Constipation is an annoying yet common problem among people of all ages, irrespective of gender. Some of the symptoms you face during constipation include irregular bowel movement, bloating, gas and cramps. This article discusses what foods can cause constipation. All you have to do is avoid them instead of sitting in the bathroom for hours.
Tweaking your lifestyle and the food you eat makes a tremendous difference in dealing with constipation unless you want to consume laxatives long-term. So let us go through this article to know the list of foods that cause constipation you must avoid. Read on!
What Foods Make You Constipated?:
Here is a list of foods that can cause constipation in adults and make sure you avoid these foods to tackle the problem from the roots.
1. Alcohol Cause Constipation:
Drinking a glass of alcohol during special occasions can be enjoyable. Still, alcohol is a beverage that makes you constipated by causing dehydration by increasing the number of fluids lost through urine if taken frequently and in large amounts.
Though the effects of alcohol consumption vary from person to person, no direct studies prove the effect of alcohol on constipation.
2. Unripe Bananas (Green Banana) May Cause Constipation:
Bananas are a fruit that works as a laxative for babies and many elders. But did you know unripe green bananas might cause constipation? Yes! Green banana’s 70 to 80% net weight is resistant starch, a complex carbohydrate with properties similar to dietary fiber. However, though fiber relieves constipation, our body finds it difficult to digest this particular type of dietary fiber. So, if you are constipated, avoid consuming green bananas, though fully ripened bananas for constipation in babies can be an excellent solution.
3. Avoid Persimmon When Constipated:
Persimmon is a tomato-like orange fruit with nutrients in abundance, and it comes in sweet and astringent varieties. Sweet Persimmon can be very beneficial, but the astringent Persimmon reduces gut secretions and slows down food movement through the digestive tract because it contains a lot of tannins (3). This is why avoid consuming too many astringent Persimmons if you are experiencing constipation.
Many of us binge eat chocolate, sometimes more without taking notice. But did you know chocolate can cause constipation? Yes! The high amount of fat in white chocolate might cause constipation by slowing down digestion and the movement of food through the digestive tract. In addition, cocoa beans with husks are said to relieve constipation (4). In contrast, milk chocolate is entirely devoid of it, making them a cause for constipation. So, eat chocolates in moderate amounts if you want to maintain your gut health.
5. Black Tea:
Many of us start the day with a hot cup of black tea or coffee, but not many of us know that Black tea is one of the foods that cause constipation in some people. In addition, caffeine in black tea can worsen constipation in people who are already dehydrated (5).
The diuretic nature of caffeine makes your body lose excess water through urination, leading to drier stools that are difficult to pass.
6. Dairy Products (Cheese, Milk, Yogurt, Ice Cream):
Can dairy cause constipation? It might come as a surprise that dairy products can cause constipation in some people when taken in excess. Gas and bloating can also be side effects caused by the lactose present in the dairy products. But it doesn’t mean dairy products are not suitable for you. They have vitamins and minerals that can be helpful for your health. But make sure to consume them in moderation.
Cow’s milk is one of the foods that cause constipation in babies, especially if they are sensitive to the protein present (6). Most people with lactose intolerance experience diarrhea rather than constipation, but the effects vary from person to person.
Eggs are high in protein content and are foods people consume regularly. But eggs have less than 0.75% fiber content, resulting in constipation, especially if you are on a diet that involves eggs exclusively (7). For a healthy movement, a minimum of 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men is necessary. So instead of only eating eggs, you can also add foods rich in fiber to avoid constipation.
8. Processed Grains (White Rice, White Pasta, White Bread):
White bread, white rice, and white pasta are processed grains that are low in fiber are foods that make you constipated compared to whole grains. During processing, the bran and the germ parts of the grain are removed (8). Therefore, you can benefit from gradually reducing the intake of processed grains and replacing them with whole grains, especially if you are experiencing constipation.
9. Sugary Sweets:
If you have a sweet tooth and cannot stop yourself from munching into desserts a little too much, it will result in constipation. This is because the refined sugar in many desserts is high in fat and low in fiber and fluids making it challenging to keep things moving in the digestive system. So, even if you want to eat something sweet, eat them in moderation or consume yogurt and strawberries instead.
10. Red Meat:
Red meat has high amounts of iron and protein fiber that are tough to digest, and consuming it can result in constipation. Ground beef, pork, venison, veal, goat, lamb, beef are some red meat you should avoid.
Red meat has little fiber, and if you fill up with meat during the meal, it leaves little place for fiber, making you feel constipated (9). In addition, red meat takes longer to digest because it contains higher amounts of fat (10).
Barley, wheat, semolina, and rye have a binding protein called Gluten, which is why these grains hold their shape together. But you might have constipation, especially if you are sensitive to Gluten. This holds for people who have celiac disease because Gluten will cause constipation in them (11).
It is advised to follow a gluten-free diet if you have celiac disease because it might cause harm to your gut resulting in constipation (12). It is imperative to speak to your health care professional to rule out celiac disease if you suspect Gluten is causing your constipation.
12. Fried Foods:
The risk of people getting Constipation increases if you consume fried regularly. They can slow down the digestive process similar to red meat because they tend to be high in fat and low in fiber (13). In addition, fried foods make it harder for the stool to push through the body because the large amounts of salt lower the stool’s water content, drying it up (14).
13. Fast or Prepared Foods:
Obesity and heart diseases are the significant issues that are the result of consuming too many fast foods. These trends need to go away because they are very harmful to your overall health. Fast foods or prepared foods tend to slow down the passing of the food through the colon because they contain artificial food additives and sodium. If you have constipation regularly, it is better to avoid consuming fast food regularly.
14. Chewing Gum:
We all have childhood memories of chewing gum by mistake and getting scared that it will stick to your stomach. Though it might not be entirely accurate for one chewing gum, it holds if you swallow several pieces of gum in a short time. Although rare, chewing gum, when combined with undigestible foods, can have your digestive tract blocked, resulting in constipation.
Constipation might be an embarrassing topic to discuss, but it might lead to severe issues if not treated on time. This article will help you understand what foods cause constipation and how to deal with the problem from the roots. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information we have provided in this article is based on research and not a replacement for professional advice. It is always better to consult a professional before trying anything new. The website is not responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of the information.
1. Are there any exercises you can perform to Relieve constipation?
Ans: Along with lifestyle changes and proper food, some exercises can help deal with constipation. They are:
- Pelvic floor exercises.
- Walking and running.
- Cat and cow pose.
- Breathing exercises.
2. What are the foods you must consume to avoid constipation?
Ans: You can maintain healthy gut health by including the following foods:
- Fiber-rich foods such as figs, Spinach, prunes, apples, beans, oranges.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Include water-rich foods such as cucumber, Zucchini, etc.
3. When should we consult a doctor for constipation?
Ans: You can relieve constipation gradually if you add a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. But if the condition persists for more than three weeks, consult a doctor immediately to rule out the health issue.