Constipation is a common problem that usually leads to less than three stool stools per week. In fact, up to 27% of adults experience constipation along with their secondary symptoms be it swelling and gas. As long as the person is older or sedimentary, that is, they do little exercise; they will have a higher risk of experiencing constipation. Some foods can help relieve or reduce the risk of constipation, while others can make it worse. This article examines 8 foods that can cause constipation.
1. Green Bananas:
Although ripe bananas can help prevent constipation, green bananas tend to have the opposite effect. That is because green bananas contain a more resistant starch, which is a harder compound to digest in the body. During the ripening process, resistant starch becomes natural sugars, which are much easier to digest. Green bananas also contain larger amounts of tannins, a compound that can reduce the rate at which food passes through the intestine. Most people tend to eat bananas long before they are ripe. However, if you want to relieve or avoid constipation, try eating ripe bananas instead of eating them green. Ripe bananas are completely yellow and show some signs of brown spots. In addition, it is very easy to remove the shell
Summary: Green bananas contain more tannins and resistant starch compared to ripe bananas. This makes them more likely to cause constipation.
Usually alcohol has been labeled for causing constipation. This is because if you drink alcohol in large quantities, you may lose large amounts of fluids through your urine, which could cause dehydration. Dehydration caused, either because you do not drink enough water or because you lose too much through the urine, is often associated with an increased risk of constipation. Unfortunately, no studies were found on the direct link between alcohol consumption and constipation. Moreover, as otherwise, some people reported experiencing diarrhea, rather than constipation, after drinking alcohol overnight. The effects may vary from one person to another. Those who want to counteract the potentially dehydrating and alcohol-causing effects of constipation should try to compensate each serving of alcohol with a glass of water or another non-alcoholic beverage.
Summary: Alcohol, especially when consumed in large quantities, can have a dehydrating effect that can increase the risk of constipation. The effects may vary from person to person, and more studies are needed before solid conclusions can be reached.
3. Foods Containing Gluten:
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, spelled , kamut and triticale. Some people may experience constipation when they eat foods that contain gluten. In addition, many people are allergic to gluten. This is a condition known as celiac disease.
“When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, their immune system attacks their intestines, severely damaging them”.
For this reason, people with this disease should follow a gluten-free diet. In most countries, it is estimated that between 0.5% and 1% of people have celiac disease, but many of them may not be aware. Chronic constipation is one of the most common symptoms. Luckily, avoiding gluten can help relieve and heal the intestine. Sensitivity to non-celiac gluten and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two other cases in which a person’s intestine can react to gluten. People with these medical conditions are not allergic to gluten, but may be sensitive to that protein. In addition, studies show that many people without these conditions may also experience constipation after consuming gluten. If you suspect that in your case, it is gluten that is causing constipation, be sure to speak with your trusted doctor to rule out celiac disease before eliminating gluten from your diet. This is important, since you must be consuming gluten at the time of being evaluated for the celiac disease test to work properly. If celiac disease is ruled out, it is advisable to experiment with the consumption of different portions of gluten to assess its effects on your digestive process.
Summary: People with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or IBS may be more likely to experience constipation as a result of gluten consumption.
4. Processed Grains:
Processed grains and their products, such as white bread, white rice and white pasta, are less nutritious and are more likely to cause constipation than whole grains. This is because the bran and germ parts of the grain are removed during processing. In particular, the bran contains fiber, a nutrient that adds volume to the stool and helps it move. Many studies have linked a higher fiber intake with a lower risk of constipation. In fact, a recent study reported a 1.8% lower probability of constipation for each additional gram of fiber consumed per day. Therefore, people who experience constipation can benefit by gradually reducing their intake of processed grains and replacing them with whole grains. Although additional fiber is beneficial for most people, some people experience the opposite effect. For them, additional fiber can make constipation worse, rather than alleviating such a condition. If you have constipation and already consume a lot of whole grains rich in fiber, you are unlikely to add more fiber to your diet. In some cases, it can even make the problem worse. If this is your case, try gradually reducing your daily fiber intake to see if this provides any relief.
