It’s frustrating to live with and embarrassing to talk about.
It feels like your body is malfunctioning and nothing seems to fix it.
I’m talking about constipation.
If you’re not struggling with it yourself, someone close to you probably are.
Constipation is surprisingly common— especially in the United States.
In fact, according to a study from 2004, about 63 MILLION people suffer from constipation in the US alone.
Many may view the disorder as a minor one, but it’s not:
Blockage of the bowels may lead to more severe disorders like anal fissures, hemorrhoids or fecal incontinence (poop leaking from your butt!).
According to the NIDDK, over 1 million people were hospitalized because of chronic constipation in 2010.
Constipation Is Preventable
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Despite these scary numbers, though, the truth is that constipation can be 100% avoided.
And, if you’re already suffering, don’t worry:
It can be cleared up, maybe even for good.
There’s a lot of methods you can use to achieve that, such as regular exercise, water loading or specialized drugs.
However, the most effective way to do it is with diet.
Consuming the right foods can generate some serious action in your bowels — with little-to-no side effects.
While most plant foods are great against constipation, fruits take the number one spot.
This is because they’re easily digested and full of water, fiber and antioxidants — some even contain natural laxatives.
ⓘ Why Fiber Is Good For Constipation
There are two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble.
Both types are essential for a healthy digestion.
Soluble fiber makes your waste hold more water, which leads to it becoming softer and larger.
This, in turn, lets it pass through your system with ease.
Insoluble fiber adds some extra weight to your stool, reducing the travel time through your intestines.
ⓘ Why Antioxidants Are Good For Constipation
Your gut is a potentially-volatile environment where oxidation is a common occurrence (scientific review).
If your intestinal cells become deficient in antioxidants, your gut may become leaky.
This, in turn, can lead to inflammation of your bowels, which often results in constipation.
Getting enough antioxidants from your diet can prevent this from happening.
Ready to get things moving?
Here are the 12 best fruits for constipation relief.
As the saying goes:
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
Yes, I know it’s cliché, but there’s definitely some truth to it.
They may be a bit bland and predictable to some, but the everyday apple comes with plenty of health benefits.
One of those benefits is better bowel movements.
A single, medium-sized apple (180 grams) will give you 4.4 g of fiber (17% of the RDV).
Apples are also very rich in antioxidants, such as quercetin, catechin, phlorizin and chlorogenic acid.
As opposed to the vast majority of fruits, avocados are very high in fat and lower in carbs.
This makes it an excellent choice if you’re not a fan of too much sweetness, or if you’re following a higher-fat diet.
100 grams of avocado flesh will give you 6.7 grams of fiber (27% of the RDV).
The fatty fruit contains plenty of antioxidants as well — vitamin E, beta carotene, lycopene and lutein.
On top of that, it also has a decent amount of magnesium — 29 mg per 100 grams (7% of RDV).
This is important because the mineral has been shown to promote healthy bowel movements.
With its colorful exterior, soft texture and mild taste, the banana is a favorite among kids.
If your child is suffering from constipation, consider throwing a banana into their daily lunchbox.
One large (140 g) banana contains 3.5 grams of fiber (14% of RDV).
Its antioxidants include beta-carotene, lutein, selenium and vitamin C.
If your bananas are starting to get spotty or brown, don’t throw them away.
The riper they are, the more antioxidant activity they have.
You don’t hear a lot about blackberries, do you?
It’s quite a shame, because they’re one of the healthiest berries you can eat.
Their antioxidant levels are actually some of the highest among all fruits — just barely beat by blueberries (study).
The fiber content is also great — 5.3 g per 100 g (21% of RDV).
Depending on where you live, you may find blackberry bushes at the edge of forests or alongside hiking trails.
If so, grab a container and start picking — they’re highly sought-after, for good reasons.
This colorful, tropical fruit packs a punch when it comes to fighting constipation.
Adding guavas to your regular fruit bowl is a great way to mix things up — that is, if they’re available to you.
Since they grow in tropical and subtropical regions, it may be hard to get your hands on them if you live in the north.
However, if you do manage to secure some, they won’t disappoint when it comes to digestive health.
100 grams of this exotic fruit will provide you with 5.4 g of fiber (22% of RDV).
It also contains an astounding 228 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams.
That’s 381% of the recommended daily value!
And, since vitamin C is a vital antioxidant, that translates to healthier insides.
Another potent vitamin C bomb is the kiwi fruit — eating just one will cover your daily need of the nutrient.
