Try these things to relieve your constipation:
- DO NOT skip meals.
- Avoid processed or fast foods, such as white breads, pastries, doughnuts, sausage, fast-food burgers, potato chips, and French fries.
Many foods are good natural laxatives that will help you move your bowels. High-fiber foods help move waste through your body. Add foods with fiber to your diet slowly, because eating more fiber can cause bloating and gas.
Drink 8 to 10 cups (2 to 2.5 L) of liquids, especially water, every day.
Ask your health care provider how much fiber to take each day. Males, females, and different age groups all have different daily fiber needs.
Most fruits will help ease constipation. Berries, peaches, apricots, plums, raisins, rhubarb, and prunes are just some of the fruits that may help. DO NOT peel fruits that have edible skins, because a lot of the fiber is in the skin.
Choose breads, crackers, pasta, pancakes, and waffles made with whole grains, or make your own. Use brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice. Eat high-fiber cereals.
Vegetables can also add fiber to your diet. Some high-fiber vegetables are asparagus, broccoli, corn, squash, and potatoes (with the skin still on). Salads made with lettuce, spinach, and cabbage will also help.
Legumes (navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and lentils), peanuts, walnuts, and almonds will also add fiber to your diet.
Other foods you can eat are:
- Fish, chicken, turkey, or other lean meats. These do not have fiber, but they will not make constipation worse.
- Snacks such as raisin cookies, fig bars, and popcorn.
You can also sprinkle 1 or 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) of bran flakes, ground flax seeds, wheat bran, or psyllium on foods such as yogurt, cereal, and soup. Or, add them to your smoothie.