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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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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