Summary: Processed grains and their products, such as white rice, white pasta and white bread, contain less fiber than whole grains, which usually causes them to cause constipation. On the other hand, for some people, consuming less fiber helps relieve constipation.
5. Milk and Dairy Products:
Dairy products can be another common cause of constipation, at least for some people. In infants and children, the risk is particularly greater, possibly due to a sensitivity to the proteins found in cow’s milk. A review of studies conducted over a period of 26 years found that some children with chronic constipation experienced improvements when they stopped consuming cow’s milk. In a recent study, children ages 1 to 12 with chronic constipation drank cow’s milk for a period of time. Cow’s milk was replaced by soy milk for a later period. Nine of the 13 children in the study experienced relief from constipation when cow’s milk was replaced by soy milk. There are many reports that present similar experiences in adults. However, little scientific support could be found, since most studies examining these effects focus on children and not on adult populations. It is worth noting that those who are lactose intolerant may experience diarrhea, rather than constipation, after consuming dairy products.
Summary: Dairy products can cause constipation in some people. This effect is more common in people who are sensitive to the proteins found in cow’s milk.
6. Red Meat:
Red meat can make constipation worse for two main reasons.
- It contains little fiber, which adds volume to stool and does not help them move forward.
- Eating red meat can indirectly reduce your total daily fiber intake, as it replaces foods with higher fiber content.
The latter is especially true if you consume large amounts of meat during a meal, thus reducing the consumption of vegetables, legumes and whole grains, all rich in fiber. This scenario would lead to a lower daily intake of fiber, which could increase the risk of constipation. In addition, unlike other types of meat, such as poultry and fish, red meat generally contains higher amounts of fat, and high-fat foods take longer for the body to digest. In some cases, this may further increase the chance of constipation. People with constipation can benefit by replacing red meat in their diet with alternatives rich in proteins and fibers such as beans, lentils and peas.
Summary: Red meat is generally high in fat and low in fiber, combining these situations may increase the risk of constipation. If you replace fiber-rich foods with red meat in your meals, you can further increase the risk of constipation.
7. Fritters or Fast Food:
Eating large or frequent portions of fried foods or fast food can also increase the risk of constipation. This is because these foods tend to be high in fat and low in fiber, a combination that can slow digestion in the same way that red meat does. Fast food snacks such as french fries, cookies, chocolate and ice cream can also decrease your consumption of fiber-rich snack options, such as fruits and vegetables. This can further increase the likelihood of constipation by reducing the total amount of fiber consumed per day. Interestingly, many people believe that chocolate is one of the main causes of their constipation. n addition, fried foods and fast food tend to contain large amounts of salt, which can decrease the water content in the stool, drying them and making it difficult for the body to pass. This happens when you eat too much salt, as your body absorbs water from your intestines to help compensate for extra salt in your bloodstream. This is one of the ways in which the body works to bring salt concentration levels to normal, but unfortunately, it can lead to constipation.
Summary: Fried foods and fast food are low in fiber and high in fat and salt. These characteristics can slow digestion and increase the likelihood of constipation.
8. Persimmon / Persimón / Sapodilla:
Persimmons are a popular fruit from East Asia that can cause constipation for some people. There are several varieties, but most can be classified as sweet or bitter. In particular, bitter persimmons contain a large amount of tannins, a compound that is known to reduce intestinal secretions and contractions, slowing bowel movements. For this reason, people experiencing constipation should avoid consuming too many persimmons, especially bitter varieties.
Summary: Persimmons contain tannins, a type of compound that can promote constipation by reducing the speed of digestion. This may be particularly true regarding the bitter varieties of the fruit.
Constipation is an unpleasant condition that is relatively common. Luckily, if you have constipation, you can achieve a milder digestion by making some simple changes to your diet. Start by avoiding or reducing the intake of foods that cause constipation, listed above. If even after reducing the intake of foods that cause constipation, you experience difficulty evacuating, you need to visit your trusted doctor to recommend additional lifestyles and dietary strategies.