Dietary Suggestions for Managing Constipation
- lack of exercise
- certain drugs such as pain medication or stress
- your bowel may slow down due to lack of bulk or fluid in your diet or
irregular pattern of eating
Ways to Manage
- Eat well-balanced, regularly scheduled meals
- Drink enough fluid - try to drink at least 8-10 8-oz glasses of liquid
throughout the day in the form of juice, milk, coffee, tea, soup, water, or
- If you have not been consuming roughage, increase the fiber content of
your diet by eating more whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, and
vegetables. Increasing fiber intake gradually will minimize abdominal
Foods high in fiber
- cereals - cold cereals such as bran cereals, fruit and fiber, shredded
wheat; hot cereals - wheatena, Ralson
- Increase the fiber content of low-fiber foods such as Cream of Wheat,
pudding, applesauce, and cornflakes by adding 2-3 tablesppons of 100% All Bran
or unprocessed wheat bran per serving. Bran and whole grain cereals also
can be added to meat loaf, casseroles, homemade breads, muffins, other baked
goods for additional fiber
- Both cooked and raw fruits and vegetables are good choices. Cooking
does not greatly reduce the fiber content.
- In some cases, prune juice is helpful as a mild laxative.
- Dried peas and beans, lentils and nuts are high fiber food that may serve
as meat alternates. Examples include pea or bean soup, baked beans, pork
and beans and chili with beans.
- Choose snacks that contain fiber such as popcorn, whole grain crackers,
fresh and dried fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- If chewing or swallowing is a problem, try whole grain cooked cereals and
cooked vegetables and fruit.
Children under the age of three should not eat nuts, dried fruits, or popcorn
because they may choke.
Increasing your activity level may help stimulate bowel movements.