Dealing with a bout of constipation is never fun, but thankfully, there are solutions to this problem that can be easily found in your kitchen. There are plenty of constipation-relieving ingredients you can incorporate into your diet in the form of a meal or snack you already know and love — that’s right, we’re talking about a smoothie.
Smoothies are a great way to deal with constipation because you can easily fill them up with fiber, a nutrient that does powerful things to help your digestion. “Different foods contain different types of fiber, with the main two being soluble and insoluble fiber,” dietitan Rebekah Shulman, RDN, explains. “Soluble fiber forms a gel in the gut and helps feed our good bacteria, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and draws water into the gut, aiding in regular bowel movements.”
To help relieve constipation, Shulman recommends adding fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds into a smoothie. If you need an extra boost, a few tablespoons of prunes or ground flaxseed can also help. In addition to this, Shulman suggests incorporating foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha into your smoothie for maximum constipation relief.
Beyond ingestible forms of relief, there are other ways to relieve constipation. Digestion isn’t all related to food intake, and a lot of your ability to have a healthy bowel movement could come from lifestyle habits like getting enough movement, sleep, and hydration.
“Other methods to help improve digestive health include increasing gentle movement such as walking, yoga, biking, and swimming, as well as managing stress and getting adequate sleep,” Shulman says. “Eating enough food to meet your body’s needs is also essential. Staying hydrated is also essential for ensuring stool doesn’t get too hard and difficult to pass. If constipation continues to occur, I’d recommend talking to your primary-care physician to rule out any underlying causes that may require medical interventions.”
So if you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to maintain your gut health and relieve constipation, smoothies are definitely an option. Featuring a handful of Shulman’s recommended high-fiber fruits and probiotic-rich ingredients, these six smoothies for constipation can help you get your bowel movements back on track.