If you’re tired of things not moving along in your digestive tract at the rate that you’d like, some high-fiber foods might help you to relieve your constipation and experience more regular digestive cycles. High-fiber foods can also actually help to reduce diarrhea too. Here are some foods to consider adding to your diet:
- Cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard, peas, spinach and other green veggies. Vegetables are the best fiber and also include iron, vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients your body needs. Eat them raw or lightly steamed. If you boil them, retain the liquid and save the stock or drink it to make sure you don’t lose all of that good nutrition left behind in the water!
- Fruit. Raw, organic fruit is a great source of fiber as well as other important nutrients. Your best bet is raw apples, berries and pears. Most fruits that are local to your area, eaten whole & ripe are packed with fiber and antioxidants!
- Popcorn. This is looked at as a junk food, but if you don’t load it with butter, it’s a low-calorie snack, and one which can really get things moving. Airpop your own popcorn to keep it healthy. Try adding some olive oil or coconut oil if you don’t like it plain; they are easier on your digestive tract than butter and it’s better for you. You can also use clarified butter or ghee. (Some with certain digestive issues will find that popcorn is NOT their friend…you know who you are!).
- Whole grains. Whole grains have dietary fiber as well as complex carbohydrates. These grains are healthier for your digestion and for your body overall. Whereas processed grains are often depleted of nutrients, whole grains are chalk full of them. Many find that they are gluten sensitive so you may want to choose whole grains other than wheat to start with.
- Beans. Beans (legumes) are rich in fiber, so much so that they’re notorious for getting things moving, sometimes faster than people like! Beans are easier to digest if you have them with rice (brown or basmati), which is why rice and beans are such a popular combo all over the globe. If they make you too gassy even with the rice, take digestive enzymes immediately after eating to help with the digestion!
While you’re increasing your fiber intake, you can also consider avoiding certain foods while you’re feeling constipated. Milk and dairy can really slow down digestion for a lot of people, so it’s best to save it for when you’re not constipated. Also take note that when you start eating a lot of fiber, you may feel somewhat uncomfortable (again…a good reason to increase your digestive enzymes). Try to ignore it and increase your fiber intake slowly but surely for the long term benefits are too numerous to name!
Paula Tipton-Healy L.M, CiHom