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Ways to prevent constipation

Man suffering from constipation

The best way to stay regular is to exercise, eat a healthy, fiber-rich diet, and drink plenty of water. But if you have trouble going, certain foods can help.

It’s not the only factor, but fiber -which adds to the size and water content of your stool- is key. Women should shoot for 21 to 25 grams a day, and men, 30 to 38.

Pears

This sweet fruit is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and it has a lot of fiber and water, which can help with constipation. One pear has only about 60 calories.

Popcorn

It’s not just perfect movie food – it can be a healthy snack any time, as long as you don’t bury it in salt and butter. But you may not know it’s loaded with fiber.

Watermelon

It does not have a lot of fiber, but it is 92 per cent water, and that can encourage a bowel movement. It is also chock full of nutrients, with antioxidants that help protect your cells, as well as vitamins A, B, and C, and lycopene, which help shield you from UV rays.

Oatmeal

Have this for breakfast and you’ll be less hungry – and less likely to snack – during the day. It’s a good source of fiber, and the oats absorb lots of water, too, which helps with digestion. Bonus: It also may help lower LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” and gives you complex carbs, protein, calcium, and iron.

Almonds

You can put them on salads and desserts, eat them with yogurt and cheese, or grind them to make a tasty pie filling or pastry dough.

Potato Salad

Cooled potatoes have fiber and a lot of something called “resistant starch.” This “resists” digestion, and some of it ends up in your large intestine, where it helps good bacteria grow.

Lentils

These can make for a great side dish (try them with sausage), and they’re good in salads, too. They can even be hearty enough to have as a main course, thanks to a healthy amount of protein.

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