Top 12 Foods to Prevent Constipation and Provide Relief

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What is constipation?

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Constipation is a common problem where people find it difficult to have bowel movements. Bowel movements may be too hard, difficult to pass, or infrequent.

There are numerous causes of constipation including diseases of the digestive system and side effects of medications, but for most people, a diet low in fiber may be the cause.

Fortunately, there are many foods you can eat to help relieve constipation, and foods to avoid that can make constipation worse. Here is a list of 12 foods to eat to help relieve your constipation. When planning a healthy diet, it helps to include plenty of high-fiber choices to help you stay regular.

1. Flax seed

  • Flax seed (or flaxseed) can help with constipation and is a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Just one tablespoon of both brown and golden flax seed has 2.8 g fiber, both soluble and insoluble.
  • Most of the fiber is found in the husk of the flax seed, and ground flax seed is generally recommended for easier absorption of the fiber.
  • It's easy to add flax seed to smoothies, on top of salads, or in your oatmeal.

2. Beans

Beans have more than 10 grams of fiber per cup serving that's more than almost any other fiber source. Beans have a great mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which helps the food keep moving through the intestines.

Take your pick:

  • baked beans,
  • black-eyed peas,
  • garbanzo beans,
  • lima beans,
  • pinto beans, or
  • kidney beans.

Add any of these to salads, soups, casseroles, or pasta.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/25/2015

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Top Foods for Constipation Relief - Experience Question: Please share what foods you have found helpful in preventing and treating constipation?

Constipation Symptoms

Almost everyone has suffered from constipation at one time; however, symptoms from complications of constipation include

  • hard stools;
  • anal fissures;
  • anal tears;
  • rectal bleeding;
  • hemorrhoids,
  • abdominal pain, discomfort, and swelling;
  • bloating; and
  • aggravation of hernias.