Top Constipation Foods: 5 Foods to Avoid and 5 to Eat

Medical Reviewer:

Sometimes nature just doesn't call. At some point, everyone has experienced the gas, bloating, and discomfort of constipation. Fortunately, there are certain foods you can eat and avoid for relief.

"Constipation is not usually caused by one or more foods on [its] own," says Kristi King, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and dietitian at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. "It's usually a combination of things."

Her best advice: Get 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. That amount should keep your gastrointestinal system moving. Also, drink lots of water. "If there isn't enough water in the bowels to help the digestion process, it can most definitely stop you up," King says. "Make sure to consume 64 ounces of water on a daily basis to help prevent constipation."

Foods to Relieve Constipation

When planning your healthy diet, it helps to include plenty of high-fiber choices to help you stay regular. Try these five foods:

1. Prunes

Prunes were grandma's remedy. They could be yours, too. "Prunes and prune juice have been used for many years to help relieve constipation," King says. "Prunes are high in insoluble fiber as well as the natural laxative sorbitol. That combination will for sure make you go!"

Researchers at the University of Iowa tested dried, pitted plums (prunes) against psyllium (a laxative) in 40 adults who were constipated. Those given the plums had measurably higher spontaneous bowel movements than those given the laxative.

Top 5 Foods to Avoid and 5 to Eat for Constipation Resources

Read patient comments on Constipation - Fiber and Laxatives

Doctor written main article on Constipation

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/13/2015