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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Fibre & fluid for healthy bowels

Fibre helps to prevent constipation and keeps your bowels regular and healthy. Fibre comes from plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, breads, cereals, nuts and seeds.

Tips to prevent and help with constipation

Start a bowel routine

Eat regular meals and snacks

Be physically active

Aim to be physically active most days for at least 30 minutes. Choose activities that you enjoy, like walking, dancing, swimming, golf, tennis and tai chi. Gardening and active work around the house also count as physical activity if they get you out of breath or sweaty.

Every day have at least six servings of grain foods

Choose mostly wholegrain and those naturally high in fibre, such as brown rice, wholegrain bread and porridge made with whole or rolled oats.

A serving is about the size of your closed fist.

Every day have at least five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit

A serving is about a handful.

Drink at least eight cups of fluid daily

Tips to get more fibre

You may need more fibre to help your bowels move. To avoid getting stomach pains or bloating, it’s best to increase your fibre intake gradually and make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Choose one or two tips at a time from the following list.

If you need more fibre to help your bowels move, ask your GP or practice nurse for advice on a fibre supplement.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2021.


Page reference: 33668

Review key: HICSA-13804