VIf you can’t remember the last time you went number two and your usual morning cup of coffee isn’t going well, maybe it’s time to call on some powers. But before you jump into any drastic measures, this registered dietitian says that eating more of certain foods can actually be your saving grace.
Of course, when you’re feeling so good, the last thing you want to do is eat more chunks. However, according to Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a Miami-based registered dietitian nutritionist and National Media Representative for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it may be just what you need to get things flowing in the right direction.
Ehsani shares with Well+Good the best foods to help her speed when she doesn’t have regular bathroom appointments (and she avoids anything). In addition, he shares three key steps to prevent constipation in the first place with a few simple lifestyle changes. So what if we all get on the right track? the mistakeI mean track?
The 7 Best Foods to Make You Poop, According to a Registered Dietitian
When rush hour feels as packed as the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, registered dietitian Roxana Ehsani relies on a few foods to keep things moving, and all of those foods are high in fiber.
Of course, we know that fiber is one of the key nutrients for good digestion. Before you run to the grocery store to grab all 11 of these vegetables, Ehsani adds, there’s one more thing you should prioritize consuming in tandem: water. “A high-fiber diet will definitely help you, but you also need to make sure you’re drinking enough fluids, and if you’re increasing your fiber grams, make sure you’re increasing your fluids that day as well.” he says. This is a fairly common mistake that occurs when eating more fiber. (Not to mention that dehydration can be one of the many sneaky culprits behind constipation.)
In short, when adding more fiber to your diet, you’ll want to increase your water intake to aid in proper absorption of nutrients to allow the fiber to travel more evenly through the body. Good luck, bro!
So, what are Ehsani’s high-fiber foods that help with bowel movements? Here are a few:
1. Chia seeds
“Chia seeds are rich in dietary fiber, protein and omega-3 fats, making them a great snack to sprinkle on your plate. The dietary fiber they contain helps keep your digestive tract moving, and foods rich in omega-3s can also help ease constipation and keep things moving,” says Ehsani.
2. Dried fruits
Ehsani likes the doubling potential of dried fruits like dates, prunes and raisins. She explains that these nutritious foods are packed with dietary fiber *and* essential vitamins and minerals.
3. Herbal tea
According to Ehsani, sipping a cup of mint or ginger tea can also help ease the discomfort of constipation. These soothing drinks can help reduce symptoms like nausea, indigestion, and even help loosen and move things along the digestive tract.
4. Caffeinated drinks
It’s no coincidence that you always go to the bathroom. “Caffeinated beverages like coffee can activate your colon and bowel muscles to contract, pushing contents up into your rectum,” says Ehsani. So, don’t stop drinking your favorite beer. (As if we could ever imagine such a thing.)
“Fruit is one of the highest fiber fruits, so what type of fruit you eat can help you reach your daily fiber intake and even help with bowel movements,” she says. Not to mention, they taste like a little bit slightly better than plum, IMO.
“Beans and lentils are high in dietary fiber and are excellent plant-based sources of protein. Instead of eating meat or poultry at every meal, eat lentils and beans a few times a week; You may notice that your bowels start to move more smoothly, which helps prevent constipation,” says Ehsani.
When it comes to grains, Ehsani says oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and sprouted grains are her best choices. He says they have significantly more dietary fiber (and protein) than their refined white counterparts.
According to RD, what foods should be avoided in case of constipation
When you’re all geared up and you just can’t go, you want to eat the exact opposite of what you would eat when you can’t go, say, diarrhea. Go figure. According to Ehsani, white bread, white rice, pasta and sugar-laden grains are literally off the table. Why? Because they *don’t* have much, if any, dietary fiber, they don’t help when you need to move things through (and out of) the stats in your digestive tract.
3 simple lifestyle changes to prevent constipation from ruining your day forever
Maintain a consistent meal schedule. “If you’re more prone to constipation, I always recommend that people eat on a schedule to keep their digestive tract on track. “Just eating at the same time every day helps your digestive tract know when to expect food and helps keep things on track,” says Ehsani.
Make sure you are eating enough. “Sometimes, poop is enough and you need more food!” he says. Ehsani notes that some of his patients experience constipation if they don’t meet the recommended calorie and nutrient intake on a regular basis. She recommends meeting with a registered dietitian to determine an appropriate meal plan to meet your individual needs.
In motion. “Being active can also help with constipation. “Getting up, walking, or jumping to warm up your body and get your blood flowing can also help get things moving,” says Ehsani. TYSM, gravity.
Au revoir, constipation: