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Dietary Fiber for Constipation: How Much You Need

Can food be medicine? Sometimes, yes. It’s becoming clear in recent years that what you eat can be highly effective in preventing or reversing some health problems, especially chronic constipation.

Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. There are some serious medical conditions that can cause chronic constipation. Make sure you see your doctor for a medical evaluation. If you are healthy and looking for safe and effective long-term relief for chronic constipation, you might find help on your grocer’s shelves. Hundreds of foods and plant-based fiber products are available to relieve constipation — naturally.

What is fiber?

Dietary fiber refers to the edible parts of plants or carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Fiber is in all plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. You can also find a form of fiber called chitin in the shells of crustaceans such as crab, lobster, and shrimp.

Is all fiber the same?

No, some fibers are soluble in water and others are insoluble. Soluble fiber slows digestion and helps you absorb nutrients from food. Insoluble fiber draws water into and adds bulk to your stool, helping the stool pass more quickly through the intestines.

Most plant foods contain some of each kind of fiber. Foods containing high levels of soluble fiber include dried beans, oats, oat bran, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, peas, and potatoes. Foods high in insoluble fiber include wheat bran, whole grains, cereals, seeds, and the skins of many fruits and vegetables.

Which type of fiber is best to ease constipation?

Go for whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas. Cereal fibers generally have cell walls that resist digestion and retain water within the cellular structures. Wheat bran can be highly effective as a natural laxative.

What other foods are high in fiber?

Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as beans and lentils. The fiber found in citrus fruits and legumes stimulates the growth of colonic flora, which increases the stool weight and the amount of bacteria in the stool. Encouraging the growth of certain bacteria in the colon may help promote a healthy intestine.

How much fiber do we need daily?

The average American gets about 15 grams of fiber daily, much less than we need, according to the American Dietetic Association. Women younger than 51 should aim for 25 grams of fiber daily. Men younger than 51 should aim for 38 grams of fiber daily. Women 51 and older should get 21 grams of fiber daily. Men 51 and older should get 30 grams daily. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends eating at least nine servings (2 cups) of fiber-filled fruits and vegetables each day, including apples, oranges, broccoli, berries, pears, peas, figs, carrots, and beans. Some people get stomach cramps and gas when they increase their intake of fiber. Change your diet gradually and increase fluids to reduce discomfort.

Aren’t prunes a natural laxative?

Often called “Nature’s Remedy,” prunes contain sorbitol, which has a natural, laxative effect in the body. Dried plums (yes, prunes!) are also high in disease-fighting antioxidants and have both insoluble and soluble fiber. One cup of pitted, uncooked prunes contains 12 grams of fiber. Three dried plums have 3.9 grams of fiber.

What if whole-grain fiber and fruits don’t help constipation?

Then try foods that contain psyllium seed husk, bran, and methylcellulose, or try fiber supplements. These natural products increase stool weight and have a laxative effect. Be sure to drink a lot of water when taking any of these products, as they can clog up the intestines and cause constipation. Fiber must have water in order to sweep the colon and move the stool out of your body.

When should you use a psyllium powder?

It’s best to get fiber from food. But if you can’t eat enough fruits and vegetables to make a difference, then opt for fiber supplements. Examples include psyllium, methylcellulose, wheat dextrin, and calcium polycarbophil. With psyllium powder, mix the powder in a glass of water one to three times daily. Be sure to drink enough water along with this psyllium powder drink. The drink may cause you to feel bloated until you get used to the fiber.

When does fiber not work for ending constipation?

A high-fiber diet ends chronic constipation for many people. But those who have slow transit or pelvic floor dysfunction may respond poorly to increased dietary fiber. If you have a change in frequency of bowel movements and develop acute constipation, talk to your doctor. The constipation could be caused by an underlying medical condition.

How Fiber Helps Ease Constipation

If you’re not a fiber fan, you’d be surprised at how the power nutrient can whip your digestive system into shape. Despite the benefits, Americans don’t consume as much fiber as they should.

The American Dietetic Association recommends that women ages 19 to 50 get at least 25 grams of fiber in their daily diets, and men in the same age group get 38 grams. Women age 50 or older are recommended to get 21 grams of fiber, while their male counterparts are encouraged to eat 30 grams. “The average American consumes 13 grams of fiber,” Stephen Bickston, MD, AGAF, professor of internal medicine and director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond, Va, points out. “That’s far less than the target.”

Constipation and Fiber: A Match Made in Heaven

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, that can be used to treat and prevent constipation. Both types of fiber are essential for keeping your intestinal system running smoothly. Soluble fiber allows more water to remain in your stool, making waste softer, larger, and thus, easier to pass through your intestines. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your fecal material, which hastens its passage through your gut and prevents that constipated feeling.

“People who eat a diet high in fiber are less likely to become constipated,” says Bickston, MD, AGAF, professor of internal medicine and director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond, Va.

Constipation and Fiber: Foods to Help You Go

The best way to get more fiber in your diet is through food. High-fiber foods tend to be loaded with vitamins and minerals and are usually low in fat and calories. Eating a wide variety of foods high in fiber will maximize your intake of many different nutrients.

Foods that contain the most fiber are:

  • Fruits: pears, apples, berries, oranges, tangerines
  • Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, squash, potatoes
  • Legumes: beans, lentils, peas
  • Grains: whole-wheat breads, brown rice, bran, oatmeal
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Food labels can help you determine which choices in the grocery aisle are best. “I advise folks that if they’re eating cold cereal for breakfast, they pick one that has more than 10 grams of fiber per serving,” Bickston says. “That way when they push away from the breakfast table, they can be halfway toward meeting their daily goal.”

Constipation and Fiber: Create a Routine

Avoid constipation by using these tips to get more fiber in your diet:

  • Go half and half. When baking, replace half of the white flour in the recipe with whole-wheat flour.
  • Top it off. When eating yogurt, add bran, flax seed, or high-fiber cereal. Top baked potatoes with broccoli or salsa to increase your veggie intake.
  • Toss it in. When making a salad, toss in nuts and dried fruit — they’ll add both flavor and fiber. Add beans to your favorite soups and stews as well.
  • Snack on it. When snacking, cut up carrots and celery for a midday fiber boost. Other high-fiber snacks include popcorn, nuts, and dried fruit.

Constipation and Fiber: Over-the-Counter Options

Fiber is available in pill and powder form at the pharmacy or grocery store. However, it’s best to get your fiber from food sources, says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. If you opt for a fiber supplement, be sure to drink plenty of liquids, as water helps keep your system running smoothly.

When adding fiber to your diet, go slowly so that you don’t experience gas pains. Increasing fiber gradually will give your body time to adjust.

Getting enough fiber will help to ensure that you have healthy bowel habits and prevent constipation. And when you keep your digestive system happy, you’ll be much happier, too.

Return to the Digestive Health Awareness Center.

Constipation | Patient Education | UCSF Health

What is constipation?

Constipation happens when fecal material (stool) moves through the large bowel (colon) too slowly. The fluid portion of the stool is absorbed back into the body, so the stool becomes hard and dry. This makes it difficult to pass the stool.

What causes constipation?

Poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, limited exercise, anxiety, emotional stress and age may cause constipation. Certain disease also can cause constipation, and are usually associated with a sudden change in bowel habits, pain, weight loss, fatigue or bloody stools. Contact your doctor if you experience these symptoms. Some medications cause constipation – talk to your doctor if you think your medications are causing constipation.

Can eating more fiber help with constipation?

Yes. Fiber is the part of plant food that is not digested. There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber gives stool bulk. Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber include apples, bananas, barley, oats, and beans. Insoluble fiber helps speed up the transit of food in the digestive tract and helps prevent constipation. Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, most vegetables, wheat bran, and legumes. Foods that have fiber contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. A good goal for dietary fiber is a total of about 20 to 30 grams each day.

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Guidelines to Treat Constipation


  • Eat three meals each day. Do not skip meals.
  • Gradually increase the amount of high-fiber foods in your diet.
  • Choose more whole grain breads, cereals and rice.
  • Select more raw fruits and vegetables — eat the peel, if appropriate.
  • Read food labels and look for the “dietary fiber” content of foods. Good sources have 2 grams of fiber or more.
  • Drink six to eight glasses of water each day.
  • Limit highly refined and processed foods.

Exercise and Sleep

  • Exercise regularly. Try to do weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, three or more times each week.
  • Go to sleep at a regular time each night. Make sure you get enough sleep.

Stress and Anxiety

  • Try to limit stress in your life.
  • Go for a short walk when you feel anxiety or stress increasing.

Why Fiber Is So Good for You | Patient Education

Sure, you’ve heard that fiber is good for you, but do you know why? Four key benefits come from eating a diet rich in fiber.

  • Fiber slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. When you eat foods high in fiber, such as beans and whole grains, the sugar in those foods is absorbed slower, which keeps your blood glucose levels from rising too fast. This is good for you because spikes in glucose fall rapidly, which can make you feel hungry soon after eating and lead to overeating.
  • Fiber makes your intestines move faster. When you eat whole grains rich in insoluble fiber, it moves faster through your intestines, which can help signal that you are full.
  • Fiber cleans your colon, acting like a scrub brush. The scrub-brush effect of fiber helps clean out bacteria and other buildup in your intestines, and reduces your risk for colon cancer.
  • Fiber helps keep you regular. A high-fiber diet helps you have soft, regular bowel movements, reducing constipation.

Adding Fiber to Your Family’s Diet

The benefits of fiber are important for both you and your child, and the entire family should eat a diet rich in fiber. To add fiber to your family’s diet, include the following foods. Check food labels for the grams of dietary fiber to find breads, cereals and other foods high in fiber.

  • Whole grain breads with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Choosing whole wheat bread is not enough, as many varieties of whole wheat bread have very little fiber. Make sure to check the fiber content by reading the nutrition label.
  • Cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. To find high-fiber cereals look for those made from whole grains, bran and rolled oats. Check the nutrition label to make sure it has enough fiber.
  • Brown rice is brown because it still has the husk, which is the fiber. White rice does not have any fiber because the husks have been removed.
  • Beans and legumes are great sources of both fiber and protein.
  • Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber. This is one reason that eating fruit is much healthier than drinking juice, which does not contain fiber.

Stool Softener Foods That Make You Poop: Natural Cure For Constipation

Constipation is a very common problem. Fortunately, it can also be easily solved by adapting your diet.

Nowadays, people don’t eat enough fiber, which is basically roughage for your gut and food for your happy gut microbes. There are many different types of fibre, but when it comes to constipation, there are two that matter: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber absorbs liquid and creates a gel-like substance that helps stool move through your gut. It also helps you feel fuller for longer. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and tickles your digestive cells, which accelerates its passage and attracts water into the colon so your stool doesn’t turn into dry, hard sheep pellets.

Table of contents

In this article, we explore the top stool softener foods you need in your diet for constipation and general digestive health. Rich in fiber, they will help ease your mind and your bowels so you can enjoy the benefits of regular evacuation.

Soup: more fiber, more liquid

How the food you eat affects your gut (by Shilpa Ravella, Ted ED)

Combine dehydration with insufficient fiber and you have a perfect storm because a lack of liquids can make constipation worse. Blended vegetable soups are great for constipation help because they tackle both of these problems in one go, and they taste delicious too.

For a natural constipation remedy and a wholesome meal, try your hand at some easy soups. All you need to do is boil the ingredients, season, and blend (or serve chunky – it’s up to you). Go for a variety of seasonal vegetables and use a potato because its starches naturally thicken the soup to give it great texture without cream.

☝️TIP☝️ Physical activity has been proven to contribute to better metabolism and regular bowel movements. Yet another reason to add sports to your daily planner.

Fermented probiotic dairy

Fermented foods, including dairy products such as yogurt and kefir, are natural probiotics, meaning they contain bacteria beneficial to our microbiome, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Yoghurt and kefir are natural sources of probiotic bacteria that make short-chain fatty acids. Probiotic bacteria also encourage the other good bacteria in your gut to make these amazing molecules, which is why fermented dairy is one of several great foods to stop constipation.

☝️TIP☝️ Find out what probiotic bacteria are in your gut and what to eat to help them thrive with the Atlas Microbiome Test.

Stone fruit for regularity

If you’re wondering what is best for constipation, then stone fruit should be on your list of food that makes you poop. Plums (prunes), apricots, peaches, and nectarines are high in insoluble fiber, which is responsible for regular bowel movements.

Plums and prunes Rich in fiber and sorbitol, a natural laxative.
Apricots 100 g of fresh apricots contains 12% of your daily dietary fiber intake.
Peaches and nectarines Sources of soluble and insoluble fiber for regularity and healthy digestion.

Whole grains and bran for your bowels

Whole grains and bran are a natural constipation remedy

Whole grains are a great constipation food. These grains still have their fiber-rich outer layer (bran), as well as the nutrient-rich germ and the energy-dense endosperm. Bran is a source of insoluble fiber, one of the things to help you poop because it helps build up the stool bulk and move it along the intestine to the way out.

Wheat bran is known to significantly speed up how fast food passes through the bowel and bulk up the stool, which is why it’s a popular solution to help with constipation. All whole grains have some type of bran, so try switching white rice for brown rice, or having wheat bran porridge for breakfast.

☝️TIP☝️ Don’t make your body wait when you are ready to go. It can confuse the sphincters at the end of your colon and disrupt their normal response.

Beans, legumes, and pulses

But Atlas knows how to avoid bloating! When upping your intake of beans, pulses, and legumes, take it easy. Add them into your diet slowly and progressively to give your body and microbiome time to adjust. You can also use asafetida, an Indian spice, that is believed to aid the digestion of beans.

☝️TIP☝️ The more often we strain the muscles to clean out everything, the more we make our muscles get used to the exercise.

Seeds for constipation

Chia seed pudding is a delicious food that makes you poop

Psyllium husk is also a widely recognised treatment for relief from constipation. Not only do these seeds attract water into the bowel and add bulk to your stool, they also modify the gut microbiome to help relieve constipation.

Another natural laxative is chia seeds for constipation. With 95% of its fiber being insoluble, they are famous for their ability to create a viscous gel-like coating. This helps add moisture to the stool and soften it.

