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What are some foods that act as laxatives?

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Quick Answer

Some foods that relieve constipation are prunes, beans, kiwi, rye bread and pears, according to MedicineNet. The key ingredient in these foods is fiber, which can help keep the digestive system moving.

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Prunes have insoluble fiber and a natural laxative called sorbitol, reports MedicineNet. In research, prunes even demonstrate a greater success rate in relieving constipation than the laxative psyllium. Beans are loaded with fiber, having over 10 grams per cup. The mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber in beans helps keep food moving through the intestinal tract. A variety of types of beans are beneficial, including garbanzo beans, baked beans, lima beans, pinto beans and kidney beans.

Kiwi fruit supports regular bowel movements, states MedicineNet. It is rich in fiber as well as other healthful nutrients. One study demonstrates an increase in bowel movement frequency among constipated adults who ate two kiwis a day. Pears are also an excellent source of fiber, much of which is contained in pear skin.

Whole-grain breads and cereals have a lot of fiber that supports both bowel and heart health, states MedicineNet. Research demonstrates that rye bread is particularly helpful for relieving constipation. Rye has an ingredient called arabinoxylan that promotes the movement of food through intestines.

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