Most of the foods that cause constipation aren’t that surprising. However getting enough liquids during the day can cure a lot of the constipation. Here are the foods that cause constipation and foods that can ease constipation.
- Foods containing gluten such as foods with wheat, barley, or rye in them. For example, muffins, bread, loafs, pizza, cake, cookies and pastas. These foods are binding and hold on to water. Meaning they slow things way down inside your body. If you do plan on consuming these things drink plenty of water. And try to eat extra fiber that day.
- Dairy products specifically milk and cheese. But let’s also not forget about ice cream, yogurt, and cheese sauce. Cows milk has been linked to chronic constipation in chidden. There was a study done in Iran on children the ages of 1-13. The conclusion was 80% of the children who eliminated the milk in their diet had regular bowl movements from that point forward. The protein in milk is the cause of constipation. This protein is meant to grow a baby cow to the size of an adult cow. So when humans milk is consume milk and we don’t grow to be the size of an adult cow (which is between 1000-1800 pounds) our bodies don’t know what to do with all that extra protein. This isn’t just the case in children. Adults have the same problem for the same reason. Cheese is known to bloat and constipate humans. For the same reason I stated above. We aren’t baby cows.
- Processed or highly processed grains such as white rice, white bread, and gluten free bread. These foods are highly processed and have almost no fiber in them. It’s obvious fiber is what we need to keep things moving along. If you have constipation eliminate processed foods and drink plenty of water.
- Fast food & Fried food (highly processed) and nothing good for you in these types of foods. These foods are high in fat and slow digestion way down. They have little to no fiber let alone any other healthy nutrient in them. The main reason these foods can constipate you is the lack of fiber and the plentiful amount of unhealthy saturated fat. These foods should not consumed if you have a problem with constipation.
- Alcohol is often mentioned because it can cause dehydration. This isn’t a food however it is a factor in dehydration and that can lead to constipation. When you drink alcohol try to always have a glass of water after every drink and be sure to only drink a couple times a week at most.
Top foods that help fight or relieve constipation:
- Prunes: Prunes have been a staple in trying to fight constipation for years. This is because per 1 ounce of prunes there’s 2 grams of fiber. In my opinion that’s not that amazing. You can get way more fiber in some other foods like oatmeal, or some fresh fruits. But regardless it does help and if you can’t get fresh fruit this is a great option. I don’t really recommend prune juice as there is no fiber in the juice and the juice is just hydrating you with tons of sugar. You can get better hydration from a glass of water instead of a glass of sugar filled prune juice.
- Greens:A lot of people focus on fruits when they’re constipated. But focusing most of your lunch and dinner plates on vegetables specifically greens can make a huge difference in the way you absorb fiber and water. Vegetables are great at providing both hydration and fiber with a lot of healthy vitamins and minerals as well. 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 4.3 grams of fiber. I recommend eating vegetables at least twice a day. You can add a vegetable to other foods like oatmeal, or flax meal cakes for breakfast and a spinach salad for lunch and some brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes for dinner you would be doing fantastic! Just 5-6 brussel sprouts contains around 10% of your daily fiber needs. So think about shredding 20 or 30 brussel sprouts and sautéing that up. They will shrink down and you’ll have 30%-40% of your daily fiber..
- Jerusalem artichokes: these can be difficult to but when you do they’re amazing in flavor and full of fiber. And the kind of fiber is considered a prebiotic. Meaning your gut bacteria love to feast on this type of fiber. This in turn will help with constipation because when your gut bugs are happy and healthy you are happy and healthy meaning you will not be constipated if you’re gut is right. The fiber is a soluble fiber called inulin. There was some research done on linulin and it was found that linulin does increase bowl frequency and bowl movements were much easier. If you can get your hands on these little delicious treats get a lot of them.
- Sweet potato: A fantastic substitute for potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. Sweet potatoes can become sweet potato noodles, or rice or just a nice roasted side dish. One medium size sweet potatoes contain about 15% of your daily intake of fiber. So if you have sweet potato baked fries with lunch or mashed sweet potatoes with dinner you be doing great! Sweet potatoes are mostly insoluble fiber which helps with moving things along by adding bulk to bowl movements. This will also help with the ease of your bowl movement. Meaning it’ll be much easier.
- Beans & lentils: Now we’re getting to the super high fiber options. BEANS! Just to put things into context for you. A 1/2 cup of lentils (which is really easy to get) has sound 31% of your fiber needs fro the day. Let’s talk about how easy that is to do in 1 day. Have some fresh steamed lentils on hand in your fridge and add a half a cup to your lunch salad and maybe do some lentil soup or a side of lentils with your main dish. If you did this most days of the week you would surpass your fiber needs. And constipation will be a distant memory.
- Chia seeds: these little power houses are filled with fiber. And there is a great trend going around called chia seed pudding. Chia seeds is made up of 85% insoluble fiber and 15% soluble fiber. 1 ounce of chia seeds contains 42% of your fiber needs for the day. That’s HUGE!!!! Chias seed pudding is simple to make and only uses a few ingredients. But you can also just add a few tbs to oatmeal, smoothies, granola topper, or on yogurt bowls, smoothie bowls etc. etc. Run don’t walk to the store and get some.
- Flaxseed powder: again another fiber power house that is so simple to add in to your everyday life. Not only is this powder filled with fiber it’s also filled with omega 3’s. Just 1tbs contains 11% of your daily needs. Adding flax to smoothies or GF muffins is a great way of adding extra fiber.