According to Gerard Isenberg, MD, associate chief of gastroenterology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and associate professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the key similarity between these foods is their lack of fiber. .
15 Foods That Cause Constipation (Caffeine, Red Meat, Alcohol)
Unripe or under-ripe green bananas cause constipation because they still have a lot of starch, which can be hard for the body to digest.Bananas also contain dietary fiber (pectin), which draws water from the intestines toward the stool. .
Feeling constipated? Try these 5 foods that can help you poop
Although there are many over-the-counter remedies for curing constipation like laxatives and stool softeners—it’s best to start with fibre-rich foods that keep your bowel movements in tip-top shape.According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, apples are a great source of fibre with each apple providing up to four grams of fibre.While the lack of smooth colon transit might make you feel like a potato, sweet potato can actually help you poop.Research studying the dietary fibre found in sweet potatoes claims that one medium sweet potato has healthy fibres such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin.While pears might not seem like a poop-friendly food, they actually are.Other than its high-fibre content, pears have many qualities that can help you poop.According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, chia seeds are one of the most fibre dense foods, since 40% of its weight is just fibre.The juicy kiwi fruit is extremely high in fibre and can help stimulate movement in the digestive tract, helping to induce a bowel movement, according to an American National Institute of Health study. .
List of foods that can cause constipation and how to prevent it
However, people with digestive or other health conditions may find that eating certain foods can trigger or worsen constipation .Many factors — including diet, lifestyle, stress, and underlying health conditions — can contribute to it.In most healthy people, a single serving of a specific food is unlikely to cause constipation.Occasional constipation is common, and most people will experience it at some point in life.In most healthy people, a single, specific food will not directly cause constipation.People with chronic constipation may also find that specific foods impact their symptoms.It is worth noting that some people with digestive conditions or IBD find that eating high fiber foods can make their symptoms worse.People with IBS and some other digestive conditions may find that foods high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) worsen their symptoms.This group of carbohydrates can ferment in the digestive system, causing symptoms such as gas, constipation, or diarrhea.People whose bodies have difficulty digesting these foods may feel better by eating a low FODMAP diet, which involves avoiding high FODMAP foods for a set period of time. .
The 17 Best Foods to Relieve Constipation
Fortunately, certain foods can help relieve constipation by adding bulk, softening stool, decreasing gut transit time, and increasing stool frequency.They contain high amounts of fiber, with nearly 3 grams of fiber per 1/4-cup (40-gram) serving.The insoluble fiber in prunes, known as cellulose, increases the amount of water in the stool, which can add bulk.One older study in 40 people with chronic constipation found that eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of prunes per day significantly improved stool frequency and consistency compared with treatment with psyllium, a type of dietary fiber ( 6 ).Although most of that fiber is insoluble, apples also contain soluble fiber, which is mostly in the form of a dietary fiber called pectin ( 8 ).In the gut, pectin is rapidly fermented by bacteria to form short-chain fatty acids, which can pull water into the colon, softening the stool and decreasing gut transit time ( 9 , 10 ).One study in 80 people with constipation found that pectin accelerated stool movement through the intestines, improved symptoms of constipation, and increased the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut ( 11 ).Summary Apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can soften the stool and promote its movement through the digestive tract.Pears Share on Pinterest Ann_Zhuravleva/Getty Images Pears are another fruit rich in fiber, with about 5.5 grams of fiber in a medium-sized fruit (about 178 grams).Fructose is a type of sugar that some people absorb poorly.Kiwi Share on Pinterest Mizina/Getty Images One kiwi (about 75 grams) contains about 2.3 grams of fiber, which is 9% of the RDI ( 17 ).Another study found that eating two kiwis daily for 2 weeks was associated with more bowel movements and looser stools in 11 healthy adults ( 19 ).They make a great addition to fruit salads and can be added to smoothies for a fiber boost.Summary Kiwis are a good source of fiber and contain actinidin, an enzyme that may improve gut motility and reduce constipation.One medium raw fig (about 50 grams) contains 1.5 grams of fiber.Moreover, just half a cup (80 grams) of dried figs contains 7.9 grams of fiber, which is almost 32% of the RDI ( 24 , 25 ).It found that fig paste increased stool weight and reduced intestinal transit time ( 26 ).One cup (180 grams) of cooked spinach contains 4.7 grams of fiber, or 19% of the RDI ( 33 ).A review of research on inulin and constipation found that inulin increases stool frequency, improves consistency, and decreases gut transit time.A recent study in 44 healthy adults with constipation found that taking 