You can also combine chia seeds, psyllium, and flaxseed (also known as linseed) for more dietary diversity in your constipation diet. Studies show that regular consumption of linseeds improves symptoms of constipation in patients with IBS and diabetes type II.

☝️TIP☝️ Soak the seeds before consuming them because they absorb a lot of liquid. Then add to yoghurt, smoothies, soups, and more.

  • National Health Service, Constipation, Causes of constipation
  • National Health Service, Constipation, About constipation, 2020
  • Min Chen et al., Modulatory Effects of Gut Microbiota on Constipation: The Commercial Beverage Yakult Shapes Stool Consistency, 2019
  • Compound Interest, The Chemistry of Plums & Prunes: Constipation & Chewing Gum, 2015
  • Harvard School of Public Health, Food features
  • U.S. National Institute of Health, Graham DY et al, The effect of bran on bowel function in constipation, 1982
  • Gastrojournal, R. S. Fisher, M.D., Bran as therapy in constipation, 1983
  • International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • R&D Centre, Aurea Biolabs Pvt Ltd, Kolenchery, Cochin, India, Augustine Amalraj and Sreeraj Gopi, Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review, 2017
  • Noureddin Soltanian and Mohsen Janghorbani, A randomized trial of the effects of flaxseed to manage constipation, weight, glycemia, and lipids in constipated patients with type 2 diabetes, 2018

16 Best Foods for Constipation

There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as being stuck on the toilet after several failed attempts to poop.

Just know that you’re not alone.

Constipation is extremely common, and roughly 42 million Americans will deal with it at some point each year, according to the National Institute of Health.

Technically, you’re considered constipated if you have less than three bowel movements a week or if you experience difficulty passing stool, according to the Mayo Clinic.

So, you may feel constipated, but not technically be constipated. That said, when you’re all blocked up, who cares what the Mayo Clinic thinks, right?

Regardless, there is one important thing that can keep you regular: fiber.

“You need fiber in your diet to help push foods through the intestinal tract,” Sharon Palmer, R.D.N, author of Plant-Powered for Life, told WomensHealth.com. Men should aim for roughly 38 grams of fiber a day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (And only a third of men actually eat that much, so….)

First know that fiber typically comes in two forms.

Soluble fiber, which is found in oatmeal, beans and avocados, absorbs water in your body to form a gel, which helps poop slide through the intestines more easily. (That’s a lovely image, isn’t it?)

Insoluble fiber, which is found in seeds and vegetable stalks, adds bulk to your waste, which helps speed up how often you poop.

You need both soluble and insoluble fiber to prevent and treat constipation, but you should focus on increasing your overall fiber intake by eating a variety of food sources, like grains, fruits ,and vegetables.

To help, turn to these foods, which may help you relieve your constipation, finally get off the toilet, and go make something of yourself.


Okay, maybe a little obvious, but they work!

Prunes are a traditional go-to for constipation relief. A study showed that constipated subjects who ate 100 grams of prunes (about 10) every day for three weeks improved their stool frequency.

Photo Alto

This is because the insoluble fiber found in prunes increases water in the stool, while the soluble fiber increases stool weight to speed up how often you poop.

Add prunes to salads or in a trail mix if you can’t stomach them alone.


A single kiwi fruit contains 2 grams of fiber. Eating two kiwis a day could help relieve constipation, according to a study.

Researchers studied a group of constipated adults who ate two kiwis each day for four weeks. They found that compared to their pre-kiwi diets, participants reported using fewer laxatives, experiencing more bowel movements, and straining less while in the bathroom.


Nosh on either dried or fresh figs to get your fiber fix. A serving of three to five figs delivers five grams of fiber, plus they’re easy to toss on salads or mix into Greek yogurt.

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes benefit more than your digestive health: one cup of sweet potatoes offers four grams of fiber, plus antioxidant vitamin A, which keeps your eyes, teeth, and skin healthy.

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The next time you need some help with your bowel movements, turn to this movie theater favorite. Eat three cups of air-popped popcorn to get 3.6 grams of fiber.

Rye Bread

Try hitting the deli for your favorite sandwich the next time you have bathroom troubles. Research shows rye is more effective than wheat bread at improving constipation. In fact, people who ate roughly 240 grams of 100 percent whole rye bread each day had softer and more frequent stools compared to people who ate wheat bread. One slice of bread has roughly two grams of fiber.


Doctors and dietitians are always singing the praises of oatmeal, and for good reason. This breakfast staple is linked to lower LDL, or bad cholesterol. It also keeps dieters full and has four grams of fiber per cup.

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For extra fiber, top with dried figs or prunes.


Pears might not be the first remedy that comes to mind, but they are commonly used to help babies poop. With six grams of fiber in one medium pear, they’re also great for relieving constipation in adults, too.


