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A very effective method of dealing with constipation, that does not require drugs or medical treatment, is to increase the amount of dietary fiber consumed. Fruits and vegetables are a primary source of such fiber, and the five to seven daily servings typically recommended to be included in anyone’s diet are often enough to help.

Fiber adds bulk to stool, as it is primarily plant material that the human gastrointestinal tract cannot digest. This material often binds to water in the intestines, which helps retain it in the body longer. This water will usually soften stool, which further assist in dealing with constipation.

Today, there are sources of fiber other than simply increasing how much actual fruits and vegetables are eaten. Fiber supplements are made from plant sources, and can serve to achieve all the goals of fruits and vegetables for this purpose. For slightly more natural, or at least less processed, sources of fiber, wheat and oat bran can be traded in for the fruits and vegetable servings.

The only real drawback to fiber consumption is flatulence. Gas is produced when the intestinal bacteria attempt to digest fiber as much as they are able. When they do, the byproduct is gas, and this gas will be expelled from the colon.

Key Points:

  • 1There are many different forms of fiber and fiber supplements to choose from.
  • 2Fiber causes flatulence depending on the bacteria and type of fiber so you need to experiment to find which is right for you.
  • 3Additional fiber requires additional water so water intake should be increased accordingly.


The best way of adding fiber to the diet is increasing the quantity of fruits and vegetables that are eaten.

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