A Guide to Foods and Drinks to Relieve Constipation

19 Nov, 2020

Foods surrounded a roll of toilet paper and alarm clock to suggest going to the bathroom

Everybody has experienced constipation — sometimes it just happens. Thankfully there are lots of edible options you can consume for relief, which, let’s be honest, you’d rather try first before reaching for those laxatives. Constipation relief does not have to come from stool softeners, enemas, or laxatives, at all. In fact, there are plenty of foods and drinks that can help you poop!

From green tea, to prune juice, popcorn and chia seeds, in this article, we’ll give you food and drink recommendations that may help relieve your constipation.

Foods to Relieve Constipation

Healthy foods to relieve constipation

There are lots of foods that are packed with fiber and vitamins, acting as natural stool-softening agents. Though this may not always give instant relief, it is a great way to liven up your diet with healthier options and get things moving if you find yourself constipated. Here’s some of the best foods to relieve constipation.

Apples

An apple a day keeps constipation away! Apples are a great source of fiber, and eating just one can have nearly 4 grams of fiber. Like many other raw fruits and veggies, they contain a specific type of fiber called pectin which is known for its laxative magic. 

Prunes

We’ve all heard the story about prunes being an old person’s snack, but Grandma and Grandpa are onto something. Prunes are natural laxatives due to having a type of sugar alcohol called sorbitol. This alleviates constipation by bringing more water into the intestines, which promotes pooping!

Kiwi

Our fuzzy, little fruit friends, Kiwis, are packed with fiber and can really help your body get its waste department moving when things get backed up. One kiwi contains up to 2 grams of fiber! Try adding them to your diet in smoothies, acai bowls or by themselves.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are one of the OG crops that humans have been producing since the agricultural revolution, but we’ve only just started giving them recognition because they’ve become part of the “superfoods” hype. Packed with protein, fiber, omega-3s and a slew of other nutrients, flax seeds can be sprinkled into just about anything.

Pears

Underrated both in its voluptuous nature and taste, pears are fiber queens that will have your poo ready to sashay on down the rectum runway!

Pulses

You’re probably thinking, “wtf is a pulse?” It’s not a nightclub or a heartbeat indicator, but an equally exciting collection of beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas — otherwise known as legumes. All of which, might we add, are high-fiber and protein foods that are great for digestion or meat substitutes.

Rhubarb

Rhubarbs may not sound that romantic, but they may be just the thing you need for your rump to relax and relieve that constipation. Rhubarbs contain a compound called sennoside, which has a laxative effect on your bowels and is also found in herbal laxatives like senna.

Artichokes

Artichokes are like your favorite dog sitter who brings your pup organic treats and extra love. They have prebiotics, which are special types of fiber that feed the good bacteria in your gut, thus helping to optimize your digestion health and relieve constipation. How sweet of them! 

Figs

Aside from being a great cheese pairing, eating three to five figs can give you up to 5 grams of fiber. Try these guys out on your next charcuterie board, baked good or to a salad to up your fiber game!

Sweet Potatoes

Baked, mashed, sautéed or roasted, sweet potatoes offer a plethora of taste variations and nutrients that are beneficial to your gut health. 

Spinach

Popeye told us that eating spinach will make you strong like him, but he failed to tell us that he was probably pooping up a storm when not flexing those guns. Spinach contains fiber and magnesium, both key components in fighting constipation. 

Chia Seeds

Like flax seeds, these superfood seeds are small but mighty. One ounce of chia seeds have 10.6 grams of fiber, which is already 42% of your daily fiber needs. The jelly-like texture they form once in contact with water, help soften stools and make them easier to pass.

Avocados

Great news! Your favorite over-priced food item is also great for your butt! Boasting both soluble and insoluble fiber, avocados are a great food to relieve constipation.

Oats

Oats are a great source of fiber and a filling meal to start off your day. Oat bran, more specifically, which is the casing of the oat grain, is even more fiber-packed and a natural way to soften stools.

Berries

With raspberries and blackberries at the top of Marisa Moore’s, R.D.N, list, berries are full of fiber and a tasty way to promote healthy digestion and regularity. They are high in water content, which is an added plus for fighting constipation.

