As a chronic illness patient and naturopathic doctor, I’m always talking about the topic that no one likes to talk about. While most people shy away from bathroom talk and find it to be awkward or uncomfortable, let’s face it, everyone poops! And the only thing more uncomfortable than talking about poop is actually feeling bloated, gassy or constipated. So today we’re going to face the music and break down some top food that help you stay regular.
Now I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a big oatmeal fan. It’s hard for me to get over the cardboard flavor even if I add tons of things to it to make it taste better. But there’s a good reason to start your morning with oatmeal. Plain, unsweetened oats have about four grams of fiber per half-cup. Plus, oats contain both soluble and insoluble types of fiber, which help to keep you regular.
I’m talking raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. These guys provide a sweet way to meet your fiber needs. A half cup of raspberries or blackberries contains four grams of fiber—not to mention they both have awesome antioxidant powers.
3. Green tea
Aside from its great antioxidant benefits, the natural caffeine content of green tea may produce a mild laxative effect. Plus it’s a great way to ensure hydration, which is key to bowel regularity.
Beans, beans are good for your heart—you know how the rest goes. In addition to promoting heart health, beans are also good for, well, your bowels! A half cup of black beans contains about 15 grams of fiber! While not all beans have that much fiber, they generally tend to be very good sources of fiber, plus they contain some protein, which helps to keep you feeling full and satiated!
5. Flax Seeds
Just one tablespoon of flaxseed packs in about three grams of fiber! Take the opportunity to sprinkle flaxseeds in your oatmeal or add them to your smoothie for an extra fiber boost.
This seems like the most obvious player in the constipation game, but it’s often overlooked. I cannot stress enough the importance of hydration, especially when it comes to bowel movements. Water is normally withdrawn from the colon, which can make stools difficult to pass. Drinking enough water ensures that things will move along easily and without strain.
You guessed it, pears are a good source of fiber! Leave the skin on these guys, so you get a balance of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Remember, soluble fiber is mostly found in the mushy insides of fruit, while insoluble fiber is primarily in the outer skin.
Popcorn is a good source of fiber and it makes for a delicious, low-calorie snack! Opt for air-popped popcorn or even make it yourself at home. Be sure to steer clear of microwaveable movie-theatre popcorn, because it’s often coated with butter, salt, and unhealthy additives.
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts—nuts tend to be a good source of fiber and make for a great snack when paired with fruit or sprinkled on top of your morning oats.
Last but not least, I’m giving you yet another reason to eat your greens! Not only are they high in antioxidants and low in calories, they also provide lots of fiber. Greens tend to have a high water content, which, believe it or not, can actually help keep you hydrated in the hot summer months. So whether you opt for a salad or a green smoothie (not juice, as juice extracts the fiber), make your greens a priority!