Tips to help prevent constipation
Tip 1 – Fibre
Fibre and resistant starch are forms of carbohydrate that are unable to be digested. They are excreted from the body by adding bulk to stools, making them easier to pass. Adults need around 30g of fibre a day, and as a rule of thumb children need roughly 10g plus their age (e.g. a 12-year-old needs 22g of fibre).
Wholegrain breads and cereals, legumes, seeds and fruits, vegetables and nuts (especially with their skins on) are excellent sources of fibre.1
Tip 2 – Fluids
Eating a high fibre diet without adequate fluids can still lead to constipation, as fibre bulks up stools by absorbing fluid. Older adults can dehydrate easily or choose to avoid drinking because of incontinence and/or fluid restrictions.
Fluids can be increased by consuming foods such as jelly, yoghurt and soups so encourage and monitor fluid intake where needed.