Broccoli

Not everyone’s most favorite veggie, but don’t let the smell deter you from this gut health superhero! The smelly compound in broccoli is called sulforaphane and it helps prevent any overgrowth of bad microorganisms in your gut.

Grapes

Because most raw fruit and veggies hold their fiber in the skin, grapes are an easy way to get your fiber intake, because honestly, who’s peeling the skin off of every grape?! 

Raw Seeds and Nuts

A filling snack and healthy alternative to chips, raw seeds and nuts are fiber-filled choices that your gut will thank you for — just don’t overdue it. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts are amongst the highest-fiber nuts along with sesame and pumpkin seeds.

Watermelon

Not necessarily a fiber-food, but a water food (if that makes any sense). Watermelon is 92% water, which for those who find it hard to drink enough throughout the day, is a great option to keep hydrated, and promote a bowel movement.

Cabbage

Let’s make one thing clear, cabbage is not related to lettuce! Though it may give you gas, at least that’s a sign of things moving through your bowels. Cabbage can be eaten fermented, like in the form of sauerkraut and kimchi which is one of the best ways to eat it because it’s full of probiotics.

Drinks to Relieve Constipation

Green tea being poured from a kettle to relieve constipation

There are also drink options that can help soften stools and bring you some relief. From hot to cold, dairy and non-dairy, adding these drinks to your diet of foods to make you poop will have you happily running to the toilet!

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that contains tons of probiotics to help maintain a healthy gut biome and alleviate constipation.

Coffee

Without overdoing it, coffee can sometimes help get things grooving as the caffeine increases blood flow and metabolism, not only waking your brain from its sleepy slumber, but also your digestive system! That’s the reason why most people poop after drinking coffee in the morning.

Green Tea

Though there’s not much research around it, there is research that says drinking warm beverages helps aid in creating a bowel movement. Green tea is also high in caffeine which contributes to its laxative effect.

Apple Juice

Since apples are packed with fiber, apple juice can be equally beneficial, but only really if it’s fresh pressed, to avoid unnatural sugars and preservatives.

Prune Juice

If you can’t stand to eat prunes, you can make your own prune juice! Drinking a bit of prune juice every day will help stimulate your bowels and relieve constipation.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can act as a natural laxative since it is made of the fermented juices of apples. Mixing it with warm water and a bit of honey can help improve your overall gut health and digestion.

Aloe Vera Juice

The outer portion of aloe vera contains certain compounds which have a laxative effect. Aside from having other great health benefits like vitamic C, preventing stomach ulcers, and controlling blood sugar, there’s no doubt that pure aloe vera juice can help relieve constipation and bowel issues

Baking Soda + Water

Taking baking soda for constipation relief can help pull water into your intestines and promote a bowel movement.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can help rehydrate you, which is commonly a reason for folks being constipated. Drinking warm lemon juice is soothing and softening for your hard stools.

Water

The holy grail of most things! Preventing constipation means you must stay hydrated, and what better way than keeping water by your side at all times.

Foods to Make You Poop FAQs

How can I make myself poop quickly?

To help induce a bowel movement you can increase your fiber intake with foods like apples, flax seeds or prunes, drink extra water or a glass of kefir, or use over the counter laxatives or stool softeners.

What to drink to make you poop?

The following drinks can help relieve constipation: prune juice, lemon juice, apple juice, kefir, coffee, green tea, water or aloe vera juice.

Do bananas help you poop?

Based on conflicting information on whether bananas cause constipation or help it this question seems like a matter of preference. It’s worth noting that green bananas are high in resistant starch, which can help with constipation.

What to eat when constipated and bloated?

When you’re feeling bloated, due to being constipated, you want to focus on eating raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, or pulses as these are all high in fiber.

Wrapping Up

If you’re not thrilled at the idea of going to the drug store, loading up your laxatives, enemas or stool softeners on the checkout counter, and feeling the shame of a blocked-up booty-hole, then you may want to first consider drinks and foods to make you poop. It’s really a win-win-win situation. No awkward moments at the store, you can help add healthy food and drinks to your diet, and hopefully get that doo-doo on the move! 

There’s no harm in attempting to relieve your constipation in a more natural way first, but just know, that there’s also no shame in needing something a little more aggressive if these options don’t help.

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