Foods for Constipation
Nutritional guidelines and recipes
Foods for constipation do not have to be boring or restrictive.
On this page, we focus on the nutritional guiding principles that will help you to rid yourself of chronic constipation.
We also provide simple recipes that will enable you to implement those guiding principles in a simple and fun manner.
Note that we will be adding more guidelines and recipes in the next few months, so please come back often to get the latest and greatest.
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Foods for constipation:
Underlying Nutritional Principles
These are the rules we will follow to build up our nutritional program. The goal of each recipe is to implement as many of those points as possible.
- Fibers must be provided in the form of fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits. Always favor fibers "built" into the food rather than fiber "added" as supplements, which can be abrasive or sometimes counterproductive contrary to popular belief. As a result, fresh salads are a great way to start the meal and are one of the best foods for constipation. Lightly steamed or cooked vegetables should constitute most of the main dish.
- Fruits must be eaten at the beginning of the meal, or they will ferment in the stomach and trigger digestive issues. If you are chronically constipated, you don't want to start the digestive chain on the wrong footing. Therefore, they can be incorporated into salads.
- Good fats stimulate the release of bile in our digestive tract, and bile is our natural laxative. Therefore, you should not hesitate to use good fats to accompany your salad (incorporated in the vinaigrette) or your main dish. My favorite fats are olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, ghee (clarified butter) and egg yolks to make the vinaigrette more creamy for instance (only buy fresh organic eggs from a trusted source).
- Some fruits play a special role as gentle stimulant laxatives. That is the case of prunes. If you like salty/sweet mixes in your salads or main dishes, the addition of a few prunes can only be beneficial to your transit.
- Bitter foods, especially when eaten first during the meal, trigger a healthy release of digestive juices in the stomach and duodenum. This ensures the digestion starts off well. Keep in mind that a good release of digestive juices means a better digestion, less "waste" in the colon, and more moisture.
- Some "power foods" are both prebiotic (food for our good gut flora) and antibacterial (eliminates the unhealthy gut flora). The best one I know is fresh garlic, which makes a fantastic addition to a vinaigrette, a dip or a sauce. You will remember the importance of having a balanced gut flora for an optimal transit. Make sure you crush the garlic and let it stand 10 minutes, this ensures an optimal release of allicin, one of the active ingredient of garlic. Onions have similar properties, to a lesser extent though.
- Dairy products can trigger constipation in a large portion of the population. As a result, we will avoid the addition of milk or other unrefined dairies. The more the dairy product is refined, the less problematic it should be. Butter for instance is usually tolerated (clarified butter is always tolerated because it does not contain any protein content). Cheese is somewhere in the middle. You will have to test whether cheese is problematic for you by following an elimination protocol to see if it improves your situation. Keep that in mind since I will provide a few recipes with cheese to add variety.
- Grains can be problematic as well. As a result, we will not add croutons or eat the salad with bread or any other type of grain-based products (crackers, etc).
- The order of each food is important. Always start with the raw, uncooked and finish with the cooked. So salad first, fruit first too, always (or eat fruits between meals). Always finish with the protein (meat, fish, eggs, etc).
- The combination of each food is important. The following combinations are allowed : vegetables with proteins (meat, fish, eggs, etc); vegetables with starches (rice).
The following combinations are not allowed in our foods for constipation recipes: starches (rice) with proteins (meat, fish, eggs, etc), which will trigger fermentation problems. I mention "rice" here because we are trying to avoid grains, and rice is usually what's left.
Fresh spinach salad with prunes and balsamic oil vinaigrette
- A 5 or 6 ounce bag of fresh spinach (those you can find in supermarkets), washed
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 heaping tablespoons of raw apple, grated
- 2 prunes, diced
- A few black olives
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard
- 1 raw fresh egg yolk
- One small garlic clove, grated
- A dash of salt and freshly ground pepper
- Evenly mix the vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard in a small bowl
- Add the egg yolk and the garlic and blend well
- Slowly add the olive oil while stirring to obtain a smooth and creamy vinaigrette
- Put the spinach in a large bowl
- Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat the spinach evenly
- Serve on a salad plate, and sprinkle the grated carrot and apple on top
- Add the diced prunes and the black olives on top
Dandelion greens with anchovies vinaigrette
This is the typical bitter salad, a recipe from the south of France. The bitter greens ensure a good release of digestive juices before you move on to a more subsequent dish (the main dish). Bitters are a bit of an acquired taste. You may not like it right away if you are not used to eating bitter foods. But persist, it may pay off from a constipation perspective. It is one of my preferred foods for constipation.
