Eat plenty of unpeeled fruit and green leafy vegetables and cut out any white refined carbohydrates (bread, cereals etc.). Fruits to remedy constipation are: oranges, rhubarb, figs, papaya, guava, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, pears and apples.
Bran has been highly publicized to promote healthy colon function however, excessive use can lead to abdominal bloating and gas. Bran contains phytic acid and when taken in large quantities can cause anemia so taking no more than one or two tablespoons a day is recommended. A study in Manchester UK determined that 50% of patients with IBS actually felt worse after consuming bran.
If you are currently on a high carbohydrate diet with white bread and pastas, you may find yourself with carbohydrate addiction, that is, when trying to cut carbohydrates out of your diet completely, you have symptoms of headaches, shakes and cravings. By making a change to whole wheat foods, steel cut oatmeal and quinoa can initiate the process to move to eating less carbohydrates and facilitate more regular bowel movements.
Prunes are natural laxatives and so are better for you then chemical laxatives which can have side effects such as dehydration or diarrhea. Prune juice will be easier on the digestive system then prunes and is so mild that it can even treat child constipation.
Drinking a cup of caffinated coffee can help to stimulate and loosen your bowels. A strong cup of coffee is a quick and effective treatment for constipation but be careful not to have too much, caffeine can also induce fluid loss.