All you need is one cup of raspberries for a whopping eight grams of fiber. A great low-calorie snack, studies have shown that raspberries can reduce the risk of heart disease


Add a spinach salad to your next meal and get four grams of fiber from one cup of the leafy greens. They’re also a great source of magnesium, which draws water into the colon to help you poop.


Apples are full of a specific type of fiber known as pectin, which can provide a laxative effect.

Westend61Getty Images

In fact, people who took pectin supplements for one month experienced less constipation and had more beneficial bacteria in their guts. A medium apple with the skin has 4.4 grams of fiber.


This tiny legume packs a nutritional punch: one cup contains 15.6 grams of fiber, almost half of your target for the day. Plus, one cup has nearly 18 grams of protein.


Turns out, your mom was right to force you to finish your broccoli: one cup contains nearly three grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamins C, K and folate.

Gallery Stock

Get the most nutritional benefit by eating broccoli raw as boiling can leach many nutrients and reduce fiber content.


Most people associate nuts with fat, but they also offer up plenty of fiber. An ounce of almonds contains 3.5 grams of fiber while an ounce of pistachios offers three grams.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are trendy and it’s easy to see why: one ounce contains nearly 10 grams of fiber and almost five grams of protein. Plus, they’re easy to add to oatmeal, salads, yogurt or smoothies.


Watermelon doesn’t boast the most impressive fiber content, but it is high in one thing that helps us poop: water. The refreshing fruit contains about 92 percent water, which can encourage bowel movements.

Melissa Matthews
Health Writer
Melissa Matthews is the Health Writer at Men’s Health, covering the latest in food, nutrition, and health.

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4 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Fiber (Yes, It Is Possible)

As you likely know, dietary fiber is important for your health, especially for your cardiovascular system, metabolic flexibility, gut health, and the stabilization of blood glucose levels. The average male adult should take in about 30 to 38 grams of fiber a day and for women the recommendation is 21 to 25 grams. And although most people don’t eat enough fiber, consuming too much fiber—especially quickly and over a short period of time—can also be a problem.

Why, you ask? Well, most of the fiber you consume binds to water in the GI tract, which creates a big, soft bulk. The softer the bulk, the easier it passes through the GI tract. Problems arise, however, when there is too much fiber and not enough water. This lack of water can lead to hard bulky stools and the digestive problems that come with them.

Four signs you’re overdoing it on the fiber.

These are some of the signs and symptoms that you may be consuming too much fiber too quickly:

1. A change in bowel movements.

Excess fiber can cause constipation or diarrhea. Remember to think of fiber as bulk that attracts water in the GI tract. If you don’t have enough fluid in your system or you haven’t taken in adequate fluids, dehydration of the GI tract can occur, leading to hardening and difficulty passing the stools. This is especially common when the fiber is primarily soluble fiber like that found in oatmeal, beans, apples, strawberries, or blueberries.

Opposing symptoms, like diarrhea and loose stools, can occur when this bulk is made up of the insoluble fiber found in wheat, corn bran, leafy vegetables, broccoli, and tomatoes. Although adding insoluble fiber to your diet can be a good treatment for constipation, too much consumption of this type of fiber can lead to diarrhea and loose stools—especially if you up your intake all of a sudden, which will push the contents of your GI tract through more quickly.

2. Bloating and gas.

Consuming too much fiber can also create uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and excess production of gas. This most often happens when you eat too much fiber too quickly because most of the fiber won’t be digested or broken down while moving through the GI tract. As a result, bacteria that live in the colon digest some of the remaining fiber and create a gas by-product.

3. Abdominal pain.

Along with the change in bowel movements, gas, and bloating, cramping can also occur with too much fiber. This results from too much fiber causing digestion to slow down or stop.

4. Mineral deficiencies.

Fiber is a binding agent, meaning it can also bind to nutrients and cause them to be eliminated before the body has a chance to absorb them. This process most commonly affects iron, chromium, copper, zinc, and calcium absorption. According to some studies, it may be possible to offset this by ensuring that you consume adequate amounts of vitamin C and fish or animal protein.

Here’s what to do if fiber is causing you problems.

If you’re experiencing any or all of these symptoms, you may be eating too much fiber, consuming it too quickly, consuming the wrong kind of fiber, or be in need of some extra vitamin C and more protein. I suggest you try the following:

1. Do a test.

Try different sources of fiber slowly and at a low dose. If a certain type of fiber causes symptoms at the start, switch to a different source and see if the symptoms recur.

2. Slowly increase your intake.

If you tolerate small amounts of fiber, increase the amount every week or two. When you start experiencing a symptom, decrease the dose for a few weeks. Once the symptoms have been gone for a few weeks, try to slowly increase the dose again until you eventually reach the daily requirements.

3. Switch sources.

If you’re experiencing constipation, try switching to insoluble fiber. If you’re experiencing loose stools, try switching to soluble fiber.