- A 5 or 6 ounce bag of dandelion greens (those you can find in most health food stores), washed. That's it !
- Optional : a few shreds of raw carrot for decoration (see picture above)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard
- 5 anchovies, cut in small pieces
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, crushed
- In a small bowl, mix the cut anchovies with the vinegar. With a fork, crush the anchovies in the vinegar to make a smooth paste.
- Mix this paste with the salt, pepper, mustard and crushed garlic.
- Slowly add the olive oil while stirring to obtain a smooth and creamy vinaigrette. If the vinaigrette appears too thick, add a little vinegar. If it is too thick, you won't be able to easily toss and coat the greens with it.
- Put the dandelion greens in a large bowl
- Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat the dandelion evenly
That's it! Serve, enjoy, and feel your mouth salivate at the first bite of this bitter kick-starter.
Digestion starts in the mouth, with a healthy flow of saliva. The best foods for constipation will usually ensure, like our dandelion greens, an optimal digestion from top to bottom.
Spinach, mushroom and bacon omelette
I love omelettes. They are yummy, very easy to make, and usually make everyone in the family happy, from the kids to the grandparents. They are one of my favorite foods for constipation/
Omelettes are like quiches, but without the dough. Or they are like frittatas, or tortillas, depending how you look at it. Quiches, to me, are problematic due to the wheat (or other grains) content of the dough. Wheat and grains, based on what we know today, should not be part of foods for constipation. Or at least, they should be removed from your diet for a period of 1 month to see if it makes a difference in your transit.
The omelette allows us to eat the garnishing of the quiche (the yummy part, you will admit), and leave the dough aside.
Based on my nutritional beliefs (which are very close to an ancestral/paleo diet), an omelette is very healthy too.
That following recipe is one of my favorite, and provides enough for 4 people. Serve with gently steamed carrots and brocolis.
- 6 eggs
- 8 slices of bacon, diced. I also like to use canadian bacon instead of regular bacon.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach (more if you like your omelette more "green" as on the picture above, less if you want your omelette more "yellow")
- 3 tablespoon of ghee (2 to mix with the eggs, 1 to fry the onions)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- A dash of freshly ground black pepper
Fry the onion in a in a large pan, using 1 tablespoon of ghee. The pan has to be large enough to accommodate the whole omelette.
When the onions start to brown, add the sliced mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the baby spinach and cook till wilted. Set the mix on the side.
Fry the bacon till crispy. Remove the extra fat, then add back the onion, mushroom and spinach mix. Blend well and give it a couple of minutes so that the bacon's taste impregnate the rest of the mix.
Whisk the eggs, the ghee (2 tablespoons), the salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over the mix in the pan and let the eggs set.
Now, here is the tricky part. Take a large plate, and cover the pan with it. Flip the pan upside down over the plate, so that the omelette lands in the plate, cooked side up, uncooked side down. Then slide the omelette back into the pan so that the uncooked side is in contact with the pan. Give it a minute, just so that the bottom part sets, then serve.
If you don't like the "flipping" part, which is the French way, just fry all the ingredients in an iron skillet instead of a regular pan. Once you have poured the egg mix over the onion, mushroom and spinach mix, just place the iron skillet in the oven and bake at 350 degree for 20 minutes, or until you can make sure that the eggs are set.
There, you just turned your omelette into a frittata!
This is an easy family recipe that everybody should enjoy, kids and grown-ups alike. This recipe is for 4 people.
- 4 medium chicken breasts, if possible from organic free-range chickens (much less omega 6 fatty acids than in the battery raised ones)
- 2 eggs, organic and free-range
- 16 oz of organic tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons of clarified butter (ghee) - can be replaced by coconut oil
- 1/4 cup grated aged parmesan cheese
- Rice flour
- Dried thyme and oregano
Whisk the eggs in a salad bowl. Prepare a plate with a cup of rice flour spread on the bottom.
Dip the chicken breasts in the eggs, then place them on the plate with the rice flour in order to coat them evenly on both sides.
Melt the clarified butter in a skillet. Sauté the coated chicken breast in the butter till golden brown.
Put the two cans of organic tomato sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Crush the garlic cloves in the tomato sauce and mix.
Place the chicken breasts on the bed of tomato sauce. Sprinkle dried thyme and oregano on chicken and tomato sauce. Cover with grated parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 400°.
I like to serve with steamed brocolis.
End of the foods for constipation recipes
Please come back often, we will keep adding more!
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