The Unexpected Food That Can Help You Prevent Constipation

Bathroom woes, especially those caused by feeling clogged up from constipation, are never a fun feeling. While staying hydrated is at the top of the list for easing constipation (as it helps soften the stools), certain foods may also help prevent constipation. According to Mayo Clinic, the best stool-promoting foods are items that are high in fiber. 

Believe it or not, dietary fiber tends to be lacking in many American adult diets. According to the American Society for Nutrition, only 7% meet the daily fiber recommendations. For adults aged 50 and younger, WebMD recommends consuming around 38 grams (men) and 25 grams (women) of dietary fiber daily. High-fiber foods include beans, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. In particular, fruit seems to be a popular choice for constipation relief. It comes in different forms (i.e. fresh or dried), it's tasty, and packed with fiber.

While both fresh and dried fruit may help relieve constipation woes, points out that dried fruits contain considerably more fiber than fresh fruits. For instance, fresh plums are impressively high in minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients. Plus, one plum contains 1 gram of fiber (via Healthline). On a similar note, its cousin the prune (a dried plum) contains more vitamins, minerals, and double the amount of fiber per 1 ounce serving. "Prunes, in particular, are great because they not only are high in fiber, they also contain sorbitol, which is a natural laxative," points out gastroenterology specialist, Dr. Charlene Prather, to Everyday Health.

Which dried fruits are the best for constipation?

If you're looking to incorporate other dried fruits besides prunes, Everyday Health suggests eating dates, apricots, raisins, and figs. These dried fruits are high in fiber and brimming with nutrients, making them a good choice to help relieve constipation. In fact, this fiber content supports the digestive system by bulking up your stool consistency (and possibly frequency). Fiber allows your body to pass waste more smoothly (via Livestrong).

If you're not a fan of the previously listed fruits, there are plenty more dried fruits to try. Rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are other excellent choices that are extremely helpful for alleviating constipation. While these fruits are more popular in fresh form, dried versions may also be readily found.

Keep in mind that dried fruit can be high in sugar and calories since the water is stripped from the fruit. With that being said, talk to your doctor about any digestive issues. Be sure to discuss how much and what type of dried fruit is safe to eat before you start adding more fiber to your diet. Too much fiber, too soon, may be hard on your digestive tract. Instead, Everyday Health points out it's important to introduce fiber-filled foods slowly and increase your fluid intake simultaneously. This will get the fiber flowing smoothly throughout your digestive system, hopefully leading to a satisfying number two.