6 Foods that Cause Constipation
Constipation is a problem that is generally faced by many people these days, given to lifestyle habits and the lack of a healthy nutritious diet. Many people also experience bloating and gas along with constipation. It is more often faced by older and physically inactive people. In view of that, we have curated a list of foods that you should avoid if you're suffering from constipation. Let’s take a look!
Foods That Cause Constipation
There are many foods that can potentially help relieve constipation, however, there are many others that can work towards exacerbating the symptoms. Below we have discussed some foods that are causes for constipation or one may even say are the worst foods for constipation.
Gluten is a type of protein that is found in various foods like barley, wheat, rye, spelt and more. There are people who get constipation as a result of eating gluten-containing foods. There are others who are simply gluten-intolerant or suffer from celiac disease. In cases of gluten intolerance or celiac, the immune system directly attacks the gut and causes serious harm, thereby making it important to follow a gluten-free diet.
To be sure of whether you have celiac or not, you need to get checked by a medical practitioner for the same.
Milk & Dairy Products
Dairy often turns out to be a common constipation causing food among various people, especially childrens, infants, and toddlers. This is usually attributed to the presence of protein in cow milk. As per research, when the same kids were given soy milk in place of cow milk, they saw a decrease in the number of constipation cases. However, it is important to note that if you're suffering from diarrhea on milk or dairy consumption, then you are probably suffering from lactose intolerance.
Alcohol is often a huge cause of constipation. When you consume large amounts of alcohol, it leads to a loss of fluids in your body through constant urination and thereby causes dehydration. Lack of water in your body can increase the likelihood of constipation. However, effects of alcohol on the body may vary from person to person and for some it might cause diarrhea. It is important to keep having water or another non-alcoholic beverage while you're on an alcohol spree.
Processed grains are used for various products, such as white bread, rice, pasta and more. They are low in fiber, as the bran and germ parts of the grain get separated from whole grains during processing. Bran is what contains fiber, and fiber is what adds bulk to your stool. Consuming processed grains therefore lowers the amount of fiber in your food, thereby causing constipation. It may be a good idea to replace your processed grains consumption with whole grain foods for a better digestion.
Since red meat is low in fiber, it is known to be bad for those already suffering from constipation. It may also reduce a person’s overall intake of dietary fiber when taken in large portions compared to other fiber-rich foods such as leafy greens or whole grains. In addition to that, red meat also contains high amounts of fat and high-fat foods are not easy to digest, further increasing the risk of constipation.
Fried foods may increase the risk of developing constipation, as they are usually high in fat and low in fiber - a mortal threat to digestion. Eating snacks such as chips, chocolate, cream, and cookies may also reduce your overall appetite and have an indirect impact on your consumption of leafy greens and fruits, thereby further lowering your fiber intake, leading to constipation.
To add to that, the high salt content in fried foods also sucks up the water in your body, thereby leading to dehydrated intestines, causing difficulty in passing stools. For all these reasons, it is a good idea to cut down on your consumption of fast or fried foods that can cause constipation.
Other foods in the list of ‘don’t-haves’ can be persimmons, unripe bananas, chewing gums, and caffeine. You can also check out our article on foods to eat during constipation for more!
One of the drinks that you can definitely try out to get rid of constipation is Wellbeing Nutrition's Probiotic + Prebiotic. It provides support to your digestive health, neutralizes toxins, improves metabolism, and helps prevent other gut-related issues. With 36 billion (CFU) active live cultures per serving your gut microbiome will thrive and be healthy, ridding it of all digestive problems like constipation.
- Barker JM, Liu E. Celiac disease: pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and associated autoimmune conditions. Adv Pediatr. 2008;55:349-365. doi:10.1016/j.yapd.2008.07.001, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2775561/)
- Carroccio A, Iacono G. Review article: Chronic constipation and food hypersensitivity--an intriguing relationship. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Nov 1;24(9):1295-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.03125.x. PMID: 17059511. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17059511/)
- Arnaud MJ. Mild dehydration: a risk factor of constipation? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;57 Suppl 2:S88-95. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601907. PMID: 14681719. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14681719/)
- Abdullah MM, Gyles CL, Marinangeli CP, Carlberg JG, Jones PJ. Dietary fibre intakes and reduction in functional constipation rates among Canadian adults: a cost-of-illness analysis. Food Nutr Res. 2015 Dec 11;59:28646. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v59.28646. PMID: 26652739; PMCID: PMC4677277. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26652739/)
- Taba Taba Vakili S, Nezami BG, Shetty A, Chetty VK, Srinivasan S. Association of high dietary saturated fat intake and uncontrolled diabetes with constipation: evidence from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2015 Oct;27(10):1389-97. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12630. Epub 2015 Jul 15. PMID: 26176421; PMCID: PMC4584183. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26176421/)