Constipation, or difficulty in producing bowel movements, is a common medical condition experienced by many people. Occasional constipation may be the result of diet changes, inadequate nutrition, or even stress and anxiety. While there are many over-the-counter laxatives that can help ease this condition, there are also many natural laxative foods that can quickly aid occasional constipation. By eating or drinking natural laxatives, a person can help correct any nutritional imbalance that may be causing the condition.
Fruits are often a great natural remedy for constipation, as many contain high amounts of fiber. Fiber is an indigestible substance that helps move food through the digestive tract, allowing for easier bowel movements. Apples, bananas, and berries are all excellent natural laxatives foods. One good-sized fruit salad may be enough to cure a minor constipation problem, but to avoid recurrent problems, it is important to include daily servings of fiber-rich foods in a diet.
Prunes are often considered the king of natural laxatives. Extremely high in fiber, prunes also assist with digestion and waste removal by providing the body with a high dose of antioxidants. This natural laxative may be eaten raw or sipped in juice form. For a truly beneficial potion, try blending prunes or prune juice with plain low-fat yogurt. The combination of fiber and bacteria can help quickly push an uncooperative digestive system back in line.
In the vegetable world, numerous greens and other veggies can serve as excellent natural laxative foods. Spinach, chard, and kale are excellent greens that can be used to treat a number of digestive conditions. Eating vegetables raw, such as carrots and cabbage, will help get the most nutrition to the body, since cooking often reduces the nutritional content of food. A healthy salad of spinach and tomatoes topped with avocados can be a good way to battle digestive problems with natural laxative foods.
In small amounts, caffeinated beverages can serve as a good natural laxative. Caffeine serves both as a diuretic and a laxative, so it is important to drink lots of water if attempting to use coffee or caffeinated tea to relieve constipation. Since excessive caffeine can cause the jitters, increased blood pressure, and insomnia, it should be used sparingly. Nevertheless, a morning cup of coffee or tea can be a good way to ward off mild constipation.
Constipation is often best treated by eating a healthy diet that includes high-fiber foods. If a weekend of junk-food eating has caused a static stomach, spend a day or two loading up on fresh fruits, beans, and vegetables to rejuvenate the system. Throwing in some yogurt can help restore intestinal bacteria to full strength, while trying liquid remedies such as prune juice or coffee can provide the final boost necessary to return to regularity.