Meal Plan for Constipation

Constipation is where bowel movements are infrequent and difficult to pass, and it is a symptom which can arise from a number of diseases (e.g. diverticular disease), poor diet, lack of fluid or obstruction. It can also occur as a result of psychological problems where the individual is afraid to open their bowels due to discomfort and this causes the faecal matter to collect compounding the problem. Constipation is usually associated with bloating and abdominal pain.

For most cases treatment is simply changing your diet involving a good intake of dietary fibre and fluid. Fibre is like a sponge and needs water to be able to move easily through the digestive system, so it is therefore vital, when increasing your fibre intake, to also increase your fluid intake. Aim for 10-12 cups of fluid per day minimum. With water, fibre helps to produce soft, bulky stools which will pass more easily through the intestine. In some cases constipation has to be treated with laxatives which can be natural or drugs.

The following meal plan is an example plan of a healthy diet which is designed to help people who suffer with regular constipation. Use the plan as a guide and vary your food choices drinking plenty of fluid throughout the day.

High fibre cereal (porridge, Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, etc) + skimmed milk
and 1-2 slices granary bread with natural peanut butter
200ml fruit juice (with bits)
Mug tea/coffee
Oatcakes or rye crispbread
Item fruit
Granary bread or rye crispbread with cheese or slice deli chicken/ham or tuna in low fat natural yoghurt or smoked salmon
Large mixed salad
Low fat / low sugar fruit yoghurt
Drink water
2-3 digestive biscuits
Sticks celery / raw carrot / cucumber
Mug tea/coffee
Evening Meal
Chicken breast or white fish or lean meat and brown Basmati rice or quinoa or couscous or wholewheat pasta or jacket potato* or sweet potato*
and loads of veg or large salad
Granary bread or 2-3 oatcakes
Drink water

* it's important to eat the skin on potatoes as this is where most of the fibre is

This plan is merely a guide and you are encouraged to eat a variety of different meats / fish / alternatives, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water – at least 10 cups per day. Adapt the plan to suit your own needs and daily routine and vary portions and food choices from day to day.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.