Top 10 Foods for Constipation Relief

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Looking for the best foods for constipation? Fiber rich foods are your best bet to prevent or resolve constipation.

In short, fiber is the indigestible portion of plants.  Fiber is, in fact, a type of carbohydrate and found in all plant foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, provided these foods have not been overly refined.

In general, processing foods damages or removes all or most of the fiber rendering them less than ideal for fighting constipation.

  .… So without further ado, here are the top 10 foods for constipation…


Top 10 Foods for Constipation – Eat often and lots of these foods that fight constipation

  1. Flax seeds ground or soaked in water overnight to create a gel like substance that can be drunk first thing in the morning. Sprinkle ground flax seeds on your porridge, salads or soups. Other nuts that are fabulous foods for constipation are walnuts,  almonds and sunflower seeds. Eat raw or chop and sprinkle on your food.
  2. Green Veg including the Crucifores and Leafy Greens  including broccoli, cabbage, green beans, brocollini and kale – Don’t skimp on veg. Many of these fiber rich morsels especially the green leafies are magnesium rich. Magnesium  has a muscle relaxing effect important for effective peristaltic function. Start every meal with a few raw veg served with a bean or yogurt dip.
  3. Whole Grains including barley, whole wheat, and oatmeal among others – The less processed large flake old fashioned cooking oats are better than the instant oatmeal that have been ground finely thereby minimizing the fiber.  A bowl  of old fashioned oatmeal porridge topped with a half cup of  berries, two tablespoon ground flax seeds along with a handful of chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds in the morning is a great food for constipation. Routinely, eat whole grain breads whether whole wheat, rye or other grains and skip white or refined flour breads. Check labels, as often “brown” breads are less than whole grain. Make sure the label says 100% whole wheat.
  4. Legumes – Think beans when it comes to foods for constipation. Add a can of cooked garbanzo, red or other beans or soak dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to salads or prepare bean patés like hummus and spread on sandwiches or include in pittas or on crackers.
  5. Fresh whole fruits including oranges, apples, avocados, bananas, peaches and pears. Skip the juice - most, if not all of the fiber has been removed.
  6. Prunes and prune juice as well as other dried fruits like dates and raisins are top of the list when it comes to foods for constipation
  7. Berries including blue berries, strawberries, gooseberries or  rasberries and either fresh or frozen are great foods for constipation.
  8. Coffee can exert a stimulant effect on the digestive tract that can get it working. Use moderation. Too much caffeine can trigger stress hormones that slow peristaltic action.
  9. Vitamin C, while a supplement, is a useful tool for combating constipation when taken in sufficient quantity. In amounts of 2 grams or more, it can promote loose stool. The only side effect is improved immune function and, when the desired effect is achieved, simply lower your dose.
  10. Probiotic Foods like live yogurt, kefir and naturally fermented sauerkraut contain bacteria that can promote healthy gut flora and effective digestion and bowel function. Include them as foods to fight constipation.

The added benefits of the above foods for constipation is that they contain loads of essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals as well as anti-oxidants and health giving polyphenols for relatively few calories to boot.  The high fiber content of most of these foods makes you feel full which can help maintain a healthy weight.

                …. Now that is bang for your buck!

Top 5 Tips when Consuming  Foods for Constipation

To maximize the effects of the above constipation foods, keep the following in mind.

  • Raw is best – Eat as much of your food raw as possible. Next aim for the least processed the better.  Avoid overcooking or heavily processing food when preparing.  A raw apple has more fiber and is therefore a better food for constipation than finely milled well-cooked apple sauce.
  • Drink lots of water Aim for 2 liters per day at least. Water is needed for insoluble fiber (roughage) to function as a bulking agent and aid transit time. Without water, you won’t get the benefit of your fiber rich food and your high fiber diet could ironically cause constipation or intestinal blockage.
  • Exercise – It’s key to avoid constipation. Research shows that,  among seniors who consume the same amount of fiber, those who exercise regularly are significantly less constipated than those who don’t . This indicates that, while fiber foods may be a remedy for constipation, physical exercise plays an important role, especially in the elderly who may be less active overall than other groups.
  • Avoid stress Stress can provoke the fight or flight response and the release of stress hormones which slows the function of all non-essential organs including the peristaltic action in the digestive tract. No surprise, therefore, that chronic stress can lead to constipation. Eat in a calm and environment, and chew your food slowly and well as a remedy for constipation.
  • Minimize animal products including meat, eggs and dairy as well as refined carbs – Animal product don’t contain fiber. Refined carbohydrates may have had had all or most of the fiber removed. The result is a calorie-rich but low-fiber food – something to skip when seeking to avoid constipation.

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