There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling the urge to poop—then sitting on the john and waiting … and waiting.
Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems, affecting 42 million people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
But loading up on fiber can help keep your gut moving.
“You need fiber in your diet to help push foods through the intestinal tract,” says Sharon Palmer, R.D.N, author of Plant-Powered for Life.
Just remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to soften your stool so that it can pass through easily, says Gina Sam, M.D., director of the Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center.
Here are the 10 best fiber-rich, poop-prompting foods to eat when you’ve been struggling on the toilet.
Legumes, which include beans, lentils, and peas, are filled with health benefits.
“I suggest including them in the diet every day, one half cup cooked, because [they’re a] rich source of fiber, as well as protein, vitamins, and minerals,” says Palmer.
Just a half cup of beans can add between six and 15 grams of fiber to your salad, soup, casserole, or pasta, depending on the type of bean you use.
(Tip: Start slow and gradually build up to bigger servings to avoid getting too gassy.)
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