10 laxative foods that loosen the bowels

Foods rich in fiber, such as papaya, plum, pumpkin, orange, oats and chia, have a laxative effect, as they contribute to the formation of fecal matter, being an excellent option for loosening the intestines.

Many of these foods also have great amounts of water, another essential element to help eliminate feces. Therefore, it is also recommended to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day, to hydrate and facilitate the passage of feces through the intestine.

It is important to include these laxative foods daily in a balanced diet not only to help loosen the bowels, but also to avoid constipation attacks.

10 laxative foods that loosen the bowels

The main laxative foods that help loosen the bowels are:

1. Papaya

Every 100g of papaya has around 2g of fiber, in addition to having good amounts of magnesium, a mineral that stimulates bowel movements, helping with the elimination of feces. In addition, papaya is also rich in water, an essential element to help loosen the bowels.

How to consume: to maintain a varied and balanced diet, the recommended amount of the fruit is ½ papaya or 1 small slice of Formosa papaya per day, in its natural form, which can be consumed for breakfast, as a morning or afternoon snack. Other ways to include papaya in your diet are in fruit salads, juices or smoothies.

2. Oats

Oats are a cereal rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber with prebiotic functions, which serves as food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestine, the probiotics, helping to balance the intestinal flora, regulating the functioning of the intestine.

How to consume: to help loosen the bowels, it is important to consume 1 tablespoon of rolled oats per day, which can be used in porridge or added to fruit or yogurt.

3. Plain yogurt

Natural yogurt is a probiotic food, as it contains the beneficial bacteria Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which help to balance the intestinal flora, maintaining good bowel function.

How to consume: it is important to prioritize the most natural form of yogurt, avoiding versions with added coloring, sugar or sweeteners. It can be consumed once a day, along with fruit, oats or seeds, for breakfast, as a morning or afternoon snack.

4. Plum

Because it is a fruit with good amounts of fiber, plums are a food that helps loosen the bowels. In addition, the fresh version of the fruit is also rich in water, softening and facilitating the elimination of feces. Check out other benefits of plums .

How to consume: plums can be consumed fresh, with the recommended intake of 1 to 2 units per day, or in dehydrated form (without sugar), with the recommended intake of a maximum of 2 units per day.

5. Orange

Oranges are a fruit with a great amount of water, which helps to soften the stool, facilitating intestinal transit. The fruit pulp is also rich in fiber, which helps to form the fecal mass, loosening the intestines.

How to consume: to help loosen the bowels, the orange should be consumed whole and with the pulp. It is suggested to consume 1 orange per day, which can be after lunch or dinner.

6. Pumpkin

As it is a vegetable with great amounts of fiber and water, pumpkin is important for forming and moistening feces, improving intestinal transit.

How to consume: pumpkin can be eaten roasted or used in stews, soups and salads throughout the week, alternating with other vegetables with laxative properties.

7. Seeds

Seeds such as chia, flax, sunflower and sesame contain good amounts of omega 3, a healthy fat that, among other benefits, helps to lubricate the intestine, facilitating the elimination of feces.

Because they are rich in fiber, seeds also help in the formation of fecal matter and improve intestinal transit.

How to consume: the amount of seeds to consume daily can vary, with 1 tablespoon per day normally recommended, which can be added to salads, yogurts or fruits.

8. Leafy vegetables

Leafy vegetables, such as spinach, chard, arugula, lettuce and kale, are rich in fiber with laxative properties, loosening the bowels. In addition, when these vegetables are eaten raw, they provide great amounts of water, facilitating the elimination of feces.

How to consume: Leafy vegetables can be consumed daily for lunch and dinner, preferably raw, when possible, as salads or in juices. Another possible way to consume these vegetables is as stir-fries or stews.

9. Legumes

Legumes, such as beans, chickpeas, lupins or lentils, are rich in soluble fiber that promotes the formation of stool, helping to loosen the intestines. In addition, legumes also have good amounts of magnesium, an important mineral for stimulating bowel movement.

How to consume: the recommended daily intake of legumes is 3 to 6 tablespoons per day, which can be in the form of broths, soups or salads, at lunch and dinner.

10. Whole grains

Natural whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat or quinoa, have great amounts of insoluble fiber that increase stool volume and stimulate peristaltic movement, loosening the intestine.

How to consume: whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa or amaranth, can be consumed daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Menu to loosen the intestines

The following table provides an example of a 3-day menu with laxative foods to help loosen the bowels:

Snack Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Breakfast 1 cup of coffee with milk + 1 slice of whole wheat bread + 2 slices of ricotta cheese + 1/2 papaya 200 ml of smoothie with 2 tablespoons of chopped avocado + 1 tablespoon of oats + 1/2 tablespoon of chia + 200 ml of semi-skimmed milk 1 cup of chamomile tea + 120g of natural yogurt with 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds + 1 pear
Morning snack 3 dried plums + 5 cashews 1 kiwi + 10 peanuts 2 slices of papaya mashed with 2 teaspoons of chia
Lunch dinner 3 tablespoons of brown rice with broccoli + stewed chicken + 2 tablespoons of beans + 3 tablespoons of stewed pumpkin + 1 dessert plate of lettuce, arugula and spinach salad, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 orange 1 cup of whole wheat pasta with homemade tomato sauce + 4 tablespoons of bertalha stew with 2 eggs + salad with grated raw cabbage seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 tangerine 3 tbsp pumpkin puree + 1 medium slice of pot roast + 3 tbsp chickpea salad + 1 dessert plate with chard, arugula, lettuce and onion, seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 slice of melon
Afternoon snack 1 natural yogurt mixed with 1 small slice of papaya, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed 1 cup of coffee + 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 scrambled egg + 6 grapes Smoothie made with 150 ml of oat milk and 2 dried plums

This menu is just an example that varies according to your current health status and individual preferences. It is advisable to consult a nutritionist for a complete assessment and preparation of a personalized menu.

In addition to laxative foods, it is essential to drink 1.5 to 2.0 liters of water per day to hydrate the feces, loosening the intestines and avoiding constipation.

See other tips from nutritionist Tatiana Zanin to help loosen your bowels:

Foods to loosen baby’s bowels

Some foods that can be included in a baby’s diet from 6 months onwards, to help loosen the bowels, are:

  • Fruits,such as papaya, orange, avocado, dwarf banana, grape, kiwi, melon, fig, plum, watermelon, mango, pineapple;
  • Vegetables,such as pumpkin, chicory, tomato, cucumber, cabbage, spinach, sweet potato, green beans and leafy vegetables;
  • Whole grains,such as rolled oats, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and corn;
  • Legumes,such as chickpeas, peas, lentils and beans.

Additionally, babies over 1 year old can consume natural yogurt, which contains probiotics that improve intestinal flora and combat constipation.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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