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What fruits and vegetables help prevent constipation?


Q. What are the fruit or vegetable, that best help prevent constipation?


A. All fruits and vegetables contain some degree of fiber which helps to prevent constipation. Fruits and veggies with edible peels (apples, pears, dates, sweet potatoes, and legumes) will boost fiber intake even higher when the skin is consumed. However, prevention and treatment of constipation is individual, and it generally involves a more comprehensive approach to diet rather than focusing on one particular type of food. Fiber from fruits and vegetables is one component of a healthy dietary approach to preventing and treating constipation. General guidelines for preventing and treating constipation include:


– Eating a variety of both fruits and vegetables.


– Filling half-your-plate at meals with produce.


– Eating whole-grains such as 100% whole wheat breads, whole grain cereals (such as Shredded wheat), and unprocessed grains like brown rice, whole barley, and quinoa.


– Drinking plenty of fluids.


– Exercising to help digestion.


– If constipation is a chronic problem for you, it is recommended that you discuss this with your physician.

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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