15 Foods That Are Natural Laxatives

Keep your digestive tract healthy with one of these foods that are natural laxatives.

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Natural laxatives - going to the toilet
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Opt for these natural laxatives

Foods that are natural laxatives could help keep you regular and prevent constipation, increasing the chances that you won’t need over-the-counter products to fix this common problem. While these tasty alternatives don’t have exactly the same effect as a laxative—no need to worry about running to the bathroom right after you eat them—they are a gentle and effective way to improve your digestion and prevent problems.

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Natural laxatives - watermelon
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This sweet summer treat might be one of Mother Nature’s most surprising but effective fruits to keep you regular because of its super high water content. “Watermelon is close to 99 per cent water, so this is an awesome choice to keep the bowels moving,” says Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Water helps keep the food you eat moving through your intestines and… beyond.

Find out the healthiest fruits you can eat.

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Organic quinoa close up
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Whole grains

Here’s one more reason to embrace complex carbohydrates and eat more unrefined bread: they may help you go. Whole grains like quinoa (above), bulgur, brown rice, whole wheat, oatmeal, and barley are high in dietary fibre, which helps soften stool so it’s easier to go, normalizes bowel movements, and may even prevent hemorrhoids.

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Natural laxatives - blueberries
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Blueberries and strawberries

Your favourite jam ingredients contain a very important component of bowel health, which is pectin. “This is a type of soluble fibre that makes those cooked foods gel up as they cool,” says Mills. Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all tasty options.

Check out more highly effective home remedies for constipation.

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Kale leaves
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Dark leafy greens

Kale is more than a food trend, it’s also one of nature’s best natural laxatives. Dark leafy greens like kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach contain magnesium, a mineral that helps soften stools, making them easier to pass.

Here’s what your poop can reveal about your health.

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Natural laxatives - raisins
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Along with prunes, grandma should have prescribed raisins. This snack contains stool-softening magnesium and fibre—and most people think raisins taste better than prunes, too. Figs, also a good source of fibre, are another good choice for anyone looking for natural laxatives.

Find out more high-fibre foods worth adding to your grocery cart.

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Yogurt swirl
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Yogurt and kefir contain probiotics, which help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics are little micro-organisms that break down fibre. “When you suddenly have more microbes ‘eating’ the fibre, that’s going to help things pass more quickly,” says Mills.

Here’s expert advice on how to improve gut health.

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Natural laxatives - chia
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Chia and flaxseeds

Topping your yogurt or oatmeal with chia (above) and flaxseeds is a laxative bomb (trust us: in a good way). These seeds are super high in fibre, which helps normalize the stool in size and shape, as well as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a role in easing inflammation. “You don’t think of our bowels as getting inflamed, but if you have any issue like hemorrhoids, this might help,” says Mills.

Don’t miss our ultimate guide to healthy grocery shopping.

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Red apples
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Apples and pears

These fall fruits are packed with pectin, a type of fibre that stimulates the bowels and keeps things flowing regularly.

Brush up on the incredible health benefits of apples.

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Broccoli and cauliflower

This duo contains a double whammy of both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps solidify loose stools, lubricates the large intestine to promote the flow of waste, and may even play into colon health, says Mills.

Here are the colon cancer symptoms you might be missing.

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Grapefruit slices
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Juicy fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes not only boast a high water content, which softens stools and reduces bloat, they also contain large amounts of bowel-stimulating pectin. “Anything that is super juicy is great to keep things moving,” says Mills.

Looking for more natural laxatives? Here are the types of foods that make you poop.

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Sweet potatoes
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Sweet potatoes

The sweet potato is a superfood for a reason. Sweet potatoes contain an array of nutrients that act as natural laxatives, such as water, fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B6. They also keep the nervous system healthy, which plays a role in bowel movements.

Learn to spot the signs you’re not eating enough vegetables.

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Pile of pumpkins
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This low-carb, low-sugar wonder is packed with fibre, critical to constipation relief. It also has potassium, a mineral that acts as an electrolyte to keep the digestive tract balanced.

Here are seven sneaky things that trigger IBS symptoms.

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Coffee beans
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Your morning cup of joe stimulates your brain and your bowels. Caffeine gets things moving, but too much coffee can actually cause diarrhea, so be mindful of how much you’re drinking.

Psst–this is the best position to poop.

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Granola close up
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Granola bars

Granola bars and protein bars aren’t found in nature but they often contain chicory root fibre. “This is completely natural and can cause pretty quick emptying,” says Mills. Best of all, they’re easy to travel with.

Here’s expert advice on how to heal your gut.

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Natural laxatives - sauerkraut
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If you need help going, try using sauerkraut as more than a condiment. This fermented cabbage is high in probiotics, which aid in the digestive process. Cabbage, before it becomes sauerkraut, is also good because it contains fibre.

Now that you know which natural laxatives work best, find out the sneaky reasons you’re always bloated.

The Healthy
Originally Published on The Healthy

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