4. Drink water.

As we learned earlier, the balance between water and fiber in the GI tract is crucial. Ensure that you’re drinking water with your intake of fiber—especially if your tendency is to get constipated.


This article originally appeared on mindbodygreen.com

Author: Dr. Eva Selhub


Eva Selhub, MD is an internationally recognized resilience expert, integrative health physician, author, speaker, scientist, and health consultant who bridges spirituality to managing stress, achieving optimal health, and finding everlasting joy. Dr. Eva engages her clients and her audiences with her powerful energy, words of wisdom, and scientific knowledge to empower others to transform their health and their lives for the better. She resides in Newtonville, Massachusetts.

90,000 Bowel cancer more susceptible to meat and alcohol lovers

Red and processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer by 20%, British scientists have found. Alcohol lovers were also at risk. On the other hand, eating foods high in fiber, on the other hand, helps reduce the likelihood of illness.

Daily consumption of red (beef, pork, lamb) and processed meat, even in small quantities, can increase the likelihood of colon cancer, experts from the University of Oxford have found.The results of the study were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology .

For six years, scientists have observed 500 thousand volunteers. During this time, more than 2,500 cases of bowel cancer have been reported.

Those who ate about 76 grams of red and processed meat per day were found to have a 20% higher risk of developing a tumor than those who ate 21 grams or less.

In addition, those who ate about 54 grams of meat per day had a 15% increased risk compared to those who ate about eight grams.For those who ate 29 grams of meat a day, the risk was 19% higher than those who ate about five grams a day.

Also, the risk of bowel cancer increased with alcohol consumption – exceeding the norm by 10 g of ethanol per day gave an increase of 8%.

Consumption of poultry, fish, cheese, fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee did not affect the likelihood of developing cancer.

Consumption of fiber, usually in breads or cereals, was also found to reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

Those who consumed the most fiber were 14% less likely to develop fiber than those who consumed the least.

In addition to eating red and processed meat, there are many other factors that increase the risk of bowel cancer. So, about 10% of cases are due to hereditary predisposition.

Intestinal polyps are dangerous – the risk of developing cancer begins to increase after 7 years from their appearance and every next 10 years increases by 10%, reaching 30% after 25 years.

Also, cancer is provoked by intestinal diseases – Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis. Improper nutrition increases the risk – the predominance in the diet of not only meat, but also fatty and flour dishes, insufficient content of plant products. Also at risk are people who take anti-inflammatory drugs for a long time (several months or even years) and suffer from chronic constipation.

Smoking, obesity and alcoholism increase the risk of bowel cancer.In addition, smokers with colon cancer have twice the risk of death compared to non-smokers.

One of the first signs of bowel cancer is stool disorder.

Prolonged constipation is replaced by diarrhea, the abdomen is constantly swollen. This symptom is characteristic of oncology of the left half of the blind or colon. There may be traces of blood in the stool. Dyspepsia also occurs – a violation of the normal digestive process, when the patient suffers from heartburn, a bitter taste in the mouth, nausea and vomiting.

When a tumor grows, the process of defecation may be disrupted, the neoplasm prevents the normal excretion of feces. In the later stages, with damage to neighboring organs, cystitis may develop. Among the less specific signs of the disease are weakness and fatigue, dryness and pallor of the skin, mucous membranes, changes in body temperature.

At a certain point in the development of the disease, the symptoms of cancer and hemorrhoids are similar. Therefore, for example, in the United States, all patients who present with rectal bleeding go through a colonoscopy.In Russia, a third of bowel cancer cases are posthumous.

These symptoms do not always indicate oncology, but should be a signal for an urgent examination.

Symptoms usually appear in 2 to 3 out of 5 stages of bowel cancer. At stage zero, the tumor is small and affects only the mucous layer. At the first stage, it grows into the submucous layer, at the second stage, it gives metastases to the lymph nodes and grows into the muscles. At the 3rd stage, the tumor already affects all layers of the intestinal wall.On the fourth, it occupies the entire intestinal lumen and gives metastases to distant organs.

At stage 0-1 of the disease, cancer is usually detected by chance. At this stage, it is possible to get rid of the disease with a probability of 95%. At the 2nd stage, the chances drop to 83-52%. At the 3rd stage, the number of those cured is no more than half. At the 4th stage, no more than 5% of patients survive, and the life span rarely exceeds six months.

Colonoscopy or irrigoscopy is required to diagnose bowel cancer. In the first method, a flexible probe is inserted into the intestine, in the second, after the introduction of a special solution that stains the intestinal walls, an X-ray is taken.To accurately establish the location, size and metastases of the tumor, MRI is performed. Also, urine and blood tests are needed, including for tumor markers.

In the early stages, surgical treatment is usually used, after which it is possible to fully restore the intestinal function. If the tumor has grown, then it is necessary to remove a significant part of the intestine, and remove the healthy area to the outside and form a colostomy – an artificial opening for emptying.