0.4 ounces (12 grams) of inulin from chicory per day increased stool frequency and softness ( 39 ).Additionally, prebiotics have been found to increase stool frequency and improve stool consistency in people with constipation ( 42 ).Summary Artichokes are packed with prebiotics like inulin, which can increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut to increase stool frequency and consistency.Furthermore, 1 cup (122 grams) of rhubarb contains 2.2 grams of dietary fiber, which provides 9% of the RDI for fiber ( 46 ).Summary Rhubarb is high in fiber and contains sennoside A, a compound that helps soften stools and promote bowel movements.Sweet potato Share on Pinterest victoriaashman/Getty Images Sweet potatoes contain a good amount of fiber to help alleviate constipation.One medium sweet potato (about 150 grams) contains 3.6 grams of fiber, which is 14% of the RDI ( 47 ).Insoluble fiber can aid bowel movements by adding bulk and weight to stools ( 49 ).Summary Sweet potatoes are a great source of insoluble fiber, which can add bulk to stools to prevent constipation.Chia seeds Share on Pinterest IvanSpasic/Getty Images Chia seeds are one of the most fiber-dense foods available.Just 1 ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contains 9.8 grams of fiber, meeting 39% of your daily needs ( 54 ).Flaxseeds Share on Pinterest Miriam Perner/Getty Images Flaxseeds have been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for constipation, thanks to their natural laxative effects ( 58 ).Summary Flaxseeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber and can increase the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.Two slices (about 64 grams) of whole grain rye bread contain 3.7 grams of dietary fiber, meeting 15% of the RDI ( 62 ).Research has found rye bread to be more effective at relieving constipation than regular wheat bread or laxatives ( 63 ).One 2010 study in 51 adults with constipation investigated the effects of eating 8.5 ounces (240 grams) of rye bread per day ( 63 ).Summary Whole grain rye bread is a good source of fiber and has been shown to increase the frequency of bowel movements while also decreasing intestinal transit time.One-third cup (31 grams) of oat bran contains 4.8 grams of fiber, compared with 2.7 grams in quick oats ( 64 , 65 ).Although more research is needed, two older studies have shown the positive effects of oat bran on bowel function.It can also be mixed in with cereals and topped with fruits, flaxseeds, chia seeds, or oat bran to add some fiber. .
Starting Baby on Solid Food
You should generally start solid foods between 4-6 months of age.What foods to introduce.For the whole first year, breast milk or formula should be your baby’s primary beverage.We do NOT recommend giving juice to your baby in the first year.If your child has other food allergies or severe eczema, (or if your family history causes you to be concerned), please discuss blood testing for peanut allergy before you introduce peanuts.Other infants should begin eating peanut products at 4-6 months.You can mix a small amount of smooth peanut butter into your infant’s baby cereal or pureed food.Give a small amount the first few times, and if it is tolerated without hives continue to feed peanut containing products 3 times a week. .
9 Foods That Can Make Constipation Worse
Ziegelbaum recommends choosing whole grains instead of refined and buying whole grain bread that has at least three grams of fiber per serving.Still, Ziegelbaum recommends reaching for the raspberries instead of the cookies when you’re craving something sweet. .
7 Foods That Can Cause Constipation
Some foods can help relieve or reduce the risk of constipation, while others can make it worse.SUMMARY Alcohol, especially when consumed in large amounts, can have a dehydrating effect that may increase the risk of constipation.Some people may experience constipation when they eat foods that contain gluten ( 7 ).Also, some people are intolerant to gluten.SUMMARY Individuals with celiac disease, NCGS, or IBS may be more likely to experience constipation as a result of consuming gluten or wheat.In fact, a recent study reported a 1.8% lower likelihood of constipation for every additional gram of fiber consumed per day ( 12 , 13 ).Therefore, people experiencing constipation may benefit from gradually reducing their intake of processed grains and replacing them with whole grains.Although extra fiber is beneficial for most people, some people experience the opposite effect.On the other hand, some people find that consuming less fiber helps relieve constipation.This effect is most common in those who are sensitive to the proteins found in cow’s milk.Second, red meat may also indirectly reduce a person’s total daily fiber intake by taking the place of higher-fiber options in the diet.SUMMARY Red meat is generally high in fat and low in fiber, a nutrient combination that may increase the risk of constipation.If you let red meat replace fiber-rich foods in your diet, it can increase the risk even further.This can further increase the likelihood of constipation by reducing the total amount of fiber consumed per day ( 13 ).Furthermore, fried and fast foods tend to contain large amounts of salt, which can lower the water content of stool, drying it up and making it harder to push through the body (21).In particular, astringent persimmons contain a large amount of tannins, a compound thought to reduce gut secretions and contractions, slowing down bowel movements ( 12 ).For this reason, people experiencing constipation should avoid consuming too many persimmons, especially astringent varieties. .