One of the best ways to use your diet to improve your overall digestive health and regularity is to increase the amount of foods that you eat that are high in dietary fiber, particularly vegetables, fruits and legumes. Virtually all fruit and vegetables are rich in fiber, and some of the best sources are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, artichokes, berries, pears, apples and pomegranates.
Two foods that specifically help promote regularity are prunes and figs. Both have been shown to effectively relieve constipation on par with bulk-forming laxatives like psyllium preparations. Four to eight ounces of prune juice or 5 to 10 prunes is usually an effective dose. One to two figs per day provides an equal benefit.
The insoluble fiber from the bran of grains, such as wheat, rice and oat bran, have the well-established laxative benefits of reduced stool transit time and increased fecal frequency. If you have increased your dietary fiber intake via vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains but are still not seeing the results you need, eat a half-cup of oat or rice bran cereal daily, increasing to 1.5 cups over several weeks. It’s best to use oat or rice bran, instead of wheat bran, because these non-gluten bran sources irritate the body less. Also, you should drink a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of water per day when consuming bran.
J Constipation B C Dietary Recommendations