Backed Up? This Is the Best Fruit To Eat To Help You Poop, According to a GI Doc

This delicious fruit will get things moving ASAP.

You’ve probably heard the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" dozens of times. And, there’s definitely some truth in it, especially if the doctor you’re talking about is a gastroenterologist and you’re struggling with digestive issues.

Fruit is high in fiber and contains water—two things that keep you from getting constipated and help you poop. So, it’s necessary for a healthy diet.

“It’s a combination of the fiber with the water that’s great for the digestive system,” says Dr. Haleh Pazwash, a gastroenterologist at Gastroenterology Associates of New Jersey. “Fruits are the best source of that.”

But, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t eat enough fruit. Only 12 percent of adults get the recommended amount of fruit each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Women should eat at least 1.5 cups of fruit per day, and men need 2 cups. What counts as fruit, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is fresh fruit, dried fruit, and 100 percent fruit juice.

If you’re struggling with constipation or staying regular, adding more fruit to your diet can help. Medical experts share some of the best fruits to try and explain why you need them.

The Best Fruit To Help You Poop

While apples are great, raspberries are one of the best fruits you can eat if you're constipated, Dr. Pazwash says. They contain 8 grams of fiber per cup, and “that’s a lot,” she adds. “So those are important in keeping a healthy gut.”

Related: Get Constipation Relief Naturally With These 31 Home Remedies That Work Quickly

Kiwis also aid in regular bowel movements, says Jennifer Navaroli Hunter, RD, a registered dietitian with Gastro Health in Acton, Massachusetts.

“They’re an excellent source of fiber, and they contain an enzyme called actinidin, which may also help with regularity, as well,” she adds. One cup of kiwi contains about 5 grams of fiber.

Research also shows that eating kiwis every day can help prevent constipation, Hunter says.

Other high-fiber fruits include pears with 5.5 grams of fiber in medium-sized pears and apples, which have 4.5 grams in medium-sized apples (including the skin).

Why Is Fruit Good for Your Gut Health?

Some fruits have more fiber than others, and eating a variety of fruits benefits your digestive system, Hunter says. Fruit is naturally rich in many different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

“Aiming to include a diverse and colorful number of fruits will help ensure a variety of different nutrients,” she explains. “The fiber from different varieties of fruit may help increase the amount of healthy bacteria in the digestive system, as well.”

Related: The One Fruit You Should Eat Every Day, According to Nutritionists

Fiber is crucial for the digestive system. It bulks up and softens your stool, making it easier to pass and lowering your risk for constipation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“You need fiber to run your digestive system smoothly,” Dr. Pazwash says. “That’s what gives you regular, healthy bowel function.”

Women need about 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, and men, 30 to 38 grams. Dr. Pazwash says taking a fiber supplement might be necessary in some cases, but it’s best to try to get as much fiber as you can from your diet.

Fruit also contains water, another thing you need for healthy digestion. Berries and melons, especially, feature a high percentage of water.

A Few Fruits Might Not Be as Good for Some People

Fruit is definitely good for you, but certain varieties should be avoided if you have gastrointestinal issues.

Related: So, How Good Are Bananas for You, Really? Registered Dietitians Explain

For instance, citrus fruits, like grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges, might be too acidic if you have indigestion and acid reflux, Dr. Pazwash says. And, bananas, which are high in starch and fiber, might be tough for some people to digest.

People with irritable bowel syndrome might find that certain fruits aggravate their symptoms, Hunter says. She recommends talking to a health provider if you find that you can’t tolerate certain fruits (or any other foods).

How To Add More Fruit to Your Diet

There are several ways to incorporate more fruit into your diet, including:

  • Adding it to cereal or salads

  • Drinking fresh-squeezed juice

  • Snacking on fruit throughout the day

  • Eating dried fruit

  • Making smoothies with different kinds of fruit

“A great way to get fiber is to be creative with it,” Dr. Pazwash says.

Next, read about the best fruits to snack on.