Foods and Exercise that Relieve Constipation Naturally

by Mira

Easy to implement remedies to combat constipation and get soft stools. Fight constipation with foods that act as natural laxatives and with exercise which massages your colon.

I haven't written here in a while and I'd have rather written about something more pleasant, but the fact is, many older people struggle with constipation, and so I think yet another article on the topic might not be amiss.

I've also had some bouts of constipation myself along the way when I spent days on end working without much walking, or eaten foods without regard for fiber, so my advice comes partly from personal experience. But it also comes from locally popular remedies tried out in my family.

So if you're looking for natural ways to relieve constipation, I hope you will find some happy food- and exercise-based solutions in this article. They are far better than chemical laxatives, I believe, because they will keep on working, they won't give you cramps, and they will keep your colon happy in the process.

Thumbnail is a composite of images found on Pixabay.

NB: I am not a medical practitioner, and this is not intended as medical advice. I do not accept any liability from your following the advice on this page, as each person is different and with different medical conditions. Ask your doctor before trying any of these remedies.

If You're Looking for a Quick Fix

Senna might work for you. Depending on the specific makeup of the tablet, you may find that you simply pass a soft stool the next day, or that you experience something close to diarrhea. Which is why I recommend alternative options.

First of All

Bell Peppers
Bell Peppers
Source: Pixabay

Whatever you eat, make sure that each and every single day you eat enough fiber from vegetables (bell peppers are my favorite constipation aid in sandwiches) and fruit. I know that theoretically oatmeal is full of fiber, but I never rely only on oatmeal to do the job. My go-to fruit on days when I've had a lot of bread (say I had to eat two large sandwiches, for instance) is kiwi. There have been scientific studies on it, too, and they showed that kiwi is a laxative. I expect a lot of it has to do with the large quantity of vitamin C it contains. Eating two or three kiwifruit in the evening will help with your constipation -- and will also induce sleepiness.

Source: Pixabay

Which brings me to orange juice. If you are stuck eating healthy fast food that involves a sandwich, couple it with freshly squeezed orange juice. It's been proven to relieve constipation. Now, do note that I have seen no effects with orange juice out of a carton. Such juice is pasteurized, which kills much of its vitamin C content.

Fresh Orange Juice
Fresh Orange Juice
Source: Pixabay

So vitamin C is important. Then magnesium is also a laxative. Simply dissolve an effervescent tablet in water. Magnesium is good for your heart, muscles, and brain, and if you're not taking a multivitamin and mineral complex, is a good supplement to take when you're under a lot of stress with life and work. I don't recommend using Mg all the time (but again, I'm no medical practitioner), but you can use it when you haven't had access to fresh orange juice, for instance.

Grandma's Remedy: Prunes

Given that I live in a country that doesn't produce oranges and kiwis, people in this region have long relied on another fruit: plums/prunes. Prunes have a lot of fiber and also contain sorbitol, and are now easy to find in supermarkets. Some people leave prunes in water for twelve hours, but I find they work dried, too. If you have prunes at night, do not take more than five or six.

The  EU ruled in 2011 that prunes are not a laxative, but Grandma disagrees.

Other Fruit

Some people swear by pears. I don't find them to be better than apples at this, which is to say they're not very powerful. They are important, but can't fight a diet high in bread and cheese, which is what mine now looks like on some days.

Seeds (Flax, Hemp, Sunflower, Pumpkin)

Source: Pixabay

Supermarkets here sell these seeds in various combinations. Grind them and serve a tablespoon with two or three tablespoons of yogurt. Eat this as a separate snack, preferably as your last meal of the day. If you have chronic constipation, it's probably a good idea to eat more yogurt – but eat the plain variety, not the sweet versions.


I found that exercises that bend your body at the waist combined with squats help bowel movements. Also, walk as long as you can every day. Walking massages and stimulates your bowels.

I hope this article has helped you some! Please don't hesitate to leave a comment with other remedies for constipation that you or others close to you have found to work.

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Geri Yoga / Geribody Yoga

Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls partenered with her yoga instructor to create two beautiful and very helpful DVDs
Geri Yoga / Geribody Yoga 2-DVD Set
Updated: 05/12/2017, Mira
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Mira on 02/20/2018

Hi Derdriu, I like Greek yogurt best. We now have several kinds in supermarkets and they're all good, but I can't forget the yogurt with honey I ate one summer on a vacation to Greece!

DerdriuMarriner on 01/31/2018

Mira, Thank you for sharing such attractive, tasty problem-solvers! What else would you serve with a salad of bell peppers and kiwis sprinkled with flax, hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, a yogurt and an orange juice? What flavor and kind of yogurt do you recommend?

Mira on 11/30/2016

Thank you, Candy! I agree, but real food, too, can lead to constipation. And sometimes it's also a question of the individual body. I know people who eat a healthy, fiber-rich diet and and yet still struggle with constipation.

candy47 on 11/29/2016

Real food and exercise, the best advice for constipation. And the best advice for general good health. Nice article.

Mira on 11/28/2016

Thanks, Katie!

katiem2 on 11/28/2016

A good and needed bit of information, great presentation.

Mira on 11/28/2016

It is; it works.

Veronica on 11/27/2016

Yes it is different in texture but is what we eat now and we like it.

You are right about exercise being good for constipation. My husband's hospital doctor has told us about the benefits of exercise for constipation.

Mira on 11/27/2016

Thank you, Veronica! A rye loaf sounds so good :)

Veronica on 11/27/2016

This is an excellent article . These are so much better than taking tablets as these remedies are natural.

I make my husband a Rye Loaf every Saturday and this accompanied by some of the above is all that is needed for healthy bowel function.

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