Constipation—or any sort of irregularity in bowel movements—becomes a more common issue as people age. Studies show that around 16% of adults in the United States deal with symptoms of constipation, but that number is around 33% for those over 60 years of age.

But you don’t need to take harsh medications to stay regular—which means different things for different people, but generally means having fewer than three bowel movements per week and having to strain while passing one. Far Rockaway Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has five natural laxatives to help you stay regular.

  1. Fiber

You probably know this one, but dietary fiber is better than soluble fiber, meaning that you should get fiber from food instead of supplements like Metamucil. Fruits (especially prunes and kiwis), vegetables, whole grains, and beans are all high in dietary fiber. It helps add weight and size to the stool, which softens it and makes it easier to pass.

  1. Water

Staying hydrated will help your digestive system, just as it does any other system of the body. It will also keep stool soft, as if you are dehydrated, it will be harder to make a bowel movement.

  1. Exercise

Regular exercise helps lower the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine, keeping your digestive tract clean. It also doesn’t allow as much time for water to be absorbed by the body, keeping the stool soft.

  1. Hot Herbal Tea

Finding a hot herbal tea that contains anise or fennel has been known to relieve symptoms of constipation as well.


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