Constipation is a common problem affecting an estimated 20% of the population.
Delayed colonic transit, or a decrease in the movement of food through the digestive system, is one of the most common causes. A low fiber diet, aging, and physical inactivity can also contribute to constipation.
While remedies for constipation typically include laxatives, stool softeners, and fiber supplements, incorporating a few regularity-boosting foods into your diet can be a safe and effective alternative.
Here are 15 healthy foods that can help you poop.
Apples are a good source of fiber, with one small apple (5.3 ounces or 149 grams) providing 3.6 grams of fiber.
Fiber passes through your intestines undigested, aiding the formation of stool and promoting regular bowel movements.
Apples also contain a specific type of soluble fiber called pectin, which is known for its laxative effect.
In one study, 80 participants with constipation took pectin supplements.
After 4 weeks, pectin sped transit time in the colon, reduced the symptoms of constipation, and even improved digestive health by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Apples can be used as a healthy topping for foods like yogurt, crepes, and oatmeal, or enjoyed on their own as a travel-friendly and nutritious snack.