There are many foods that are known to produce laxative effects. Laxative foods can be consumed instead of chemical laxatives to treat mild cases of constipation or to prevent constipation. Among the foods that have laxative qualities are prunes, pears, bran cereals, and figs. Some people notice a laxative effect when they drink coffee or eat watermelon as well. Additionally, drinking plenty of water may not provide as much help once a person is already constipated, but it can go a long way toward preventing it.
People who include a healthy amount of fiber in their diets are less likely to suffer from constipation. As such, adding brand cereal to one’s diet may help treat mild constipation or prevent it in the first place. When a person eats high-fiber cereal or other fiber-rich foods, his stools become bulkier, which helps encourage intestinal contractions that allow the individual to have an easier time moving his bowels.
While fruit overall may be helpful for preventing and dealing with constipation, there are some types that are specifically identified as laxative foods. For example, a person may eat prunes or drink their juice to treat constipation. Dried prunes and prune juice are commonly used as a laxative. Pear juice is usually more effective than whole pears for treating constipation, but some people find canned pears effective as well. An individual may do well to avoid bananas when he is constipated, as they can make constipation worse.
Figs are often listed among laxative foods as well, and may be consumed for this purposes in fresh or dried form. Likewise, watermelon may prove helpful for dealing with constipation. It contains fiber and has a high water content, which is a winning combination when a person is dealing with constipation.
Many people count coffee among the laxative foods. In fact, some people have to move their bowels within a couple of hours of drinking coffee. This laxative food may be consumed in its caffeinated or decaffeinated form and have the same effect. It is worth noting, however, that a person who is attempting to drink coffee for its laxative effect may do well to stick to just a cup or two. If a person drinks too much coffee, his body may react to it differently, and he may end up constipated.
Drinking water is critical for a properly functioning digestive system. When a person doesn’t drink enough water, his stools may become dry and hard. As a result, he may have difficulty passing them. Drinking about eight glasses of water per day may help to prevent this problem.