The Best Foods to Get Your GI Tract Moving

by Erica Sanderson Editor


An apple a day can not only keep the doctor away, but it can also keep constipation at bay. Apples contain a good amount of fiber that helps keep the digestive tract moving. Keep the skin on! It’s one of the healthiest parts. It contains high amounts of pectin, a type of fiber that promotes healthy bacteria, and plant nutrients called polyphenols that support the mucosal lining of the stomach.


The seeds and skin contain important insoluble fiber to get your system going. They also contain potassium. The real kicker: cucumbers are mostly water. This is crucial for hydrating your body and bowels.


One of the more well-known foods to kick start the intestines, prunes are high in fiber. Eat about a handful of prunes a day. Avoid eating too many, though, due to gas and bloating.


Lentils are a good source of prebiotics. You may not be as familiar with prebiotics, but they play an important role in gut health. Essentially, prebiotics help probiotics grow and flourish to keep gut bacteria healthy and balanced. Lentils also have fiber.

Fermented foods

Fermentable substrates are great for promoting healthy gut flora growth, particularly in the colon. Foods like these that are high in probiotics will keep your system happy, healthy and in check. Try regularly incorporating fermented foods into your diet.


Packed with fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds are an excellent dietary staple. Some studies have shown that consuming flaxseeds can increase the number of bowel movements.

Erica Sanderson
Meet Our Writer
Erica Sanderson

Erica Sanderson is a former content producer and editor for HealthCentral. Living with a chronic disorder that affects the lungs and instestine, Erica focused on covering digestive health and respiratory health. Topics included COPD, asthma, acid reflux, managing symptoms and medication.