Foods & Drinks That Can Help You Stay Regular

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Easing constipation is so important, as it never feels good to be backed up with awful stomach issues. While there are some foods that can cause constipation, there are several foods that can actually prevent constipation, and these foods and drinks should be enjoyed frequently in order to stay regular overall. Having a diet and lifestyle that is packed with positive elements regarding bowel movements and digestion is key, and there are many foods and drinks that can benefit you in feeling more at ease during the day.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on eating a clean diet filled with whole foods, nutrients and fiber, all of which can help prevent constipation and boost regularity. Having a smooth digestion can help you feel lighter, more energized, and happier overall, as being bloated and having abdominal discomfort can often make you feel weighed down, fatigued, and insecure, explains healthy lifestyle coach Liz Traines over email with Bustle. Here are 11 foods and drinks that can help prevent constipation and make you feel more at ease. Without them, you might experience a lack of fiber and an inability to go as frequently as is needed or desired, and this can result in less productivity and energy during the day.

1. Green Veggies

Running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer says over email with Bustle that green veggies in particular (however, all veggies are beneficial) are great for "fiber content" and thus regulating digestion. Lemmer recommends pairing these with every meal, especially when eating protein, as protein can be constipating in excess and without a fiber source.

2. Fruits With Fibrous Peels

Fruits that have fibrous peels, such as apples, kiwi, apricots, and peaches, can help make you go to the bathroom, and these apply both fresh and dried, says Lemmer. Lemmer recommends eating some fresh, such as a nice crisp apple with a serving of nut butter, or dried, like an apricot or prune, in a healthy, nutritious DIY trail mix.

3. Tea

Lemmer recommends drinking warm drinks, such as tea, as these can help relax the stomach muscles and keep digestion smooth. It helps boost efficiency of digestion of food and it can also fill you up, thus preventing over-eating, which can also lead to constipation simply due to excess food that cannot be broken down efficiently.

4. Water

If tea isn't your thing, you can never go wrong with plain H20, a terrific substance that can keep the body well hydrated and balanced throughout the day. Lemmer advises drinking water every few hours in order to stay hydrated and keep the bowels moving. Without adequate liquid intake, the body can get backed up and unable to flush out toxins.

5. Bone Broth

"Bone Broth is great to sip to prevent constipation, as the naturally occurring collagen and gelatin in real, slow-cooked bone broth help heal and seal the mucosal lining of the gut, which helps to ease and facilitate proper digestion," explains Sharon Brown, founder of Bonafide Provisions & Certified GAPS Practitioner, over email with Bustle. You can make your own or purchase at a grocery store, such as Whole Foods.

6. Berries

As explained by Charlene Prather, MD, advisor to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and an associate professor of internal medicine at St. Louis University Medical School in Missouri, over interview with Everyday Health, berries are a delicious, sweet treat that are high in fiber and low in sugar to help boost digestion and prevent constipation.

7. Rhubarb

According to William Chey, MD, a University of Michigan professor and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, over interview with Prevention, eating rhubarb can help you go to the bathroom due to its laxative properties. Other properties, senna and cascara, found within, are the cause.

8. Artichokes

According to research found in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, artichokes can have an effect on the bowels that can trigger regular release and prevent constipation, due to high fiber content. Plus, they are delicious and versatile. Eat them with a little EVOO or some herbs, and add to salads, soups, dips, and sides.

9. Popcorn

As explained by Gina Sam, MD, director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Center at the Mount Sinai Hospital, over interview with Health, popcorn is rich in whole grains and fiber to make for a filling and satisfying snack that will keep you regular and not irritate the stomach and the digestive process. Enjoy anytime of the day.

10. Beans

According to Elizabeth Blaney, MD, gastroenterologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in interview with Health, beans really are the musical fruit, but for good reason, when it comes to going to the bathroom on a regular basis. Adding some legumes and beans to salads, sides, main protein dishes, and even desserts (black bean brownies, anyone?) can be a great way to get more fiber in the diet.

11. Chia Seeds

"Ounce-for-ounce, chia seeds have more fiber than flax," says Hunter Pechin, Brand Manager at Health Warrior over email with Bustle. Adding chia seeds to smoothies, yogurts, oatmeals, and homemade granola is a great way to get your fill and give your body the fiber and healthy fats it needs to go to the bathroom with ease.

If you notice yourself suffering from constipation, head to the store and stock up on these healthy staples to help regulate the bowels and promote movement within the digestive system. Staying backed up can be uncomfortable and can hurt our wellbeing and daily abilities, so take charge upon onset for immediate relief.

Images: Pixabay (6); Pexels (7)