Either way, here are ideas to help know what to eat for constipation and reduce laxative use, toxic stool softeners and excess dosing of Magnesium. (All Vitamins and Minerals need to be in balance – taking too much of one can throw others into deficit. Here is a well-balanced multi).
4 Good Foods for Constipation
1). BEETS: Beets help the gall bladder and digestive enzymes. They have fiber too.
I eat a small golf-ball-sized beet several times a week. I prefer them steamed but they are fine if grated raw (if you can tolerate the mess). Avoid pickled beets as they usually contain sugar and white vinegar.
Beets have a strong red color. You will often see some red in either your urine or stool within 24 hours – don’t be alarmed! Just don’t eat beets before giving your doctor a stool or urine sample. Or, try golden beets.
2). LEAFY GREENS: All leafy greens are good foods for constipation, but the best leafy greens for constipation are chard, kale and collards.
Steam or saute rather than eating raw or in a smoothie. The colon LOVES cooked heavy wet fiber; you can eat more greens in a few bites when cooked soft than when raw; and cooking reduces the Goitrogens found in raw brassicas such as Collards and Kale. My article and Podcast on Thyroid Toxins, Nutrients and Goitrogens talks more about this.
Adding 1 to 3 cups of cooked leafy greens a day is something I recommend to Clients. Whether looking for support for constipation or not. Note that those struggling with Diarrhea may want to discontinue leafy greens.
3). GOURDS (GROUND SQUASHES): Butternut squash, Spaghetti squash, Kabocha and Pumpkin are easy to cook and contain a little extra fiber for constipation. They can be baked or steamed. You can even buy packaged Pumpkin Powder for cats and dogs – I add it to my cats’ food during the summer shedding season.
4). WHOLE FRUITS: I ask Clients to avoid the sweet Southern fruits (banana, pineapple, mango) and buy Organic Northern fruit (berries, apple, pear). I don’t eat a lot of fruit as it’s high in sugars, and not historically a big part of an Ancestral/Biological hunter/gatherer Paleo diet. (Check out my DVD “The Diet For Human Beings”).
Definitely avoid juice, even prune juice, as it is very high in sugars (carbohydrates) and easy to consume in excess.
Avoid KETO or Carnivore diets where vegetable matter is severely limited. Our colons require that heavy wet food and bulk. I teach Ancestral/Paleo where the base of the food pyramid is vegetables.
Additional Support for Constipation
- Avoid Gluten products (wheat, oats, barley, bread, pasta, flour, etc). Gluten is a common cause of bowel dysfunction.
- Drink water, 1/2 your body weight in ounces is a good baseline. Add more if you sweat, vomit, work outside, drink alcohol or sodas. Drink your first glass of room temperature water immediately on arising in the morning. This will help move the bowels and flush the kidneys.
- Take high-quality non-dairy Probiotics every day. I generally take 2 a day and rotate 3 – 4 brands. There are several professional-grade Probiotics in my Online Store.
- Systemic Formulas C-Colon has been sold in my Clinic for 36 years. Its blend of herbs, aminos and enzymes encourages water into the colon, helps lubricate colon mucosa and aids healing of colon dysfunction. Use it while incorporating these other foods and support tips. It can be taken short-term or longer-term.
- Designs For Health Colon RX is a gentle laxative-type product, generally for occasional use. It contains Magnesium Hydroxide and Triphala – the famous Ayurvedic herbal trio known for bowel support and rejuvenation.
- Encourage the bowels to move early in the morning. In Chinese Medicine, the “Colon Time” is 5 – 7 AM. This is its preferred time to cleanse.
- Consider elevating your feet a few inches when on the toilet. This puts you in a slight V-shape and naturally helps open and relax the colon.