If you're fed up with feeling backed up, adding a daily probiotic to your routine might be just what you need to feel more regular. While probiotics are known for promoting gut health, some are better than others at easing digestive troubles specifically. The best probiotics for constipation contain bacteria strains found to be particularly good at keeping things moving through your digestive tract.
For constipation relief, certified dietitian and nutritionist Ilyse Schaprio, MS, RD, CDN, says to look specifically for these strains: Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillusacidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Saccharomyces boulardii. And WebMd reported that those same strains can help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that often involves a mix of constipation and diarrhea.
What's more, according to Harvard Medical School, all probiotics looked at in a study increased the number of weekly bowel movements and helped soften stool, but Bifidobacterium appeared to be the most effective strain. So, when shopping for a probiotic to make you feel more regular, make sure that it includes a Bifidobacterium strain at the very least, ideally the other strains mentioned above too. It's also worth noting that a probiotic combined with a prebiotic might make your probiotics even more effective. That's why several of the picks below include a probiotic prebiotic blend.
"For constipation, it's also a good idea to make sure you are consuming enough fiber," adds Schapiro. With that in mind, I also included a prebiotic, dye-free fiber powder in this roundup so that you can tackle your constipation completely.