List of laxative and astringent foods – very comprehensive!

How many times have we had gastroenteritis and gone on a “bland” diet? This diet that we call soft is nothing more than a series of astringent foods that help us stop that diarrhea. However, just as there are astringent foods there are also a number of laxative foods that help us regulate our intestinal transit. Our diet should be a balance between both foods so that our intestine works properly, although it is worth knowing what are the ingredients that can help us on some occasions or improving constipation or, on the contrary, diarrhea. If you want to know what they are, in this article we give you a list of laxative and astringent foods. Take note!
List of laxative and astringent foods - very comprehensive!

What are laxative foods for?

There is no exact number of times to evacuate, but it is true that it is normal to go once a day or every other day, so it is considered constipation if less than three stools are made a week. Then, it depends on each person, because some go even several times a day. Laxative foods can help us when we suffer from constipation, whether occasional or chronic. Many times, we go to laxative drugs, but some are very strong and should not be abused, in addition to the fact that they can have other effects. Adding certain foods to our diet can greatly improve our intestinal transit and avoid this annoying constipation that can lead to other problems, such as hemorrhoids.

If you do not go well to the bathroom or you feel bloated and you think it is due to the lack of bowel movements, pay attention because we are going to tell you the laxative foods that can help you.

List of laxative foods

Citrus, raw and forest fruits

Citrus fruits, such as orange or tangerine, have many antioxidants that rid the body of toxins and promote digestion through enzymes. In addition, vitamin C is very good for detoxifying the body, as it converts toxins into digestible material. Oranges also have a lot of fiber that is very favorable for going to the bathroom.

Raw fruits, such as apples, stimulate the intestine and also provide fiber. Of course, you have to take it raw and with skin so that it does not lose the tannins it contains. Apple cider vinegar is very good for promoting intestinal transit, so drinking a glass of apple cider vinegar mixed with water in the morning is like taking a natural laxative.

Berries such as blackberries are rich in antioxidants and therefore help eliminate toxins and are also rich in vitamin C and potassium.


Both soluble and insoluble fiber is the main food against constipation. Everyone knows its laxative power and this is because it helps to move waste through the body favoring its transit and subsequent expulsion. Foods such as oats or cereals with fiber are suitable; you can see more options in the article Foods rich in fiber.


Plums are also another of the best-known anti-constipation fruits. They are rich in vitamin A and C and antioxidants, as well as containing potassium, iron and fiber.

Raw and leafy green vegetables

Uncooked raw vegetables are great laxatives, since they are rich in fiber and favor the regulation of bowel movements. For example, the raw carrot has pectin, a substance that many fruits and vegetables have and that acts just like fiber, therefore it serves as a purifier. In addition, it favors contractions. The onion, on the other hand, has quercetin, a flavonoid with a high antioxidant activity.

Green leafy vegetables also favor transit. For example, lettuce has a lot of fiber and laxative properties. In addition, it favors the expulsion of gases. Spinach has organic material that serves for the cleansing and regeneration of the intestinal area.


Believe it or not, water is essential for good intestinal functioning in both adults and children. In fact, many pediatricians recommend that the child drink more water if he or she is constipated. Water forms 80% of our body and keeping it that way is key to its proper functioning, but also the intestines are kept humidified favoring its flow.

What are astringent foods for?

Unlike laxatives, astringent foods can help us on certain occasions when we need to stop bowel movements, for example when there is a disease that occurs with diarrhea, such as gastroenteritis.

However, it is advisable to avoid them if you suffer from constipation.

List of astringent foods


The main food we resort to in the face of diarrhea is rice. Its high starch content makes the intestine controlled and can help to constipate. If you have gastroenteritis, taking cooked rice will help.

Ripe fruits without skin or cooked

We have seen in the list of laxative foods that raw fruits favored intestinal transit. This is due to the number of tannins they have. However, as fruits ripen, if the skin is removed, they can contribute to the opposite effect. And even more so if they are cooked, for example cooked.

White fish

White fish are good astringents, unlike blue fish, which you should avoid in case of diarrhea. If you have gastroenteritis, you can boil a white fish such as hake or rooster or steam it. You can add a pinch of salt but without abuse, it is better that it is boiled and the more natural the better.

Cooked or pureed vegetables

If we saw raw vegetables when choosing a laxative diet, in this case they must be well cooked so that they lose their laxative properties. Cook the vegetables, the more the better or take them in the form of puree.

Natural yogurt

Natural yogurt acts as a probiotic especially when it has been made at home with greater fermentation. Unsweetened and unpasteurized natural yogurts decrease the duration of gastroenteritis. They are most effective when they have had a longer-lasting fermentation because they contain more live ferment and these microorganisms colonize the intestine and give it new intestinal flora, which causes it to normalize.

Red meat

High-fat foods, such as red meat, hinder digestion and can therefore make bowel movements more difficult. You can take red meat to balance the diet, but it is not convenient if you have diarrhea as it could be something strong.

Frying and processed foods

Fats hinder digestion and intestinal transit, so eating plenty of fried foods will cause your gut to not function smoothly. In addition, foods high in sugars or sweeteners such as industrial foods can cause constipation because they are rich in starches and have almost no fiber, in addition to large amounts of sugar. It is advisable to avoid these foods and take them out of our diet, but if you take them, it is better to do it from time to time as they could cause constipation.

The best boiled foods

Any food you take in this type of diet, it will be better to be boiled, for example chicken, rice, vegetables … It is better that they boil with plenty of water and very little salt so that they lose their laxative properties and help curb gastroenteritis.

Banana, astringent or laxative?

The banana is one of those foods that create contradiction of opinions and not everyone includes it within the same group. There are many beliefs that banana is an astringent food due to tannins, but there are also those who believe that banana strands contain a lot of fiber and therefore act as a laxative.

We could conclude that depending on the maturity of it, it will have one effect or another. That is, a very ripe banana with its characteristic yellow color can help with constipation and relieve it. Of course, the fiber contained in the banana can harden the feces and make it more difficult to expel them, so it is advisable to accompany it with plenty of water.

Instead, a still green banana will cause constipation. This is because the banana in its green phase contains a lot of starch, just like rice, and therefore helps to constipate by its astringent property. However, when ripe, the banana converts that starch into sugar and fiber in a way that helps the transit with the fiber.


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