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Doctor Shares the Top 5 Fruits "To Get You Pooping"

These prebiotic and probiotic-loaded foods help fight constipation.

Arguably, the only thing worse than having to go to the bathroom really badly is not being able to go at all. According to the Mayo Clinic, constipation is usually the result of "a lack of dietary fiber, fluids, and exercise," but can also be due to medications or other conditions. While it's not uncommon to get backed up every once in a while, long-term bowel irregularity is a good reason to get yourself to a doctor right away. But there are also some changes you can make to your diet to get (and keep) things moving. In fact, one doctor to social media to point out the top fruits "to get you pooping" in no time. Read on to see how you could find some relief with a trip to the produce section.

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Kiwi Fruit

Bowl of fresh kiwis.
nblx / Shutterstock

A well-balanced diet can have all kinds of health benefits—including helping you go to the bathroom. In a recent video posted to TikTok, gastroenterologist Joseph Salhab, MD, points out that a few simple additions to your diet might help get you pooping. The first produce item he mentions is kiwi fruit.

"I eat about two every morning," he explains. "You can eat them with the skin on to get about 50 percent more fiber. And kiwi fruit has actually shown to be comparable to prunes in the treatment of constipation."

Recent research also supports this recommendation. In a study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology in June 2023, researchers asked over 180 adults in Japan, Italy, and New Zealand to adopt two separate four-week diet regimens. The first involved eating two whole kiwi fruits each day, while the second required taking 7.5 grams of the natural fiber supplement psyllium, Harvard Health reports. Results found that the kiwis were more effective at treating constipation than the psyllium supplement.

RELATED: 10 Healthiest Superfoods to Add to Your Diet, Nutritionists Say.

Yellow Dragon Fruit

A sliced yellow dragon fruit on a cutting board

Salhab points out that some people are allergic to kiwi. Fortunately, there's another option available if you have that limitation.

"My second favorite is yellow dragon fruit," he says. "I like the yellow dragon fruit better than the pink dragon fruit because it's just a little bit sweeter. It's a natural prebiotic, so it helps the good bacteria in your gut flourish and thrive, but it packs a big punch."

It's also an easy option for anyone who hates doing dishes. "Cut it in half, and you get a natural bowl here that's biodegradable!" he points out.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), just two pieces of yellow dragon fruit contain just shy of five grams of protein, providing nearly one-fifth of your recommended daily intake.


A close up of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries

Thanks to their different flavors, berries are a great ingredient or topping, while also being a standalone snack. And Salhab says they're also a good way to help fight constipation.

"Blueberries, blackberries, [and] strawberries are also some of my top favorites," he says. "They're filled with fiber and filled with water to help soften your stool. [And] they're packed with antioxidants for gut and liver health."

Struggling to keep them fresh long enough in the fridge? Try freezing them—or buying them frozen to begin with—and working them into your morning or post-workout smoothie instead.

RELATED: The Only Foods You Should Be Eating at Night, Doctor Says.


Close up on woman's hands holding green and red apple

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away forever, but it could help keep you regular.

"The pectin content of apples has been shown to relieve constipation by increasing the speed of the colon," Salhab explains.

And it's not just that: Apples are a good source of fiber, with one medium-sized raw gala apple with the skin on containing 2.1 grams, Healthline reports. Recent research has also shown they can increase bowel movement frequency while decreasing time spent on the toilet and the need for laxatives.


Freshly picked pears in basket

Rounding out the cornucopia of options, Salhab adds that there's one more fruit that can help you go to the bathroom more regularly.

"Pears are really underrated," he says. "They contain sorbitol, which is a natural sugar alcohol and it's a natural laxative." This is because the compound helps draw water to the colon during the digestive process, which can soften the stools and make them easier to move, Eating Well reports.

They're also a powerhouse of fiber. According to the USDA, one medium piece of the fruit contains just over 5.5 grams, covering 20 percent of your daily recommended intake.

Caring for someone else who's having trouble staying regular? The last two orchard fruits can also be helpful for young ones.

"If you have kids that struggle with constipation, you can make a juice blend with pears and apples," Salhab suggests.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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