Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:44 am
Laxatives are not always necessary to relieve constipation. There are some natural and healthy ways to go about it as well.
Natural Laxatives Foods List
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Going to the bathroom is something that should be pretty regular, but sometimes, we find ourselves backed up. It can be a quite uncomfortable feeling unable to go to the bathroom, and when this happens, it’s useful to know what foods are natural laxatives. You might be tempted to buy some laxatives from the drugstore or some special teas, but why not go the natural route instead and help get things moving with some foods you can just incorporate into your diet?
15 Best Natural Laxatives for Constipation
To help ease discomfort, people reach for the easy fix and purchase laxatives, made of tablet and liquid agents, as well as fiber supplements, but it is important to implement a healthier lifestyle naturally before resorting to over-the-counter laxatives.
While supplements you find in drug stores may work for your system, the long-term effects can be dangerous to your digestive tract. If you rely on laxatives, your body can become dependent on them and it can also cause other issues, such as dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. To avoid these problems, you can try to use food to help improve your digestion. Here are nine foods that are natural laxatives and will help you go to the bathroom when you need to.
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Keep your digestive tract healthy with one of these foods that are natural laxatives
- Watermelon – This sweet summer treat might be one of Mother Nature’s most surprising but effective fruits to keep you regular because of its super high water content. Watermelon is close to 99 percent of water, so this is an exceptional choice to keep the bowels moving. Water helps keep the food you eat moving through your intestines and beyond.
- Whole grains – Here’s one more reason to embrace carbs and eat more bread. They’ll help you go. Whole grains like quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, whole wheat, oatmeal, and barley are high in dietary fibre, which helps soften stool, so it’s easier to go, normalizes bowel movements, and may even prevent haemorrhoids.
- Blueberries and strawberries – Your favourite jam ingredients contain a very important component of bowel health, which is pectin. This is a type of soluble fibre that makes those cooked foods gel up as they cool.
- Dark leafy vegetables – Kale is more than a food trend, it’s also one of nature’s best natural laxatives. Dark leafy vegetables like kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach contain magnesium, a mineral that helps soften stools, making them easier to pass.
- Raisins – Grandma should have prescribed raisins instead of prunes. Not only is this dried snack higher in stool-softening magnesium and fibre, most people think it tastes better, too. Plus, it doesn’t contain the same bloat-inducing sugar alcohol, sorbitol, that prunes do. Figs are another good choice for anyone looking for natural laxatives.
- Yoghurt – Yogurt and kefir contain probiotics, which help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics are little micro-organisms that break down fibre. When you suddenly have more microbes ‘eating’ the fibre, that’s going to help things pass more quickly.
- Chia and flaxseeds – Topping your yoghurt or oatmeal with chia and flaxseeds is a laxative bomb. These seeds are super high in fibre, which helps normalize the stool in size and shape, as well as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a role in easing inflammation. You don’t think of our bowels as getting inflamed, but if you have any issues like haemorrhoids, this might help.
- Apples and pears – These fall fruits are packed with pectin, a type of fibre that stimulates the bowels and keeps things flowing regularly.
- Broccoli and cauliflower – This duo contains a double whammy of both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps solidify loose stools, lubricates the large intestine to promote the flow of waste, and may even play into colon health.
- Citrus – Juicy fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes not only boast a high water content, which softens stools and reduces bloat, they also contain large amounts of bowel-stimulating pectin. Anything that is super juicy is great for keeping things moving.
- Sweet potatoes – The sweet potato is a superfood for a reason. Sweet potatoes contain an array of nutrients that act as natural laxatives, such as water, fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B6. They also keep the nervous system healthy, which plays a role in bowel movements.
- Pumpkin – This low-carb, low-sugar wonder is packed with fibre, critical to constipation relief. It also has potassium, a mineral that acts as an electrolyte to keep the digestive tract balanced.
- Aloe Vera – Not only is aloe vera useful for treating sunburns, but it can also help with constipation as well. Studies show that aloe vera has a laxative effect compared to a placebo, helping with bowel movement frequency, consistency of stools, and laxative dependence.
- Papaya – Papaya is a great alternative to store-bought laxatives. Not only is the fruit high in water content which helps to keep your system flowing, but it also has an enzyme called papain that helps with digesting proteins in your gut.
- Bananas – Bananas are a great natural laxative, as they are high in fibre and promote easy digestion. This fruit is high in potassium, so eating a banana a day will help restore valuable electrolytes to your intestinal tract.
Water is actually the first thing that can be recommended over anything else. So often our system gets backed up because we’re dehydrated. Without that fluid in your digestive tract, things move slower and slower until you’re literally backed up.
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