Fruits, such as papaya, orange and plum are great natural laxatives for getting rid of constipation, even in people with a long history of this condition. These fruits contain large amounts of fiber and water, which speed up intestinal transit and make the formation of stools easier.
These fruits can be consumed daily, both fresh and in natural juices or fruit salads, and can also be given to babies and children, but in smaller quantities so as not to cause diarrhea.
Papaya is very rich in water and fiber, and is well known for its power in helping with digestion. The "formosa" papaya variety is even more laxative than the common papaya, as it has almost twice as many fibers.
While 100 g of the Formosa papaya has 1.8 g of fiber, the common papaya has 1 g, which it’s still a good amount. The two varieties of fruit have about 11 g of carbohydrates and 40 kcal for every 100 g, in addition to nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C.
Oranges are rich in water, which helps hydrating the intestines and stools, but they also provide a lot of bagasse (pulp, rind, and seeds), that is composed of fibers for a better digestion. One orange has about 2.2 g of fiber, which is a greater amount of fiber that the one found in 1 slice of brown bread, for example.
However, it’s important to remember that orange juice has virtually no fiber, because when the fruit is squeezed just for the juice, the bagasse ends up being wasted, along with the peel. Therefore in the form of juice, orange is not a good natural laxative.
The plum, both fresh and dried (prunes), is rich in fiber and is a great food for the intestine. Each black plum has about 1.2 g of fiber, in addition to providing phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins to the body.
An important tip is to look at the product label when eating prunes to check if there is sugar added to the product, which greatly increases the calories of the plum and hampers weight loss. So, prunes without added sugar are the best.
4. Acerola cherries
Acerola cherries have about 1.5 g of fiber for every 100 g of fresh fruit, and only 33 kcal, which makes this fruit a great ally for the overall diet and the intestine. In addition, this same amount of acerola has 12 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C for an adult, so it’s richer in this vitamin than orange and lemon, for example.
Avocado is a champion in fiber content: 100 g of this fruit brings about 6 g of fiber. It’s also rich in fats that are good for the body and that help with the passage of stools through the intestine, in addition to promoting cardiovascular health and improving levels of good cholesterol.
Although being known as a fruit that hampers digestion, each banana has at least 1 g of fiber. The secret is to eat this fruit when it’s very ripe, so that its fibers will be ready to help in intestinal transit. On the other hand, those who need to control diarrhea should eat the banana when it's still half green, because, that way, its fibers will help to hamper digestion.
Even better than this fruit in its fresh state is the green banana biomass, as it has a high-fiber content and is a naturally prebiotic food, which helps the health of the intestinal flora.
Two fresh figs have about 1.8 g of fiber and only 45 kcal, which reduces the feeling of hunger for longer. As in the case of plums, when buying dried figs go for those with no added sugar and check the list of ingredients on the product label.
Each kiwi has about 2 g of fiber and only 40 kcal, making this fruit a great ally for the intestine and weight-loss diets. In addition, 2 kiwis provide an adult's daily vitamin C requirement and have a high antioxidant power, helping to prevent diseases and improve the health of the skin.
9. Rose apple
Although not very common, the rose apple is one of the richest fruits when it comes to fiber: 1 rose apple provides about 2.5 g of fiber, an amount that is often found in 2 slices of whole grain bread. In addition, it has only 15 kcal per fruit, much less than most fruits, which is great for weight loss and reducing the feeling of hunger.
Each pear, when eaten with its peel, has about 3 g of fiber and only 55 kcal, which makes this fruit one of the most important to help the intestine. A good tip for weight loss is to eat a pear about 20 minutes before a meal, as this way its fibers will act in the intestine and generate a feeling of satiety, which reduces the feeling of hunger at the time of the meal.