10 to 20% of French people report suffering from constipation. Whether chronic or occasional, it is a genuinely troublesome condition that can lead to pain and other problems. If there are drug treatments, they can sometimes be too aggressive or prove ineffective in the long term. You can rely on foods and plants for a more natural laxative effect. Here are 15 natural laxatives that will help you fight constipation.
At the top of this ranking, you will find prunes, the most famous natural laxatives. It must be said that prunes are very rich in fiber (25% of daily intake for eight prunes). It also contains dihydrophenylisatin which helps stimulate bowel contractions. In the prune, you also have sorbitol and phenolic compounds that have a laxative effect.
Aloe vera is a plant that consists mainly of water and has long been used as a natural remedy for many everyday ailments. It has proven moisturizing properties. Aloe vera also contains many good transit nutrients, such as magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B9. It also contains anthracoid molecules with laxative effects. In stores, you can easily find aloe vera gel directly extracted from fresh leaves. Mix it with your fruit juices, smoothies, or cold soups.
Applesauce Or Rhubarb
Fruits like apples and pears contain pectin, an insoluble fiber that forms a viscous gel that slows the absorption of certain nutrients. This helps stool bulk and improves bowel movement.
Black radish is a miracle food to fight against constipation. It is rich in fiber (1.90 g per 100 g of black radish) and vitamin C (114 mg per 100 g). In addition, black radish contains quite a lot of potassium. A potassium deficiency can slow transit. Black radish has a relatively solid and spicy taste. To enjoy its benefits, it is advisable to eat it raw; cut it into thin strips with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon!
Studies have demonstrated the laxative power of coffee. It is not caffeine that acts on the body, contrary to beliefs. Coffee stimulates the production of gastrin, the hormone that regulates the contraction movements of the distal colon close to the rectum. The latter accelerates the emptying of the stomach towards the intestines.
Here, we will mainly talk about figs and dried apricots. In their dried version, both of these fruits are high in fiber. Indeed, count between 10 and 13 g of fiber for 100g of dried fruit. Figs and dried apricots are also rich in potassium. Potassium deficiency can lead to constipation. Apricots or figs can be eaten as is, but a fig paste is also sold in drugstores.
Of African origin, senna is a plant that has proven laxative effects. Indeed, it contains molecules called sennosides A and B, which accelerate transit and inhibit the absorption of water contained in digested food. The molecules stimulate intestinal motility. It takes about 8 hours after taking it for optimal effectiveness. Pediatricians often use senna to cure constipation in children naturally. However, it is used as a one-time treatment and not for the long term because it can irritate the intestine.
Blond psyllium has been used for centuries to fight constipation. The pod that surrounds the seeds is very rich in fiber and mucilage. These substances will swell in contact with water and form a viscous gel that will end up in your stool. They will therefore be softer. A study in the United States shows that psyllium is the most effective laxative plant and is also considered a very good prebiotic. Thus, your intestinal microbiota is pampered. Psyllium is potent and non-irritating. To use it, you must mix 7 g of psyllium husk powder in 250 ml of water and drink it once a day.
Chia seeds have a high nutritional richness and a natural and effective laxative effect. They are particularly rich in dietary fiber and nutrients that help stimulate the formation of digestive acids, increase intestinal motility and help the transit function. In addition, chia seeds help with weight loss, regulate your appetite and reduce the urge to snack. They can be incorporated into your dishes, cakes, yogurts, or loaves of bread.
Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3s and help support your heart health. In addition, they help fight constipation. The insoluble fiber in flaxseeds retains water and increases stool bulk. They help treat constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticular disease. The soluble fiber in the mucilage of flaxseeds increases the viscosity of the intestine’s contents. This helps delay gastric emptying and nutrient absorption. You can prepare a flax drink by adding a teaspoon of flax powder to a glass of hot water. Mix, drain, and drink the water daily. You can also sprinkle your dishes, breakfasts, and smoothies with whole flax seeds. There are also recipes for cookies with flax seeds.
Probiotics are naturally present in the body, at the heart of the intestinal microbiota. They help prevent bacteria. They can also help with constipation. They complete the microbial flora and boost it. They also increase the contractions of the large intestine to facilitate the evacuation of stools. Some foods contain probiotics, such as fermented milk, cabbage, kefir, miso, or spirulina. It is also possible to take food supplements that contain effective and carefully selected strains.
If you need a laxative that works immediately, castor oil is what you need! Indeed, it is a substance that acts very quickly on the body. After consumption, the effects can be felt after 4 to 8 hours, depending on the person. To use castor oil, it’s simple: in the morning, on an empty stomach, swallow one to two tablespoons.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural laxative. It has many benefits and helps the intestinal flora to renew itself. To help your transit, it’s easy: take two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and mix them with two teaspoons of honey in a glass of water. Drink this mixture, and you will see that your digestive disorders will be relieved.
Less well known, the lactose contained in yogurts also has laxative effects. Indeed, in yogurts, you have probiotics (we saw above the results that probiotics could have on transit).
Sometimes diets that are too low in fat can also cause constipation. Consuming oil, butter or margarine has a lubricating effect on the intestine. They must be eaten raw or slightly heated for better efficiency. Heated to too high temperatures, they can delay your digestion. Olive oil is particularly recommended because it has a cholagogue action (which stimulates bile secretion), which makes it possible to emulsify dietary fats.