Prevent bowel movements from becoming too large or hard by drinking lots of fluids and eating foods that are rich in fiber, states WebMD. Examples of high-fiber foods include grains, vegetables and fruits.
Fiber is important in the prevention of constipation because it provides a place for bacteria in stool to grow, explains WebMD. This results in better bowel function. However, it is important to increase the fiber in food gradually, as a sudden increase may cause bloating and gas.
Aim for 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit every day, explains WebMD. Instead of white rice, regular pasta and white bread, eat brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole grain bread. Other good sources of fiber include multigrain cereals and whole oats. Eating beans and legumes once or twice a week may prevent constipation.
Individuals who cannot take enough fiber in their diets can consider fiber supplements, notes WebMD. Though these supplements are generally safe, individuals should talk to their doctors before taking them.
With an increased fiber diet, individuals need to remain hydrated. They should aim for six to eight glasses of fluids every day. They should choose low-calorie and low-sugar fluids, such as water.