This is often uncomfortable for the patient and can be painful.If surgery is no longer effective, radiation and chemotherapy are used.

Their task is to reduce the growth of tumor cells and reduce their rate of spread throughout the body.

The main methods of bowel cancer prevention are balanced nutrition and physical activity. It is also important to quit smoking and not abuse alcohol. For people over 40, an annual digital rectal examination is recommended, and after 50 years, a colonoscopy every 2-3 years.Also, in old age, you should especially carefully monitor whether blood appears in the feces.

90,000 How often should a kitten go to the toilet?


A mother cat closely monitors the toilet of a newborn kitten, carefully licking it and keeping it clean. With the arrival of a small kitten in the house, the owner is responsible for monitoring the correct functioning of his digestive system.

How often kittens go to the litter box determines their future health.To help the pet in healthy development, it is useful for the owner to know why there are problems with stool, how many times monthly kittens must go to the toilet, and what to do if the kitten does not go to the toilet for a long time.

The content of the article

Tray for newborn kittens

A mother cat helps a newborn kitten to go to the toilet in the first three weeks of its life. A cat, licking its cubs, not only cleanses them of impurities and foreign odors, but also stimulates blood circulation in the digestive organs.

Thanks to this massage, it is easier for the kitten to get rid of gas and to empty. The cat licks off all the dirt, leaving the appearance that the kitten does not go to the toilet at all.

If the cat for some reason does not know how to provide the kitten with proper care, you can help him on your own. In a situation where the kitten does not want to go for a long time for several days, and to eliminate the consequences of a stomach swollen from gas, certain actions need to be taken.

Using a soft brush or cotton swab dipped in warm water, gently massage the kitten’s belly clockwise in a circular motion. Additionally, a gentle massage is carried out in the direction from the head to the tail, with longitudinal movements.

Tray for month-old kittens

Upon reaching the age of three weeks, the kitten’s intestines are already sufficiently populated with useful microflora, formed and ready to accept adult food. At this age, the kitten still feeds on mother’s milk with gradual complementary foods in the form of liquid or creamy food for kittens.Such food does not injure the intestines and does not require too thorough chewing.

At three weeks of age, the kitten must go to the toilet a lot every day from 3 to 6 times. Normally, the kitten’s feces should be mushy, uniform and thick. They should not contain any impurities in the form of mucus or undigested food elements. The kitten itself should be vigorous, and its belly should be soft to the touch and painless. An unfavorable sign for the owner is too dry or too liquid kitten feces.

If the kitten has no stool for 3 or 4 days, it is required to carefully analyze the pet’s diet. Abdominal massage, micro enema, a small amount of vegetable oil can help him.

Toilet for adult kittens

The kitten is transferred to adult nutrition from the age of 1 to 3 months. In general, coca faeces become more shaped. The number of visits to the toilet, as well as the consistency of feces, depend on the type of nutrition of the kitten.If you eat foods with a lot of fiber, the number of bowel movements will be greater than with a high-protein diet.

A grown kitten goes to the toilet a lot every day, and his feces should be free of blood, mucus, undigested food. The owner should be alerted by the fact that the pet often goes to the toilet in large quantities with very liquid feces.

How often should a kitten write

When answering the question of how often a kitten should write, you need to take into account the amount of fluid it consumes.The amount of urine should be equal to the amount of fluid you drink. A very small kitten, has a small bladder volume, and will pee more often than an adult.

On average, a kitten goes to the toilet up to 10 times a day. A grown kitten will have to go to the toilet on a small one up to 5 times a day. An adult cat goes small no more than 3-4 times a day.

The very process of urination is normal, it should not cause discomfort to the kitten. It is worth paying attention to the quality and color of urine, its transparency, the presence of impurities in the form of blood and mucus.

Signs that the kitten wants to use the toilet:

  • The kitten scratches the floor or objects with its paws.
  • The kitten often sniffs at objects around, as if looking for a suitable place. Cats often go to the toilet in quiet, secluded places that the kitten will try to find in the house.
  • The kitten is marking time, sits down, squeaks.
  • If a kitten is thinking about going to the toilet, his eyes become glazed, as it were.In such cases, you need to transfer it to the tray as soon as possible.

Why does a kitten have problems with stool

Stress affected bowel function. A kitten may refuse to go to the toilet because of worries about moving to a new house, changing the owner, or being separated from the mother. To help a kitten get used to a new place, you should protect it from noise, sudden movements, and games with children. The kitten itself must start playing in the new territory, running, going to the toilet.In a situation where the kitten does not empty within 5 days, you should contact your veterinarian.

Due to improper nutrition, the digestive system is disrupted. In the new house, the kitten must adhere to the diet of the old owners for some time, with a gradual addition of new cat food. When choosing ready-made food, you should pay attention to special diets for kittens.

