If you're unaccustomed to a high-fiber diet, move into these recommendations slowly. A sudden increase of dietary fiber can be quite a shock to the system and can even cause further digestive problems.
The basic, wholesome diet recommended is an excellent source of fiber. Eat lots of whole grains, especially brown rice; raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables; and beans, nuts, and seeds. Chew thoroughly, and don't eat too much at one sitting, even of healthful foods.
People with constipation often have a magnesium deficiency. Green leafy vegetables are high in this mineral, as well as in fiber, so now you have another reason to eat kale, broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, and the like.
Prunes and figs are time-honored sources of dietary fiber. You may want to plan on making one of these items a regular part of your breakfast.
Flaxseeds are a lesser-known but highly concentrated source of fiber. Don't cook with flaxseeds or subject them to heat; instead, sprinkle them on cereals or salads. Adults should take 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds daily, along with 10 ounces of water. Children can take 1 to 2 teaspoons.
Hot cereals or warm liquids at breakfast can stimulate contractions of the lower intestine. Enjoy some hot oatmeal or herbal tea, or do as our grandmothers did and add lemon juice to a glass of warm water.
Consume fermented products on a regular basis to keep your intestinal flora in balance. Kefir and sauerkraut are good choices, as is live unsweetened yogurt once the acute constipation is relieved.
Drink plenty of water to keep stools soft. A glass of clean water every two waking hours is usually an adequate amount.
Foods to Avoid
Do not eat foods that are fried or otherwise high in saturated fat. Fat slows travel time through the intestines.
Avoid mucus-forming foods, which also slow the transit time of waste matter. Foods that encourage mucus production include all dairy products, fried and processed foods, refined flours, and chocolate.
Caffeine and alcohol are hard on the digestive system and are dehydrating as well. During an episode of constipation, avoid them entirely. When you're regular again, consume them only in small quantities.
In severe or recurring cases of constipation you may wish to under take a three-day vegetable juice fast. Juices that are especially supportive of a cleanse for constipation include aloe, cabbage, apple, and green drinks. You still need fiber during a constipation cleanse, so add psyllium husks or flaxseeds to your juices.