As opposed to guava, though, you’ll easily find kiwi fruits in most supermarkets around the world.
Besides the high amount of vitamin C, kiwi also contains other antioxidants like vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolics.
The fuzzy fruit comes with a healthy amount of fiber as well.
Just one medium-sized kiwi (around 75 g) will provide you with 2.4 grams of fiber (10% of the RDV).
While exotic fruits can be exciting additions to our diets, we shouldn’t overlook the regulars, like oranges.
They are available in pretty much every developed nation, all year around.
Plus, they have a wide appeal and a very familiar taste.
This makes it easy to add them to your diet without much trouble.
However, be aware that juicing the fruit is not a good idea if you’re fighting constipation — you need that fiber.
One large orange (185 g) will give you 4.4 grams of it (18 % of RDV).
Of course, you’ll also get plenty of vitamin C —97.9 mg to be exact (163 %).
On top of that, oranges contain a flavonol named naringenin.
In a recent study, this substance was found to act as a natural laxative in mice.
8. Passion Fruit
With a name like that, digestive health is one of the last things that spring to mind.
However, this exotic beauty is actually one of the best fruits for constipation relief.
With its dense flesh, passion fruit has some of the highest fiber amount of any fruit.
With just 100 grams, you’ll be feeding your body 10.4 grams of fiber — a whole 42 % of the daily recommended intake!
Add all of the antioxidant power of vitamin A, C and flavonoids, and you have yourself a strong contender.
Eat passion fruit on a regular basis, and your bowels will soon be singing with delight.
Who doesn’t love a fresh, juicy, crispy pear on a hot summer day?
Ever since I was a kid, I always preferred pears over apples.
Their shape, smell and taste — I just find them better in every way.
If you’re like me, you’ll be stoked to hear that pears can easily be switched with apples when it comes to treating constipation.
One medium-sized pear with skin (180 g) will give you 5.5 grams of fiber (22% of RDV).
Antioxidant levels are also high, with polyphenols, phenolic acids and flavonoids acting as the main agents of protection.
Have you ever seen the insides of a freshly-picked pomegranate?
The bright-red color of the seeds gives it a vibrant look that’s hard to resist for a fruit lover.
That bright-red color actually comes from the plant food’s extremely potent antioxidants.
In fact, pomegranate juice has more antioxidant activity than both red wine and green tea! (source)
If you eat it whole, you’ll also get 4 grams of fiber (16% of RDV) per 100 grams of fruit.
When it comes to constipation relief, prunes are at the top of the list — not only among fruits, but among all foods.
Prunes, which are actually dried plums, are extremely rich in fiber.
Just a single, pitted prune will give you about 0.7 grams (3% of RDV).
And if you eat a whole cup of them?
12.5 grams of fiber — half of your daily recommended intake.
More importantly, though, prunes contain a fermentable sugar called sorbitol.
This compound has long been known to produce a strong laxative effect (study).
Ever felt like pooping after chewing a lot of gum?
That’s because sorbitol is commonly used as a natural sweetener.
If you don’t feel like chewing gum all day, though, just eat some prunes instead.
(Warning: higher doses of sorbitol may cause stomach pain and diarrhea. Consume with care.)
Last, but not least, we have raspberries — boy, oh boy, do I love them.
Although blueberries have them beat when it comes to antioxidant levels, their delicate taste and texture really does it for me.
I have two raspberry bushes at the edge of my garden, and enjoy them freshly-picked every summer.
Do you love them as well?
If so, you’ll be glad to hear about their potential for natural constipation relief.
Firstly, raspberries have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can shield and heal your intestines.
This is mostly thanks to their high levels of anthocyanins, which are some of the best health-boosting plant pigments in the world (study).
Raspberries also shine when it comes to fiber content.
One cup (123 g) of the little red fruits will give you 8 grams of fiber (32% of the RDV).
That’s 1/3 of your daily need in just one large serving of tasty berries — easy!
Load Up On Fruits & Unload Your Bowels!
And that’s it — now you know about the 12 best fruits for constipation relief.
It’s time to head to your local grocery store and stock up on as many of these as possible.
You could even make a large fruit salad with one serving of each — yum!
The vast majority of constipation cases can be prevented and treated.
Sure, if it’s really serious, you might need to use additional methods.
However, you’ve got nothing to lose by adding some of these fruits to your diet.
Just eat them regularly for a week or two and see how it goes.
Even if they don’t clear you out completely, they’ll still provide you with plenty of other health benefits.