If a kitten does not walk for more than 5 days, even getting used to a new place and food, then constipation may be the cause of problems with stool.By feeling your pet’s belly, you can determine if there is bloating, which usually accompanies constipation.

A sign of constipation is a painful process of defecation in a pet. Signs of constipation are also: long sitting on the tray, plaintive meow.

How to deal with constipation in a kitten on your own

If your pet is feeling well enough, you can try to cope with constipation in a kitten yourself with the help of:

  • Oils: if the kitten does not visit the toilet for several days, you can give a simple vegetable oil, in an amount of no more than half a teaspoon per day.It can be injected into the mouth with an ordinary syringe without a needle, slowly so that the kitten does not choke. Liquid petroleum jelly is also effective for constipation. It can be added with 0.5 ml at each feed, in combination with a gentle therapeutic massage.
  • Soap: Make a small peg of baby soap and insert it into the anus. Before administration, the soap should be soaked in warm water. This action is more convenient to carry out while the pet is sleeping. After it, within a few hours, the kitten should successfully go to the toilet in large quantities.
  • Medications: The appropriateness and correct use of medications should be consulted with a veterinarian.
  • Enema: an enema procedure at home is carried out only in complete confidence that it is harmless to the kitten. This procedure is relatively safe only if the cause of constipation is precisely inappropriate nutrition, and not intestinal obstruction or volvulus. There is a list of conditions in which an enema is strictly contraindicated: inflammatory processes in the intestines, bleeding, prolapse of the rectum, acute pathologies of the abdominal organs, inflammatory processes in the intestines.

Self-enema kitten

To make an enema yourself, you need a 10 milligram syringe, warm boiled water, petroleum jelly or oil. It is advisable to do the procedure with an assistant: one will hold the kitten, and the second will slowly introduce a syringe previously lubricated (with petroleum jelly or oil), deep enough for the liquid to be distributed as intended.

During the procedure, you need to slowly introduce water, gently probing the pet’s abdomen, in order to control the sufficient filling of the intestines.For a kitten, 50-100 ml of water is enough for the procedure.

General information about the kitten’s toilet

A kitten can go to the litter box at least 10 (in the early period), up to 5 times a day during the growing up period. If the kitten too rarely (up to 4 times a day), or too often goes to the toilet on a small one, or has other warning signs (blood, mucus in the urine), the owner should immediately contact the veterinarian.

Monthly kittens, on average, poop independently from 3 to 6 times a day.A kitten in a new place often does not go to the toilet for up to 5 days. If after adaptation to a new place the situation does not change, you need to take action.

The answer to the question of how often to change the litter box depends on the composition of the toilet litter. In general, after each visit to the litter box by a kitten, there should be no traces or odors in it, otherwise the kitten will try to find another secluded place to send needs.

Dietary fiber – the main “medicine” for losing weight!

Yulia Chekhonina,
specialist in the field of
dietetics and nutritionology.

The ideal diet for many is the absence of an intolerable feeling of hunger, combined with a decrease in weight before our eyes.

That only does not exclude “losing weight” from the diet in order to achieve the desired result.

For example, the well-known keto diet, which is a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet, is often poorly tolerated. Precisely because fat is not particularly satiating and the feeling of hunger turns diet into a grueling ordeal.

Our feeling of fullness depends on the fullness of the stomach. And if you “give volume” – with soup or fiber, then you can comfortably reduce the calorie content of the diet and thereby lose weight.

Dietary fiber (cellulose), when it enters the body, tends to absorb moisture, increase in volume, “swell” and not be completely digested. They not only slow down the absorption of excess fat and cholesterol and remove their residues from the body, but also have a positive effect on the intestinal microflora, contributing to the growth of the number of beneficial bacteria.

The very first thing that is carried out when a patient applies to a clinical nutrition clinic is an analysis of the diet. Most often, it turns out that the consumption of fat “rolls over”, and dietary fiber is just consumed in insufficient quantities. It is this “skew” in nutrition that is the main reason for excess weight.

Corn dextrin has the properties of soluble dietary fiber, which are not absorbed in our gastrointestinal tract, but fermented by the colon microflora, that is, they are food for the intestinal microbiota.At the same time, dextrin helps to reduce hunger and relieve the intolerable desire to eat something sweet and tasty.

Controlling hunger is something we can experience. But besides this, dietary fiber and, in particular, corn dextrin are responsible for many internal positive processes in our body, which are not directly felt by us.

For example, they slow down the absorption of glucose and its conversion to fat, maintain blood cholesterol levels, and improve the digestive tract and the composition of the intestinal microflora.And this is already a guarantee of strong immunity and clean, beautiful skin without inflammation.

It is especially recommended to include corn dextrin in the diet of anyone who follows a low-carb diet, or if the diet simply does not have enough sources of fiber – fruits and vegetables.