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General Practice 2023

10 laxative foods that loosen the bowels

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10 laxative foods that loosen the bowels
10 laxative foods that loosen the bowels

Foods rich in fiber, such as papaya, plums, pumpkin, orange, oats and chia, have a laxative effect, as they contribute to the formation of fecal cake, being an excellent option to loosen the intestines.

Many of these foods also have great amounts of water, another essential element to help with the elimination of faeces. Therefore, it is also recommended to drink 1.5 to 2.0 liters of water a day, to hydrate and facilitate the passage of faeces through the intestine.

It is important to include these laxative foods daily in a balanced diet not only to help loosen the bowels, but also to prevent bouts of constipation.

Some of the main foods with a laxative effect that help to loosen the bowels are:

1. Papaya

Each 100 g of papaya has around 2 g of fiber, in addition to having good amounts of magnesium, a mineral that stimulates bowel movements, helping with the elimination of feces. In addition, papaya is also rich in water, an essential element to help loosen the intestines.

How to consume: to maintain a varied and balanced diet, the recommended amount of fruit is ½ papaya or 1 small slice of papaya a day, in its natural form, that can be consumed for breakfast, morning or afternoon snack. Other ways to include papaya in the diet is in fruit salad, juices or vitamins.

2. Oats

Oat is a cereal rich in beta-glucans, a soluble fiber with prebiotic functions, which serves as food for the beneficial bacteria of the intestine, the probiotics, helping to balance the intestinal flora, regulating the functioning of the intestine.

How to consume: to help loosen the bowels, it is important to consume 1 tablespoon of rolled oats a day, which can be used in porridge or added to fruits or yogurt.

3. Natural yogurt

Natural yogurt is a probiotic food, as it contains the beneficial bacteria Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which help balance the intestinal flora, maintaining the proper functioning of the intestine.

How to consume: it is important to prioritize the most natural form of yogurt, avoiding versions with added dyes, sugar or sweeteners, and can be consumed once a day, along with fruit, oatmeal or seeds, for breakfast, morning or afternoon snack.

4. Plum

Because it is a fruit with good amounts of fiber, plum is a food that helps to loosen the intestines. In addition, the fresh version of the fruit is also rich in water, softening and facilitating the elimination of stools.

How to consume: The plum can be consumed fresh, with 1 to 2 units per day being advised, or in the dehydrated form (without sugar), which is recommended the intake of a maximum of 2 units per day.

5. Orange

Orange is a fruit with great amounts of water, which helps to soften stools, facilitating intestinal transit. The fruit pomace is also rich in fiber, which helps to form the fecal cake, loosening the intestines.

How to consume: to help loosen the intestines, the orange should be consumed whole and with the pomace, being suggested to consume 1 orange a day, which can be after lunch or dinner.

6. Pumpkin

Because it is a vegetable with great amounts of fiber and water, pumpkin is important to form and moisten stools, improving intestinal transit.

How to consume: the pumpkin can be consumed roasted or can be used in stews, soups and salads throughout the week, alternating with other vegetables with laxative properties.

7. Seeds

Seeds such as chia, flaxseed, sunflower and sesame contain good amounts of omega 3, a he althy fat that, among other benefits, helps lubricate the intestines, facilitating the elimination of stools.

Because they are rich in fiber, the seeds also help in the formation of fecal cake and improve intestinal transit.

How to consume: the amount of daily intake of seeds can vary, being normally recommended 1 tablespoon per day, which can be added to salads, yogurts or fruits.

8. Leafy vegetables

Leaky vegetables such as spinach, bertalha, chard, arugula, lettuce and cabbage are rich in fiber with laxative properties, loosening the intestines. In addition, when these vegetables are eaten raw, they provide optimal amounts of water, making it easier to pass stools.

How to consume: Leafy vegetables can be consumed daily for lunch and dinner and preferably in raw form, when possible, as salads or in juices. Another possible way to consume these vegetables is as a sauté or stew.

9. Legumes

Leumes such as beans, chickpeas, lupines or lentils are rich in soluble fibers that promote stool formation, helping to loosen the intestines.In addition, legumes also have good amounts of magnesium, an important mineral for stimulating bowel movement.

How to consume: the recommended daily intake of legumes is 3 to 6 tablespoons a day, which can be in the form of broths, soups or salads, at lunch and at dinner.

10. Whole grains

Natural wholegrain cereals, such as brown rice, whole wheat or quinoa, have great amounts of insoluble fiber that bulks up the stool and stimulates perist altic movement, loosening the bowels.

How to consume: Whole grain cereals, such as brown rice, wholegrain bread, quinoa or amaranth, can be consumed daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Foods to loosen the baby's intestines

Some foods that can be included in the baby's diet from 6 months onwards, to help loosen the intestines, are:

  • Fruits,such as papaya, orange, avocado, small banana, grape, kiwi, melon, fig, plum, watermelon, mango, pineapple;
  • Vegetables,such as squash, chicory, tomato, cucumber, kale, spinach, sweet potato, green beans and leafy vegetables;
  • Whole grains,such as rolled oats, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and corn;
  • Pulses,such as chickpeas, peas, lentils and beans.

In addition, babies over 1 year old can also consume natural yogurt, which contains probiotics that improve the intestinal flora and fight constipation. Here are some homemade baby laxatives.

Menu to loosen the bowels

The following table provides an example of a 3-day menu of laxative foods to help loosen the bowels:


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


1 cup of coffee with milk + 1 slice of wholegrain bread + 2 slices of ricotta cheese + 1/2 papaya 200 ml of vitamin with 2 col. chopped avocado soup + 1 tbsp oat soup + 1/2 tbsp chia soup + 200 ml semi-skimmed milk 1 cup of chamomile tea + 120g of plain yogurt with 1 tbsp of sunflower seed + 1 pear

Morning Snack

3 prunes + 5 cashews 1 kiwi + 10 peanuts 2 slices of papaya mashed with 2 tbsp of chia tea


3 tbsp of brown rice soup with broccoli + stewed chicken + 2 col. bean soup + 3 col. stewed pumpkin soup + 1 dessert plate of lettuce, arugula and spinach salad, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 orange 1 cup whole-grain pasta with homemade tomato sauce + 4 tbsp bertalha stew with 2 eggs + salad with grated raw cabbage seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tangerine 3 col. pumpkin puree soup + 1 medium slice of meat roasted in the pan + 3 col. chickpea salad + 1 dessert dish with chard, arugula, lettuce and onion, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 slice of melon

Afternoon Snack

1 natural yogurt blended with 1 small slice of papaya, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed 1 cup of coffee + 1 slice of wholegrain bread with 1 scrambled egg + 6 grapes Vitamin made with 150 ml of oat milk and 2 prunes

This menu is just an example that varies according to current he alth status and individual preferences, and it is advisable to consult a nutritionist for a complete evaluation and preparation of a personalized menu.

In addition to laxative foods, it is essential to drink 1.5 to 2.0 liters of water a day, to hydrate the stools, loosening the intestines and preventing constipation.

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