When you feel backed-up, your whole life can feel the same way. From bloating, to sluggishness, and overall nausea, not going weighs you down, literally! Turning to  alternatives like laxative supplements is okay once or twice, but recurring use can lead to dangerous health problems, including dehydration and kidney damage. Below are a few fiber-rich foods that can help offer some natural relief.


Admit it, you chanted this relentlessly as a kid: “beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot!” As it turns out, your annoying 7-year-old self was actually onto something. Beans are high in fiber and low in fat, so while they might have a gassy reputation, they're really great for your digestive system. Here are a list of legumes that are easy to find and include into your everyday: 

- Every. Bean. You. Can. Imagine. (Don't believe me? Look it up)

- Snap peas

- Ckickpeas

- Lentils

- Soy

To avoid being too farty at the party… start slow and gradually build up to bigger servings. Research suggests starting with about six grams of fiber and eventually working towards about 15 grams over the course of a few weeks. It’s all about listening to your body, people. (Just hope your body isn’t too loud in a crowded, public, place. Whoops).

Click here for more recipes with legumes and lentils.

Apples and Grapes and Pears! Oh My!

If you eat these three high-fiber fruits, you’ll be following the yellow brick road straight to the John.

Fruits like apples, grapes, and pears are high in a sugar-alcohol called sorbitol, which has a natural laxative effect. Fruit skin is packed with a fiber called cellulose, which tones up the intestinal muscles that regulate your stomach. Just be careful because there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing” (thanks, tequila), and consuming too much fructose (the sugar in fruit) can actually lead to worse constipation. Nothing to get stopped up about, just watch your sugar intake and mix up your sources of fiber (which you won’t have a problem with if you’re reading this article! Which you are! Yay for you!).

Chia & Flax Seeds

Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia! Turns out the 90’s gave us more than just low-rise jeans and platform flip-flops. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are basically nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory sprinkles with a neutral flavor, so you can add them to a variety of dishes. You won't be able to help humming the catchy cha-cha-cha-chia jingle when your digestive system starts cha-cha-cha-chugging along again.  

Just one ounce (two tablespoons) of chia seeds has about 10 grams of fiber. Also, these plant-pet dandruff are gelatinous, which means that, when wet, they have the amazing superpower of carrying away anything stopping up your digestive tract. Smooth.

Next, flaxseeds have a special protein that protects the lining of your digestive tract, strengthening it and further maintaining gastrointestinal health. This reduces bloating, inflammation, and produces a gut-friendly bacteria that cleans out your system. Dang.

If your gut is Gotham City, Chia and Flax Seeds are Batman and Robin. Don't expect any more trouble from Dr. Constipation with these guys on the job, that's for sure. 

For a great smoothie recipe that includes chia and flaxseed, click here.

Whole Grains

Not half-grains, not quarter-grains, not one-eighth-grains, (okay, okay, this joke isn't gonna lan-), but WHOLE grains!

Oats and other whole grains are high in soluble fiber, which slows digestion and helps you absorb nutrients. I know, you’re probably thinking, “slow digestion? What? I want to speed this dang process up!” Okay, fair response, but hear me out. Soluble fiber means fiber that absorbs water and becomes a thick gel like substance in your tummy. This gel blocks fat that would otherwise be absorbed and helps to lower overall cholesterol. This is great option for those at risk for heart-disease and high-blood sugar. The fiber in whole grains will get the job done, without the sugar in fruit and the gassy potential in legumes.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous? Wait, isn’t that like a Dinosaur's time period? Are these vegetables Dinosaur shaped? Man, I wish. Quite easily confused with the carboniferous period of  geological time, cruciferous vegetables are actually just leafy greens packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some cruciferous vegetable include: 

- Spinach

- Lettuce

- Broccoli

- Kale

- Arugula etc.

Sorry, none of them are naturally dinosaur shaped, BUT they are naturally high in insoluble fiber.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, so it sits in your gastrointestinal tract, bulks up your doo-doo, and carries it out quicker throughout the stomach. Wow. Like an Uber-pool, but without the social anxiety and unnecessary fear of strangers.

Finally, just drink water. I know all the health blogs and nutrition sites make it seem like water can cure a broken femur, clear acne forever, and bring world peace, but in this case, water does help. Stoppage often results from dehydration in the gut, so drinking water really helps flush things out, pun most definitely intended.

In the end, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, constipation affects around 42 million Americans a year. So, more-or-less, it happens to us all. Your gut is like your significant other. If you don’t give it enough attention, it’ll probably leave you on reads for a week

The cure is adding extra love (aka fiber) into your daily routine and things should start moving along in no time.