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By Ugochi Obiajunwa

Hard poop can be very painful and annoying. It is an inability to use the toilet regularly along with extra effort and straining. Luckily, the remedy is just at your fingertips. It might be as easy as changing your diet!

Inadequate fiber intake has been attributed as one of the main reason for constipation or hard poop. Lack of taking sufficient water is another reason, as this is necessary for keeping bowel movements nice and regular. A third reason is a change in eating habits or diet. Of the three possible reasons for constipation, they are all connected to what we eat!

Constipation can also be the result of medications, anxiety and depression, or simply ignoring the urge to poop, though these reasons aren’t as common. Changing your diet can ease the problem even if you also have these other underlying issues.

Here are foods that can help one have a regular and stress free bowel movement:

  1. Vegetables

Aside from treating your body to vitamins and minerals, fresh vegetables are a great source of fiber. For example, a half-cup serving of cooked winter squash contains about 2.9 gm of fiber. A small baked potato with skin has 3 gm of fiber, while a baked sweet potato with skin has 3.8 gm. Finally, half a cup of cooked green peas can have anywhere from 3.5 to 4.4 gm of fiber. Other fiber-rich veggies include broccoli or green leafy vegetables like collard greens, turnip greens, or spinach. These leafy greens all have between 2.5 and 3.5 gm of fiber in a cooked half-cup serving

  1. Fruits

Fruits such as pears with skin have about 5.5 gm of fiber per medium-sized fruit. Avocados have a whopping 10 gm of fiber in a 150 gm cup of cubed fruit. Bananas, of course, are another good choice for getting in that fiber. However, it’s the green banana with its resistant starch that may catch your eye.

  1. Whole-Grain Foods

Whole-grain foods are considered a great source of fiber. And aside from being heart-friendly, they also make you poop! It’s a good reason to enjoy a bowl of brown or wild rice. Whole-wheat and rye bread are also fair game. Corn and popcorn count, too. You can also experiment with other whole grains like buckwheat, millet, sorghum, or bulgur/cracked wheat.

  1. Eat the skin of fruits

If a fruit or vegetable has a thin edible peel, eat it with the skin intact. This is the best way to get a higher level of fiber per serving. If you can, avoid processed foods and stick to fresh homemade meals. Processing often removes the skin and peel, both of which are full of fiber and other nutrients.

  1. Drink lots of water

For one to keep constipation at bay it is advised to drink lots of water. When it comes to pooping, staying hydrated is just as important as fiber. In fact, if you load up on a ton of insoluble fiber but don’t back it up with a robust amount of water, you might actually be more clogged up than before. If you drink plenty of water, you won’t have those hard and dry stools. Pair it with a meal that’s high in fiber or resistant starch. You should see that bowel movement soon enough!

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