According to Melodie Anne Coffman for SFGate, many foods function as natural stool softeners due to their high soluble or insoluble fiber content, such as corn, green beans, spinach, plums, cherries and apples. Ground flaxseed is exceptionally high in fiber and helps a great deal in keeping stools malleable, as do wholegrain foods such as wheat bran, quinoa, popcorn and wild rice.Continue Reading
In addition to dietary fiber sources, MedicineNet explains that many over-the-counter laxatives are derived from natural bulk-forming ingredients, such as psyllium husk, agar, plant gum and kelp. These are especially beneficial because they do not leave the intestinal tract to be absorbed into the body, which makes them ideal for people who must frequently rely on laxatives to maintain proper bowel functioning, such as elderly patients.
Due to the expansion that occurs in the digestive system when a person takes bulk-forming laxatives, MedicineNet warns patients with narrow passageways to avoid this type of stool softener. Likewise, it is crucial to ingest a bulk-forming laxative with at least 8 ounces of water to ensure the treatment does not become lodged in the body or leach moisture from the intestines. There is a belief that drinking adequate amounts of water alone keeps the body hydrated so that bowel movements do not become difficult to pass, but MedicineNet says there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.Learn more about Vitamins & Supplements
Most fresh fruits and vegetables are low in sodium, and apricots, cherries, oranges, peaches and plums have none at all. Unsalted rice crackers, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios also have zero milligrams of sodium per ounce. Other sodium-free foods include baking chocolate, all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, and unsalted margarine.Full Answer >
Foods that help a person sleep include cherries, bananas and toast, according to Forbes. Other foods that can promote sleep and beat insomnia include Irish or Scottish oatmeal and warm milk.Full Answer >
Fresh apricots, cherries, peaches, plums and oranges have no salt or sodium. Dry pasta and matzo farfel are also salt-free. Other good salt-free snacks include unsalted almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and rice crackers.Full Answer >
Sorbitol is a reduced-calorie sweetener that's found in many different foods both naturally and as an additive, including dates, cherries, plums and many low-calorie foods. Sorbitol is sometimes listed on food labels as "E420" and can cause intestinal distress in amounts larger than 5 grams.Full Answer >