The 12 Best Natural Laxatives

30th June 2015

Irregular bowel movements are common for many people. Sometimes pain and straining becomes the norm. Here are some constipation-busting foods you can use as an effective alternative to chemical solutions.

Bananas

Bananas contain high fibre levels and a natural bulk-producing laxative substance that will help keep you regular. They promote easy, painless digestion and their potassium content keeps your intestinal tract nice and balanced. The fructooligosaccharides in bananas are also loved by the good bacteria in your gut, causing them to increase in number.

Apple cider vinegar

Raw apple cider vinegar is the best one to go for, as it contains the “mother”, which fermented the apples naturally and fills the vinegar with living nutrients and bacteria, helping improve regularity. Apple cider vinegar also contains potassium, pectin, malic acid, calcium, ash and acetic acid, so it nourishes your body at the same time.

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Prunes

Prunes are recognised as being one of nature’s natural laxative all over the world, and they are certainly very effective. They provide beneficial bacteria, so they cleanse the colon while upping the level of antioxidants, vitamin A, iron and fibre getting into your body. They’re just so healthy.

Aloe vera

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This ancient medicinal plant is full of a soothing, nourishing gel that contains over 75 different nutrients. It can provide you will speedy relief. The gel simply makes everything slippy, so your food passes easily through the digestive tract on time, soothing your tissues and nourishing you as it goes.

Dried fruits

All types of fruit are fibre-rich. Insoluble fibre, which can be found in high quantities in fruit, isn’t absorbed by the intestines. It binds with water and bulks up within the intestines and promotes motility and softer stools.

Dried fruits are higher in fibre by weight than fresh fruit because they contain less water. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before having a small dried fruit meal. Don’t overdo the dried fruit, as it can give you diarrhoea! Eat any type of dried fruit you like in moderate quantities and enjoy its laxative properties.

Green tea

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Since green tea has a little caffeine in it, it encourages the muscles in your digestive tract to work a little harder, and eliminate more during every bowel movement. It also contains lots of healthy antioxidants, so drink a few cups a day instead of coffee or normal tea and be smug.

Water

Have you ever tried getting up in the morning and filling your belly with water? Experts say this is the key to provoking a natural bowel movement. When your body is well hydrated, it has enough water to use and some left over to add moisture to your stools, meaning they are less likely to be sticky, hard and solid. They also move along more easily, meaning you’ll go more often.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil improves your digestion and how well your bowels function. It also reduces the pain and irritation associated with haemorrhoids. It supports your body, aiding tissue repair, healing and reducing inflammation. Coconut oil is also great for your skin, immune system and weight loss, so get 2-3 tablespoons of the stuff into your daily and enjoy the benefits.

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Wholegrains

Rye bread was used to replace laxative in a Finnish study and actually reduced mild constipation better than laxatives, with no side-effects. Transit time was cut by 41% compared with laxatives, and worked better than many other food-based alternatives, like buttermilk and white wheat bread.

Try toasting some rye bread, which is available in most supermarkets and health food shops, and adding a little avocado and/or nut butter. This makes a delicious, healthy breakfast.

Legumes

Beans, peas and legumes are low-fat, contain no cholesterol, and are easily digested, for most people. They are high in fibre, amino acids, and make a filling addition to most meals. Give them a try, and see how your body likes them.

Kiwi

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Chemical laxatives are habit-forming and can damage the body, so why not try a kiwi per day instead? Studies show that kiwi is a great constipation-busting fruit. People who ate 2-3 kiwis per day in one study in New Zealand noticed bulkier and softer stools, and went to the toilet more often.

Cayenne pepper

Cooking with cayenne pepper spices up any dish and helps with slow digestion. The substances in cayenne stimulate your body to produce more enzymes and gastric juices, and you’ll find yourself enjoying bowel movements a lot more.

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