While researching this story, we discovered that a) there’s an alarming number of really gross euphemisms for pooping and b) lots of people are Googling, “Why is my friend constipated?” Sure, Jan. Your friend.
There are a multitude of reasons why—ahem—your friend could be constipated. So many that clinical nutritionist Cassie Brown, MS, CHHP, had a difficult time narrowing her list down to these 10:
Lack of fiber (both soluble and insoluble)
Dehydration (specifically water)
Lack of movement
Possible food sensitivities
Certain prescriptions and/or supplementation
Overuse of laxatives
Ignoring the urge to go (holding your poop hostage!)
Regardless of why it’s happening, constipation is the w o r s t. When you’ve gotta get that shit out (literally), Brown wants you to “always be brutally honest about what the cause of your constipation may be,” and turn to whole, fibrous foods; water; and movement before anything else. Below, she shares foods that will help you (or your friend) poop.
“Prunes can be a short-term helper. They contain insoluble fiber, which provides bulk to decrease transit time. They also feed our healthy gut bacteria.”
“Leafy greens contain the mineral magnesium, which calms our nervous system and softens stools.”
“Psyllium husk is the closest to a laxative, as the husks gel up when in contact with water and help keep our stools soft.”
Ground flaxseeds and ground chia seeds
“Similar to psyllium and prunes, these seeds help to bulk up stools, feed healthy gut bacteria and improve nutrient absorption.”
Foods that contain inulin
“Inulin is mostly found in artichokes and chicory root, but garlic and onions contain it as well. Inulin is a prebiotic and soluble fiber so, just like leafy greens and psyllium, it’s going to hydrate us and keep our stools pushing through, while also nourishing our gut health.”
“Not necessarily a food but, you know … make sure that when you’re (slowly) increasing your fiber intake, you’re also increasing water intake. Because some fiber stays intact throughout the digestive process, it needs help moving through the intestinal tract as it ‘sweeps’ up all the bad stuff and feeds the good bacteria. Water helps to push our bulk through.”
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