7 Simple & Natural Ways to Relieve Constipation

Clinical review: Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
May 2022

There are a few simple lifestyle changes that can incorporate into your day-to-day routine to help relieve constipation. These include  eating a fiber-rich diet, drinking more water, eating healthy fats and performing regular exercise.

Although simple, these lifestyle habits will help increase bowel movements and stimulate the formation of softer stools, making bowel movements faster and more efficient.

Here are 7 simple lifestyle chances you can start right now to relieve constipation fast:

1. Drink 2 liters of water a day

Drinking plenty of water helps to hydrate the stools, especially if there is already an adequate amount of fiber in the diet. Dehydrated feces cannot pass through the intestines as easily and can cause other intestinal problems such as hemorrhoids, polyps, and bleeding.

If you don't like drinking plain water, you can add flavoring with lemon juice or other freshly squeezed fruit juices, or you can add fresh herbs, such as mint or thyme.

2. Eat fiber-rich food

Fiber is commonly found in fresh unpeeled fruits and pulp, in vegetables and in seeds such as chia, flaxseed, sesame, and sunflower. Fibers are very resistant to digestion and, therefore, serve as food for the intestinal flora, making these microorganisms proliferate healthily and contribute to easier bowel movements. 

It's important to remember that a fiber-rich diet requires adequate water intake, as excess fiber without proper hydration can worsen constipation. 

Learn more about fiber-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet. 

3. Eat healthy fats

Fat functions as a lubricant for the bowels, which eases the passage of stools. You should try to increase your consumption of healthy fats, which can be found in avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, chestnuts, peanuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds. 

Check out a list of other naturally laxative foods you can eat to help relieve constipation. 

4. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles, which puts pressure on the bowels and eases the passage of the stools. In addition, moving the body also stimulates bowel movements, which helps prevent constipation. It's recommended to practice physical activity at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week.

5. Pass stool as soon as you feel the need to

It's important to poop as soon as you feel the need to do it, as not doing so can lead to more constipation. This happens because the involuntary sphincter, a muscle that controls the passage of the stools in the intestines, can get 'lazy' and close, preventing you from defecating when you need to. 

6. Eat more natural probiotics

Probiotic foods are those rich that are rich in good bacteria for the bowels, such as natural yogurt, kombucha, and kefir. These good bacteria are very important for the breakdown of fibers and for the formation of stools, which prevents constipation.

Ideally, you should consume probiotics at least three times a week. Some people may benefits from supplementing with probiotics as prescribed by a doctor or registered dietitian. 

7. Avoid taking laxatives

Frequent use of laxatives can worsen constipation, as the bowels get irritated, inflamed, which in return can hinder intestinal movements. In addition, laxatives can alter the intestinal flora, which also worsens constipation and digestion. 

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em May de 2022. Clinical review por Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian, em May de 2022.
Clinical review:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal