Constipation Problems? Try Insoluble Fibre

Fibre is an important part of having a healthy diet, but if you are having constipation problems, it’s best to turn to insoluble fibre.

There are two types of fibre: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is soft and sticky, and will form a gel-like substance when dissolved in water. Soluble fibre helps to soften stool, and can bind to cholesterol and sugar to slow them down from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Insoluble fibre is the tough matter found on whole grains, wheat bran and fruits and vegetables, and does not dissolve in water. Insoluble fibre can help add bulk to digestive waste, which can help relieve constipation.

When looking for insoluble fibre sources to reduce the discomfort of constipation, try fruits and vegetables that have stalks or skins, like apples and celery. Here are more examples of sources that are high in insoluble fibre:

  • Beans and peas
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • Flaxseed and hemp seeds
  • Quinoa and barley
  • Corn
  • Oranges, apples, grapes and pears
  • Dried fruits
  • Cabbage, lettuce, bell peppers, celery, carrots and cucumbers.

Remember to also slowly increase your intake of fibre and drink plenty of water in order to avoid gas and bloating.

Bottom line: If you are experiencing constipation, look for insoluble fibre sources to combat your feelings of discomfort.

Blog post contributed by Alyssa Ramuscak, Nutrition & Dietetics Student, University of Western Ontario