According to the University of Washington Women's Health Center, eating oatmeal helps soften stool, which aids in the prevention of constipation. Applesauce, dried beans and barley also have this effect.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that eating foods high in fiber also contributes to healthy bowels. Oatmeal has a moderate amount of fiber, along with Raisin Bran, granola and shredded wheat. Other cereals, such as All-Bran, 100% Bran and Fiber One, have a much higher fiber content. Cooked prunes, dried figs, baked beans, garbanzo beans and black-eyed peas are also high-fiber foods. Johns Hopkins indicates that doctors often recommend that patients with constipation cut back on low-fiber foods, such as cheese, meat and processed food.