There are many things that can cause constipation and changing your diet will almost always help no matter what the cause.
Some of the causes can be a diet low in natural fiber, food allergies, not drinking enough fluids, overuse of laxatives and not enough exercise.
Constipation can also be caused by a more serious health condition such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome - just to name a few. If your constipation does not get better with diet and natural remedies, you might have something more serious and should see your doctor right away.
Drink lots of water throughout the day - about 8 glasses.
Why is so much water necessary? Food is ground up in your stomach and then passes in liquid form into the small intestine. This is where the nutrients are removed. It then goes into the colon and water is removed so that the stool can form. Sometimes too much water is extracted causing the stool to become hard and difficult to pass. This is why you need adequate water in your diet.
Increase your dietary fiber as it helps retain water in the stools.
Oat bran and ground flax seeds can be incorporated in your diet by adding them to your hot cereal, muffins or in your smoothy. Also, eating lots of raw fruits (with the skins) and vegetables will help increase your daily fiber. Keep the skins on your potatoes also.
Add prunes or prune juice to your diet as they have a mild laxative effect. Prunes have traditionally been used to keep the bowels regular. Raisins are also good.
Limit or avoid sugar and processed foods as much as possible.
Taking probiotics can also be helpful - such as acidophilus, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. You can find these in yogurt, kefir and other fermented foods or you can buy them in capsule form.
Here are some other foods that are recognized as having a laxative effect: coconuts, avocados, dates, dried apricots, nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.), seeds, olives, figs, pineapple, grapes and green apples.
Eating a diet of whole foods instead of processed foods, fast foods and deep fried foods can cure many a health problem and get your body back in balance, including balancing your digestive system.
Green drinks or freshly juiced vegetables and fruit can help keep you regular. They are also an excellent way to improve your health and just feel better all around as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and many other beneficial nutrients.
Two other diet tips: Chew your food well and eat regular small meals throughout the day. Don't skip meals or eat too much at once.
If you suspect food allergies, you can either do an elimination diet or get tested to find out what foods you are allergic to. An elimination diet has you leave out a suspected food and see if you feel better. Then you reintroduce the suspected food and notice how you react. This way you can find out what you are allergic to one food at a time. Food allergies can cause constipation, so finding out what foods you are allergic to and avoiding those foods can be very helpful.
Well those are my tips for improving your diet to help cure your constipation, don't forget to exercise!