Natural Stool Softener
What is a good natural stool softener?
I do the water, exercise, the common knowledge things but sometimes need some help.
The best natural stool softener is a well-balanced vegan diet. In fact, many people mention that one of the first things they notice on their new diet is a looser stool. Ideally, you should relieve yourself at least once a day, and often two times.
If you are basing your diet around vegetables, whole grains, beans, fruits, and nuts, you will have absolutely no problem with hard stool. Stay away from processed foods that you can find in boxes and cans at the supermarket and try to shop all around the edges of the market, or at local farmer's markets for fresh produce.
In fact, your body will start to develop a natural pattern of relieving itself throughout the day, and you will go as much as you need to go, when you need to go.
You are right that water and exercise is really important as well. When you increase the amount of fiber in your diet, if you do not increase the water intake, it can actually create the opposite effect and make you constipated. Aim for about 8 glasses of water a day.
Exercise helps to move things along in the digestive tract, so getting up and getting about 30 minutes of movement each day will help keep things on track.
If all else fails, try some dense fiber-rich fruits to help move things along. Prunes are an old staple in the stool softening world, and you can just eat them until you are relieved. I'd also try apricots, raisins, dried cherries, and any fresh fruit you have on hand. And, shockingly, beans are excellent sources of fiber and amazing ways to soften any stubborn stool that won't soften with regular fruit intake. Try a few cups each day to help.
Hope that helps!