The Best Natural Laxatives

· December 27, 2014
Find out about some of the best natural laxatives that can help ease digestion and fight constipation.

If you suffer from constipation or want to lose weight, then learn about the benefits of adding these natural laxatives to your diet.

When it comes to natural laxatives, it’s absolutely necessary that you avoid consuming more than the recommended amount. Consuming them in excess could lead to digestive issues.

With that in mind, keep reading the following article about the best laxatives that nature provides.

Foods that act as natural laxatives

If you have trouble digesting or don’t go to the bathroom regularly, you may end up feeling swollen, bloated or heavy. If this happens to you, consider incorporating these natural laxatives into your diet:

Bananas

Bananas have a lot of fiber, making them excellent natural laxatives and helping promote digestion. They also contain a wonderful nutrient: potassium.

Eating a banana a day will help restore the necessary electrolytes to your intestinal tract. Bananas also contain fructooligosaccharides, a compound that forms bacteria (the good kind) in your intestine.

Apples

Due to their high pectin levels, apples stimulate the intestines. They also provide fiber. Eat two or three raw apples a day to help prevent constipation.

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Cantaloupe

Eating cantaloupe in the morning for breakfast is an excellent way to start the day because it’s easy to digest. It practically moves directly to the intestines, not “staying” in the stomach.

Berries

Berries are full of antioxidants and there are different types of them, some more delicious than others. For example, consider including strawberries, blueberries, cherries or blackberries in your diet.

Plums

This is the “number one laxative” – rich in potassium, vitamin A, fiber and iron. Plums offer bacteria that is beneficial for the intestines, which are great at cleaning the colon.

Unprocessed Apple Cider Vinegar

Unprocessed apple cider vinegar helps improve intestinal regularity and removes toxins from the body. It contains pectin, potassium, malic acid, acetic acid, calcium, and other components.

Organic apple cider vinegar is recommended because it contains live nutrients and hasn’t been additionally processed.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is another natural laxative that has been used to ease digestion and constipation. This is just one of the many benefits of this popular medicinal plant. A common way to consume aloe vera is in juice form.

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Spices

Ginger, saffron, and cayenne pepper aid digestion and act as magnificent natural laxatives. Ginger can be consumed as a fresh tea, keeping the digestive process regular.

Saffron promotes liver detoxification and eliminates carcinogens from food, while cayenne promotes the production of gastric juices and digestive enzymes.

Citrus fruit

Citrus fruits are some of the best natural laxatives, especially oranges, but also lemons and grapefruit. They’re powerful detoxifiers and help “wash” toxins from the body.

The vitamin C in these fruits transforms toxins into digestible material for the body. Just one orange provides 15% of the daily recommended fiber.

Carrots

Just like apples, carrots contain a lot of pectin, adding fiber to the digestive tract. They stimulate intestinal contractions and detoxify.

Onions

Thanks to their component called quercetin, they’re great at eliminating residue from the body. They also contain folic acid, vitamin E and C, potassium and fiber.

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Garlic

Just a small portion of garlic provides selenium and allicin that helps cleanse the liver, removing toxins. Adding raw garlic to your meals may also help prevent stomach cancer.

Broccoli and cauliflower

Both vegetables increase the amount of glucosinolate in the body which causes the body to produce more enzymes. These then remove toxins, and thus make going to the bathroom more easy.

Cabbage can also be classified in this same group, which softens feces during intestinal movement.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are wonderful natural laxatives that provide a lot of vitamin A, C, and K. They provide 10% of the daily fiber that the body needs.

Tomatoes also contain lipozene, an antioxidant that protects against colon cancer.

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Omega-3 oils

Omega-3 oils are found in linseed, olive oil, avocado or hemp. They eliminate toxins and help lubricate intestine walls, easing bowel movements.

Leafy green vegetables

This group includes spinach, chicory, arugula, and more. They’re excellent natural laxatives because they contain fiber, magnesium, folic acid, calcium and vitamins C and K.

All of these elements help digestion. They increase bile secretion which removes waste from the blood and organs.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil helps improve digestion and intestinal function, as well as alleviate discomfort caused by hemorrhoids, reducing inflammation and repairing tissue. Extra virgin is the best, which is unprocessed and raw.

Avocado

Avocado is full of nutrients like potassium, folic acid, and vitamin K. Eating one avocado a day will provide 30% of the fiber your body needs.

Avocado also provides magnesium and lutein, which help improve nutrient absorption from other foods.

Seeds

Adding raw seeds to your diet may help you better digest your meals. These include linseeds, and chia, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, etc.

They contain a lot of fiber, zinc, proteins and vitamin E. You could also add walnuts, almonds and pine nuts to this group.

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Photos courtesy of Sean MacEntee, Studio Tdes, Olga Berrios, Daniel R. Blume, Jinax and Larry Jacobsen.