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17 Best Foods to Eat When Constipated or Bloated: Natural, DIY Relief

8 minute read


Depending on your diet and lifestyle habits, or even as a result of illness and medications, you may experience constipation from time to time. Blocked bowels can be uncomfortable and painful, so people usually look for relief right away.

It may seem strange to eat when food was likely the source of your constipation to start with, but this is often the best remedy.

Constipation occurs when your bowel are not moving as quickly as they should, and your intestines become blocked. The condition is not serious, but it can be very uncomfortable and can cause pain.

Dietary changes, dehydration, medications, and even stress can all get you backed up. Adding certain foods in your diet is a great and natural way to keep bowel movements flowing.

Foods for Constipation

One of the most common natural ways to relieve and prevent constipation is by ensuring you have enough fiber in your diet. To that end, you’ll find that most of the foods listed here share high fiber content in common.

| Related: Fiber-Packed Celery, Fennel, and Apple Salad |  

Since constipation is also related to digestive health, improving the balance of bacteria in your gut via probiotics and digestive enzymes can help as well.

1. Apples

Apples are one of the most fiber-rich foods available. Pectin, a common dietary fiber, is abundant in apples and this helps to pull water into your gut and increase bowel movement time.

Studies have found that pectin accelerates bowel movement in cases of constipation by supporting the activities of gut bacteria.

2. Artichoke

Artichokes serve as a prebiotic to nourish your gut bacteria. Full of carbohydrates that your stomach cannot digest, artichokes end up in the gut to feed your bacteria. Healthy bacteria mean improved stool consistency and movement.

3. Legumes

Beans, peas and lentils are all cheap and full of fiber to bulk up stools. These foods contain a perfect balance of soluble and insoluble fiber helping to promote regular bowel movements and improve bowel consistency.

| Related: Moroccan Lentil Soup With Sweet Potatoes |

4. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a fiber-dense food. When they contact water, they form a gel that loosens stools and promotes movement.

Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their own weight in water, which makes them optimal bulking agents.

5. Chicory

Chicory is part of the sunflower family and is rich in inulin, an important soluble fiber. This fiber is a prebiotic which supports the health and activities of your gut bacteria.

| Related: Why You Need Gut Bacteria for Weight Loss and Health |

By increasing bacterial mass and health, the inulin in chicory promotes frequent stool movements and the overall health of your gut.

6. Citrus Fruits

Fruits like oranges and grapefruits are rich in pectin, the soluble fiber that speeds up colonic transit time. They are also high in a flavanol known as naringenin, which also has positive effects on constipation.

| Related: Is Orange Juice Really Healthy? |

7. Figs

The enzyme in figs, known as ficain, helps to speed up bowel movements and improve stool consistency. With regular inclusion in your diet, figs can help reduce constipation and alleviate stomach pains.

8. Flaxseeds

These have been used for centuries to relieve constipation, specifically because of their insoluble fiber content, which allows for maximum water retention and optimal bowel movement frequency.

During bacterial consumption of the flaxseed fiber, short chain fatty acids are released that also help to reduce intestinal transit time.

9. Kefir

This fermented milk drink is full of probiotics, which help to replenish the microbiome living in your gut. Drinking kefir each day not only makes stools easier to pass, but it promotes digestive health and is a more natural option to laxatives and stool- softening medications.

10. Kiwi

Studies have found that eating kiwi sped up the excretion process as well as increased the bulk of your stool. These fruits have also been used to effectively increase bowel movement and frequency, making them a positive addition for preventing and treating constipation.

11. Oat Bran

Not to be confused with the oat grain, oat bran is the outer casing and is rich in fiber. Regular consumption of oat bran has been linked to positive effects with regards to bowel function and health.

Oat bran can be easily incorporated into your diet by mixing with granola or baking it into breads.

12. Pears

Another fiber-rich fruit that is also high in fructose. This sugar is not well absorbed, so it ends up in your colon, pulling in water to soften the stool.

Pears are also very versatile and can be eaten daily as part of sweet or savory meals.

13. Prunes

These dried fruits contain insoluble fiber, increasing the amount of water in your stool, making bowel movements bulkier and more frequent. In addition to this, prunes contain phenolic compounds which stimulate gut bacteria and the laxative effect they have.

Prunes also have sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol we cannot digest well. This pulls water into the stools and creates a laxative effect.

14. Rhubarb

This plant is very tart but makes delicious tarts and pies when sweetened. Rhubarb contains sennoside, a compound known as an herbal laxative, and this helps to keep stools soft and bowel movements regular.

15. Sweet Potato

The soluble fiber in sweet potatoes helps to relieve constipation. The insoluble fiber in the form of cellulose and lignin ends up in the gut where it feeds bacteria to promote healthy bowel movement and bulk up stools.

| Related: The Many Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes |

Studies with chemotherapy patient found that sweet potatoes help to relieve symptoms and discomfort after just four days of consumption.

16. Spinach

Spinach as well as other greens like broccoli helps to bulk up your stools, which makes movement easier. Salads are a great option. If you aren’t to keen on the taste, though, try a quiche or a soup to get the fiber you need and the bowel support you want.

17. Whole Grain Rye Bread

Rye bread has been found to be more effective in relieving constipation as compared to regular wheat bread. Rye bread consumption speeds up bowel frequency and softens stool to allow for less painful movement.

The Bottom Line

Constipation is not fun, whether it is temporary or something you get frequently. Changing your diet is the best way to prevent constipation and help treat it at the same time.

The foods above will relieve constipation and keep you regular. Change up your diet today to keep things moving so you can get on with your day in comfort.

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