How can I prevent constipation?

  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain breads and cereals. Fiber and water help the colon pass stool. Most of the fiber in fruits is found in the skins, such as in apples. Fruits with seeds you can eat, like strawberries, have the most fiber. Bran is a great source of fiber: eat bran cereal or add bran cereal to other foods, like soup and yogurt.
  • Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. (Note: Milk can cause constipation in some people.) Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, have a dehydrating effect and may need to be avoided until your bowel habits return to normal.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Move your bowels when you feel the urge.

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