Friday, September 18News That Matters


Foods That Cause Constipation

Constipation isn’t any fun. Our bowel movements are supposed to be easy, regular, and without much effort on our parts. In fact, when you’re eating right, it shouldn’t be a problem having regular bowel movements that pass effortlessly. You should be enjoying the time we get alone on the toilet, maybe reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle. You shouldn’t be straining and striving to get out a few little pieces. Your stool should be healthy-looking, come out quickly, and not cause any pain or harm when it’s exciting.

So, how do you achieve this? You simply change your diet. You get out all the bad stuff that is making it hard to poop, and you replace those foods with real foods that make pooping regular, easy, and effortless. We’re supposed to be eating plenty of fiber, drinking water, and exercising regularly. All these things help with bowel movements. But, if you’re eating the wrong foods, you still might have trouble. We’re going to take a look at the to 21 foods that cause constipation. You should remove these from your diet as soon as you can so you can get back to enjoying your daily bathroom routine.

1. Bananas

Bananas are a food that many people know can cause bowel irregularities. You may be alright if you eat one banana, but for banana fanatics, it may be best to curb the habit. Many new mothers make the mistake of giving their babies bananas as a first food, but this may not be a good idea if the infant does not have diarrhea. Try mashed carrots instead of an avocado. Bananas may cause constipation when they are unripe, but when they are ripe, they can actually help get things moving.


2. White Rice

If you eat sushi because it is healthy, you may be getting plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals from the fish, vegetables, and seaweed, but the white rice may be causing a problem for your bowels. However, not all rice causes constipation, but only white rice.

This means that if you eat whole grain brown rice, you may not be causing irregularities, but can be encouraging healthy elimination. The husks of the rice are where many of the nutrients are, so eat rice in its natural form.

There are many varieties of whole grain rice, and you can even use it to make sushi.


3. Gluten

Gluten isn’t bad for everyone. However, for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the substance that exists in many grains can keep the bowels from moving properly.

Constipation is one of the telltale signs of gluten sensitivity, and many people don’t realize they have an allergy to gluten, but may feel that the issue is with their bowels.

Consuming grains may be the cause of constipation, and this can be confirmed by going to a specialist who can pinpoint allergies.

Fortunately, there are plenty of gluten-free products on the market.

4. Persimmons

If you enjoy persimmon pudding with a dollop of whipped cream or like to eat large persimmons raw and sliced, beware of eating too many because they can cause constipation. However, not all persimmons are created equal when it comes to bowel health.

The soft, sweet persimmons, particularly the small variety, used for persimmon pulp for baking may be fine for the bowels. However, the less sweet, larger persimmons that are eating raw have tannins that may keep you from eliminating.

Having a persimmon once in a while may not be problematic, but avoid eating too many of the less sweet ones.


5. Caffeine

You may love to have your hot beverage in the morning, whether it is coffee or tea. This may actually help jump-start your bowels if you are well-hydrated.

Since it is healthy to eliminate first thing in the morning, a cup of coffee or tea seems like a good morning ritual. However, in some cases, caffeinated beverages can cause or aggravate constipation.

If you are already dehydrated, coffee or tea can keep you from having a bowel movement, so drink plenty of water.

Try having iced tea in the summertime, which combines caffeine and water, but make sure you drink fresh water without tea as well.

6. Red Meat

Beef may be rich in protein, minerals, and iron, but beware of eating too much of it.

There are several reasons why that juicy steak you had last night may be keeping you from having a bowel movement the morning after.

The high iron content in meat can keep the bowels from moving and the high fat can slow down the digestion. In addition, the type of protein in meat is tough which can also make it hard to digest.


7. Alcohol

Many people like to have some beer, wine, or whiskey to relax, celebrate or simply to enhance a meal. However, alcohol can cause constipation or make it worse in some circumstances. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down your system.

This includes the digestive system, and alcohol may keep the food from moving through your digestive system efficiently. In addition, alcohol dehydrates the body, and dehydration is the main cause of constipation. If you are going to drink alcohol, make sure you stay hydrated with water or juice.

This will not only prevent constipation but can keep you from having a hangover.


8. Gum

You may have heard the old wives tale that if you swallow a piece of gum it takes many years to digest. However, what is true is that if you consume gum, you are not doing your digestive tract any favors.

Accidentally swallowing a piece of gum now and again may not hurt you, but if a child intentionally swallows multiple pieces of gum, they could experience severe constipation.

That is one good reason for not allowing the gum to very young children until you can be certain they will not swallow pieces.


9. Chocolate

The fact that chocolate can cause or aggravate constipation can be disappointing for many people since chocolate is a favorite food.

Chocolate slows down the digestive system and can interfere with peristalsis, or the muscle movements that coax food through your system. Doctors often warn their patients with Irritable Bowel syndrome to avoid chocolate.

If you don’t have this condition but are concerned about avoiding constipation, you may not have to give up chocolate entirely but should cut down at least a bit.



Taking supplements can make it easy to get the vitamins and minerals you need. However, there are a number of problems that can arise from relying on supplements. Large doses of calcium and iron can exacerbate or cause constipation.

People at risk for osteoporosis, such as women over the age of 40 may need to take calcium supplements and those with anemia and pregnant women require extra iron.

If this is the case, consume extra fiber or prunes to counteract the effects of the supplements on your bowels. You can take half a pill and get the rest of the nutrients from food.

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