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Feeling Constipated? Here Are 10 Foods That Make You Poop

Eat something on this list to get things moving.

by Allison Young
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Thomas Hengge

No one really likes to talk about their bowel movements, it can be an awkward and uncomfortable conversation. But having to go in the middle of your training run—or worse, during a race—is even more unsettling. If you can’t poop before your run for some reason or another, it could keep you from running your best because you’re distracted, sluggish, or just in a bad mood.

While there are many different fiber supplements that offer a “quick fix” and promise to make you poop almost instantly, Molly Morgan, R.D., a registered dietitian and nutritionist and author of Drink Your Way to Gut Health recommends holding off. Instead, try one of these ten foods that make you poop.

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A cup of these tiny berries is packed with 8 grams of fiber, which is more than double the amount found in a cup of sliced strawberries. Eating one serving of raspberries can help you get closer to reaching your daily fiber goals, leading to better gut health and regulated bowel movements. Consider topping your yogurt or salad with a few raspberries, or having a smoothie to help you go.



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This citrus powerhouse is a triple threat: Oranges have lots of stool-softening vitamin C, fiber to keep things moving, and naringenin, a flavonoid that some research suggests can work like a laxative. Pack an orange as a portable snack or top your salad with orange segments.



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Staying hydrated is essential to helping things move,” Morgan says. Without ample H2O, stool can’t soften and move smoothly through the digestive tract. No wonder dehydration is a common cause of constipation. Sip straight water, and add lemon or cucumber slices for extra flavor.

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pouring kefir into glass, a healthy fermented dairy superfood drink
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The fermented dairy drink is packed with probiotics, “good” bacteria vital to gut health. And kefir has 10 times more strains of bacteria than yogurt does, says Sonnenburg.

“The greater diversity improves the chance that some of these microbes will be beneficial to your particular gut microbiota,” she adds. What’s more, British researchers found that probiotics can ease constipation, soften stool, and even increase “number two” frequency. Drink kefir on its own or add it to smoothies.



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Almonds are loaded with heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber, but it’s the high magnesium content that has our intestines excited. “Magnesium neutralizes stomach acid and moves stools through the intestines,” Morgan says. And just a small handful (1 ounce) contains 25 percent of your daily dose.

Almonds make the perfect portable snack, or you can add almond flour to baked goods and smoothies.


Black Beans

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Just 1 cup of black beans has a whopping 15 grams of fiber (women need 25 grams a day), as well as magnesium and potassium for a smoother-running digestive system. Add to salads, salsas, and soups or sauté with greens.

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The age-old constipation cure is not only high in fiber (6 grams per half cup), but prunes also contain dihydroxyphenyl isatin, a natural compound that stimulates the bowel, as well as sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect. Plus, prunes have double the potassium of bananas and not consuming enough potassium can cause constipation and fatigue. Chop ‘em up and add to salads, oatmeal, and yogurt parfaits.


Leafy Greens

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Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are packed with nutrients that have poop powers including fiber (1 cup of Swiss chard has 4 grams of fiber), magnesium to help the colon contract, and potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance and muscle contractions. Add any of these leafy greens to salads, layer into sandwiches, or sauté in olive oil with garlic.


Wheat Bran

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It should be no surprise that studies show wheat bran can relieve constipation and improve digestion. The outer layer of the wheat kernel is a fiber force with a whopping 25 grams per cup. Sprinkle it over your oatmeal, eat a bowl of bran cereal, or whip up a batch of bran muffins.

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If all these don’t do it for you, there’s always the reliable morning cup of joe. Not to worry if you’re not a fan of the buzz—it’s not just the caffeinated stuff that works.

One study found that coffee—including decaf—means a bathroom visit for about 30 percent of people. Experts believe coffee’s acidity is key, notably its chlorogenic acid, a compound that gives java the bitter flavor. Warm liquids can give your colon a jump-start, too, so tea or even warm water with lemon can work as well.

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