Constipation is a common problem that refers to having less than three bowel movements in a week. About 27% of adults experience constipation accompanied by symptoms such as gas and bloating. Constipation is more common in older and physically inactive individuals.
While some foods can help, others only worsen the case. Here we look at 9 foods that can cause constipation and worsen it.
Foods that Cause Constipation
Alcohol is among drinks that are likely to cause constipation. This is because when you consume alcohol in large quantities, it might increase your frequency of visiting the bathroom, hence losing lots of fluid in the form of urine. The process of losing a large amount of body fluid leads to dehydration.
Poor hydration as a result of less intake of water or losing too much fluid through urine is mainly linked to constipation. To lower your chances of developing constipation due to excessive alcohol intake, it’s advisable to take some water when drinking to keep you hydrated.
Bananas are notorious when it comes to constipation. However, it depends on the type of bananas you’re consuming. Unripe bananas may lead to constipation, while ripe bananas help relieve it. This is because unripe bananas are rich in starch, which may be hard for your body to digest.
Fried Or Fast Foods
If you like indulging in large quantities of fried or fast foods, you will likely develop constipation. The chances are even high if you are a frequent eater of these foods.
Fast or fried foods are high and low in fiber. This combination slows digestion, just like red meat.
Additionally, fast foods such as cookies, chocolate, chips, and ice cream can replace healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables in one’s diet. This can only mean less fiber intake per day, increasing your chances of developing constipation.
Also, fast and fried foods contain large amounts of salt, which may lower your water content of stool, causing it to dry and become hard to come out of the body.
Consuming high in salt foods causes your body to suck up water from the intestines to help dilute excess salt in your bloodstream. Though this process helps normalize the salt concentration in your body, it might also cause constipation.
While red meat isn’t the cause of constipation, it replaces foods rich in fiber in your plate. For instance, most people are likely to indulge in meat, forsaking other options on their plates. It’s advisable to consume red meat in moderation and large amounts of vegetables whenever you eat red meat so that your body can get enough fiber to help indigestion.
In some people, dairy products can cause constipation. Toddlers and small children are at high risk of developing it after taking dairy products due to sensitivity to the protein found in these foods.
According to a study, children with chronic constipation improved after they stopped consuming cow’s milk. However, these cases have also been reported by adults.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that most people who are allergic to lactose experience diarrhea than constipation. Fortunately, if you experience constipation from using dairy products, you don’t have to give up since you can still consume yogurt. Yogurts contain live bacteria, good for your digestive system, and might help with this issue.
Eggs can also cause constipation in some people. However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to back these claims. However, since eggs are low in fiber, consuming them in large amounts can cause constipation. Additionally, egg allergies are common among most individuals, explaining why digesting them could be problematic.
Products from processed grains such as white rice, white bread, and white pasta are low in fiber compared to whole grains and their products. This is because germ parts and bran are extracted during processing. Mainly, bran is rich in fiber, which is responsible for adding bulkiness to stool, helping it move quickly.
Most studies have linked a high fiber intake to lower risks of developing constipation and vice versa. Therefore, individuals experiencing it are advised to increase their fiber intake by reducing the processed grains by consuming whole grains and their products.
However, while some people experience constipation due to low fiber intake, others experience opposite reactions. If you’re already consuming a lot of fiber and still constipated, adding more fiber to your diet is unlikely to help. In some cases, this might only worsen the issue. In such an event, try reducing your fiber intake to see if it can relieve the problem.
While frozen foods might sometimes be convenient, they can’t be compared to the foods you prepare yourself in terms of nutritional benefits. As a result, frozen foods can cause constipation due to their low fiber levels. Additionally, frozen foods are high in sodium, which is known for tying water to dilute the salt, interfering with waste movement. It’s advisable to control the intake of these foods to prevent it.
Avoid foods with refined sugars such as cupcakes if you’re struggling with constipation. Such foods are low in fiber and fluids and high in calories and fat. To satisfy your cravings for sweet foods, try strawberries or yogurts. To avoid constipation, consume sweet desserts occasionally and not regularly.
Your body is like a machine, but it’s bound to be sensitive to stressors, just like other machines. For instance, your body works differently under different conditions. If you consume foods low in fiber, you’re more likely to develop constipation and vice versa.
Additionally, stress and anxiety can add to your levels of constipation. Therefore, you should try to avoid being stressed out. However, if your constipation persists or occasionally occurs, ensure to talk to your doctor. They might suggest some solutions to help solve your problem.