LIFESTYLE
16/10/2015 13:12 BST | Updated 16/10/2015 13:59 BST

Constipation Advice: 10 Foods To Help You Poo

There's nothing worse than being constipated.

While a lot of people will happily reach for the laxatives when they're bunged up, they should really be focusing on their diet to try and shift the, ahem, shit.

Constipation occurs when poo stools remain in the colon for too long. The colon absorbs too much water from them and the stools become hard and dry.

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Causes of constipation vary from person to person, but it is mainly down to too little fibre being consumed, as well as lack of exercise or resisting the urge to poo.

Additionally, being dehydrated, having a fever and mental health problems such as anxiety or depression can affect your ability to poo.

For those who are prone to constipation, NHS Choices recommends making dietary changes, such as consuming more fibre, to improve the condition.

In the UK the recommended average fibre intake for adults is 18g per day.

But according to the British Nutrition Foundation, most people do not get enough fibre. In fact, the average intake is 12.8g per day for women and 14.8g per day for men.

To help get your bowels moving-and-a-grooving, add some of these foods to your shopping basket:

Photo galleryFoods To Ease Constipation See Gallery

If you still find you're struggling to go to the toilet after switching up your diet, then it's time to reach for the harder stuff (we're talking laxatives, not whisky).

NHS Choices also suggests the following:

  • Try to get more exercise, for example by going for a daily walk or run.

  • If your constipation is causing pain or discomfort, you may want to take a painkiller such as paracetamol.

  • Work out a routine of a place and a time of day when you are comfortably able to spend time on the toilet. Respond to your bowel's natural pattern: when you feel the urge, do not delay.

  • Try resting your feet on a low stool while going to the toilet, so that your knees are above your hips, as this can make it easier to pass stools.

  • If medication you are taking could be causing constipation, your GP may be able to prescribe an alternative.