16 out of every 100 Americans share one uncomfortable problem according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – they’re constipated. Constipation happens for many reasons – dehydration, a poor diet, certain health issues, traveling, inactivity – and it can cause some serious discomfort.
Constipation can cause stomach pain and heaviness, bloating, and nausea. One of the best things you can do to ease constipation and get your digestive system moving is by eating nutritious foods that help you get regular again. These foods are a healthy alternative to harsh digestive stimulants.
Apples are a delicious and versatile source of an important soluble fiber called pectin. When pectin mixes with water in the small intestine, it creates a gel-like substance that accelerates stubborn digestion. One apple is a good source of fiber too. In one small apple, you’ll gain nearly four grams of fiber!
Chia seeds are one of the easiest foods to pop into your daily smoothie, and they are a high-fiber food. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain a whopping 10 grams of fiber. Chia seeds are a good source of soluble fiber and are good at absorbing water. Try mixing them into one of the smoothies in our 5-Day Smoothie Challenge!
Lentils are versatile and filling. One-half cup of lentils is loaded with fiber – 8 grams! They’re also a great source of plant-based protein. Lentils also contain other beneficial nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, folate, and potassium. It’s no wonder so many people love lentils as a meat substitute!
Before you say, “obviously,” hear us out. So many people are chronically dehydrated that they don’t even realize their digestive issues could be helped by drinking more water. Water helps move waste and toxins out of your body and fiber needs water to make stool easier to pass. It also softens stool and helps your body absorb the nutrients you’re consuming through food.
Green vegetables such as artichokes, broccoli, lima beans, and peas are all high in fiber. Lima beans contain 9 grams of fiber in just one cup, and artichokes contain prebiotics to support gut health. It also helps to eat your veggies raw, which preserves the integrity of nutrients.
Green vegetables are also loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and more! They’re no doubt that green veggies are simply one of the most nutritious food groups on the planet.
Black beans contain more than 7 grams of fiber in just ½ cup! Beans are also a source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Your body needs both types to digest food properly and efficiently. Black beans also contain antioxidants, calcium, iron, and protein.
You’ve probably heard the silly jokes about prunes being for older people, but in all seriousness, prunes have major digestive benefits! Prunes are high in fiber and a sugar alcohol called sorbitol. Sorbitol speeds up the digestive process, so be careful – too many prunes can actually create a laxative effect.
You know how much we love avocados here at Teami, and their digestive benefits are another reason we rave about them! The healthy fats in avocados act as a “grease” to get things moving. Plus avocados are high in fiber. In one cup, you’ll consume 10 grams of fiber! That’s 40 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake (which is 25-30 grams per day). Avocados also contain beneficial antioxidants that help you glow from the inside out.
Oats are another all-star source of soluble and insoluble fiber. One serving of oatmeal provides about 4 grams of fiber. Because oatmeal is absorbent, it soaks up water in the body and helps move waste quickly and efficiently. This helps waste move through the colon more smoothly.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutritious vitamins and minerals. They’re an excellent source of potassium and are also a source of Vitamin B6, magnesium, and beta-carotene. These delicious orange powerhouses also contain 4 grams of fiber in one medium sweet potato.
The best part is they are so versatile to cook, you’ll likely find a way to make them that you like! They can be mashed, made into fries, roasted, and replaced in any recipe that calls for a white potato (which has less fiber).
You had to know this would be on our list! Tea has several digestive benefits. First, you’re automatically gaining those hydrating benefits from water. In addition, certain herbs contain natural digestive stimulants to help cleanse, lighten, and rejuvenate a sluggish body.
The Teami 30-Day Detox Pack is designed to help you reset your body with the nourishing benefits of soothing tea.
Unfortunately, practically everyone will experience constipation at some point in their lives. Although there are many solutions for achieving regularity, the best option is a high-fiber diet combined with adequate hydration, exercise, and healthy foods. This can not only relieve occasional constipation but also help keep you regular and increase stool frequency.
Want more healthy eating and lifestyle tips? Check out the other posts on the Teami blog and leave us a comment!