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If you’ve experienced the discomfort of constipation, you’ll know how important it is to eat the right foods to keep things moving.

The modern diet has long been attributed to this common digestive issue. Overeating red meat, fried foods, sweets and a general lack of fibre has been the main cause of many people’s blocked system.

If you are already in the depths of constipation, here are the best meals and snacks that can help provide relief.

1. Start the day with porridge

A simple bowl of porridge with some berries gives you two hits of fibre (plus antioxidants from the berries) that are going to act like an intestinal broom to sweep things out.

2. A smoothie for breakfast or lunch

Make yourself a fruit smoothie with overripe banana, cucumber, baby spinach, and a teaspoon of flax seeds. Blend with some coconut water or almond milk until smooth.

3. Water and caffeine

Water is an essential element of the waste system in our bodies. Without enough water, it simply won’t be able to flush out the waste. Try adding sliced lemon or lime to entice the taste buds to drink more.

Caffeine from coffee or tea can help stimulate the bowel, causing a laxative effect that can provide some relief.

4. Bulk up meals with legumes

Whether you’re making soup, salad, stir fry, casserole, curry or Bolognese – add some legumes for fibre and protein. Think chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans or lentils. Enjoy hummus (chickpea dip) on your sandwiches or as a snack with carrot sticks (more fibre!).

5. Snack on apples and pears with nut butter

Instead of snacking on processed food like crackers or chips, go natural instead. Slices of fruit with 100% nut butter (think almond or peanut butter) is a sweet and satisfying snack that gives you the one-two punch of fibre and protein. Keep the skin on your apple for extra fibre benefits.

6. Make a trail mix

If you’re heading out and about, make your own tubs of trail mix to take with you. A mixture of air popped popcorn, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots and raisins is a healthy choice that is absolutely packed with fibre and protein.

How do you find relief from constipation? We would love to hear your tips in the comments.