Treating constipation: dietary advice

March 2017

Constipation is largely dependant on diet.

A regular diet of 3 meals a day containing enough fibre and fluids, together with some physical exercise can help prevent constipation in the first place.

You must also remember to take your time eating and try to vary your diet.

Below is a list of recommendations to consider:
  • Fibre fights constipation . For example, vegetable fibres expand with fluid during digestion and therefore stimulate your bowels
  • Cabbage and artichoke are not recommended as they can cause constipation and flatulence
  • Beans and pulses - lentils, white beans, split peas, chickpeas, and beans are highly recommended
  • Dried fruits - prunes, dried apricots, and figs are rich in fibre and mineral. Be careful as they can also contain lots of calories
  • Nuts - hazelnuts, almonds
  • Vegetables - beetroot, spinach, peas, celery, fennel
  • Cereals - wheat and oat bran are very rich in fibre
  • Pasta, brown rice, wholemeal



Fruit

  • Plums, kiwi, passion fruit, raspberries, mulberries, redcurrants, grapes, guava, and oranges are recommended.
  • Bananas are not advised
  • For example, you could try to add some fruits to your yoghurt for dessert
  • To increase your fruit intake, you could have a glass of fresh orange juice at breakfast
  • Eat the seeds and pips
  • Do not peel fruits and vegetables if possible

Fluids


Good hydration is essential to maintain regular bowels:
  • Drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of liquids per day
  • Water is preferable but this could also include fruit juices, soups and herbal teas
  • Try to drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water between meals
  • Regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy drinks can lead to constipation

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