Constipation is quite a pervasive issue in which bowel movements become difficult. Medically speaking, not more than three bowel movements in a week is constipation. And, severe constipation is a situation where bowel movement is only once a week. Along with constipation, people might also notice gas, bloating, or pain during bowel movements.
Foods That Can Cause Constipation
On the one hand, you have a variety of foods that can help you prevent constipation. But, on the flip side, we also have some items which make way for constipation. Here is a list of some of the foods which can make constipation worse.
Bananas are no less than a problem when we talk about foods that you must avoid. It is all about timing: while unripened bananas cause constipation, ripen ones relieve constipation. Green bananas have a lot of starch in them, which the body finds hard to digest. Therefore, they cause constipation. Bananas contain a dietary fiber known as pectin, which draws water towards the stool from your intestine. Constipation can get worse if the person is dehydrated. Small babies also suffer constipation if they eat a lot of bananas. The key is that you should give your child a mix of fruits and veggies.
It is only a myth that a swallowed gum will digest after seven years. But at the same, if you eat too many of them, then it might blick your digestive tract, leading to constipation. Chewing gum is not good at all for kids under five years of age. Also, adults should not take more than two pieces a day. Throw it away after you finish chewing.
Caffeine as well as both a cause as well as a cure for constipation. It works as a stimulant, making anyone have increased bowel stools but, if in excess, diarrhea. If the person’s body is dehydrated, the caffeine present in coffee, colas, black tea, and chocolate will cause constipation.
Gluten is a type of protein in rye, wheat, and barley. Not everyone can get constipated by the intake of gluten. But people who are allergic to gluten can face this issue. Also, those who have celiac disease (autoimmune disorder) can get constipation if they consume gluten. You can replace pasta and bread with many delicious gluten-free items that are available in the market.
White rice will lead to constipation. This is because the husk, germ, and bran are not present, containing nutrients and fibers. Brown rice tends to relieve constipation as the husk, germ, and bran are still present.
Persimmon fruit is trendy in Asia, but not that much in the U.S.A. Sweet ones are okay, but those that are astringent contain tannins, which slow down the food movement along the intestines and cause constipation. If you like to eat persimmons, always go for the sweet ones.
You should try to avoid red meat as much as you can for a variety of reasons. Red meat is a significant cause of constipation. Your digestive tract takes a bit longer for processing red meat as it has large amounts of fat and tough protein fibers. Also, iron present in it aggravates constipation.
White bread causes constipation, while whole-grain variety helps in relieving it. The same goes for crackers, bagels, and pretzels. White flour lacks fibers and has a lot of starch. Therefore, you should always prefer whole grains.
Alcohol is quite dehydrating and slows down the process of digestion. It also irritates the bowel, which leads to worsening constipation. You should intake alcohol only in a limited quantity. You can also alternate alcoholic drinks with water, Gatorade or Powerade.
People suffering from IBS, i.e., irritable bowel syndrome, should strictly say NO to chocolates. The digestion process slows a bit due to the fats present in chocolates. Going into its depth, what exactly happens is that peristalsis, i.e., muscle contraction, slows down, resulting in a lower pace with which food moves down the bowel.
If consumed in large quantities, animal-based products like yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and milk can become a cause for constipation. Dairy products are rich in lactose and are the prime reason for bloating and increasing gas, which further adds to the suffering as things are not moving down properly. If you eliminate all such things as milk products and cow’s milk from your diet, you ensure a regular bowel movement.
Burgers and fried foods are very low in fiber and contain a lot of fat, contributing to constipation. What you can do is try making burgers and fries at home using ground turkey. You can also give a shot at putting a veg patty over a bun made of whole grain. Also, instead of french fries, go for baked fries made with sweet potato as they can relieve constipation due to the presence of nutrients and fibers.
You can easily prevent and cure constipation by making some changes in your diet and exercising for 150 minutes per week. These are probably the fastest ways. Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated and reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Add in your diet fruits, veggies, whole grains, bran cereal, prunes, and beans. Try to avoid meat, milk, cheese, and other processed food items. The last important thing is that you should not delay whenever you urge a bowel movement. The more you wait, the stool becomes harder and harder.