one time or another experienced the discomfort, or even pain, associated with passing hard stools. The softness or hardness of your stools depends upon your diet. Eating more of certain types of food and less of other types will aid in softening stools. Your diet is a part of your lifestyle, and is under your control. By choosing to make certain changes to your diet, you will be able to soften your stools.
Eat more fibre. The two primary types of fibre you will usually encounter are insoluble and soluble dietary fibres. Insoluble dietary fibres pass through your digestive system undigested. As they pass through, they clean out your intestines and colon. Insoluble fibres also retain water, which in turn aids in keeping stool soft. Soluble dietary fibres serve as a source of food to the various bacteria within your colon, aiding in colon health. Many vegetables contain a great deal of these fibres, especially greens. Try eating more vegetables such as leeks, asparagus, and celery.
Drink more fluids, especially water. Drinking fluids will allow your bowels to absorb more liquid. This absorbed liquid is used by the bowels to soften the stools as well as adding bulk. If you want some flavour, try drinking fruit or vegetable juice. Also try adding clear soups to your diet. By increasing your fluid intake you will also decrease your chances of experiencing dehydration.
Cut down on foods that are known to harden stool or otherwise increase the possibility of constipation. These can be readily identified by their fibre content. Check your food labels. If the item contains no fibre, or very little fibre, it may cause your stool to harden. Some of these food items include dairy products such as cheeses or ice cream, as well as meats and processed food. Avoid these foods and increase your fibre intake to soften stools.
In addition to changing your diet, also consider an exercise routine. Regular exercise aids in avoiding constipation as well as raising your general level of health.