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iVillage.com: What to Eat When: Food Fixes for Everyday Aches and Pains

You're Constipated: Eat Rye Bread

At least 15 percent of Americans -- and twice as many women as men -- struggle with constipation. The good news: Munching whole-grain rye bread relieves constipation more effectively than laxatives -- and it prevents future flare-ups, too, according to studies at Finland’s University of Helsinki. The credit goes to rye’s arabinoxylan -- a polysaccharide that improves your belly’s ability to keep food moving at a reasonable clip. The study subjects enjoyed seven slices daily, but just trading your usual dose of bread for whole-grain rye will often do the trick. “If your grocery store doesn’t carry this healthy option, stock up at the nearest bakery, instead,” suggests Joanne Slavin, Ph.D., a professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

(CREDIT: G. Scarlini/Stockfood Creative/Getty Images)
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