Healthy Foods That Help You Poop
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Constipation is a common problem affecting an estimated 20% of the population .
Delayed colonic transit, or a decrease in the movement of food through the digestive system, is one of the most common causes. A low fiber diet, aging, and physical inactivity can also contribute to constipation.
While remedies for constipation typically include laxatives, stool softeners, and fiber supplements, incorporating a few regularity-boosting foods into your diet can be a safe and effective alternative.
Here are 15 healthy foods that can help you poop.
Do Toddlers Get Sick Often
Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers get about seven to eight colds a year. And during school age, they average five to six colds a year. Teenagers finally reach an adult level of four colds a year. And in addition to colds, children get the lovely diarrhea illnesses, with or without vomiting, two to three times a year.
Processed Foods And Frozen Dinners
Along with fast foods, processed foods contain little nutrition and usually a lot of fat. Many contain a lot of salt as well. Examples of foods to avoid include
- white bread,
- hot dogs.
All of these foods can cause constipation by slowing down the digestive system. Try snacking on fruits and veggies and foods in their whole natural form, and make sure to drink enough water to help keep the digestive system working normally.
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What Are Probiotics And Why Should I Be Taking Them
Probiotics are actually bacteria and yeasts which live in your gut and ensure the healthy running of your entire gastrointestinal system.
Without this good bacteria, the bad stuff would overrun everything and cause illness.
Various lifestyle factors can reduce the number of good bacteria within your gut, e.g. if you have to take antibiotics due to an infection of some kind, and this can cause issues in your stomach, such as bloating, constipation or even the development of certain conditions, such as IBS.
Having a smooth running, healthy gut is vital to overall health and wellbeing, because when you feel bloated, or generally sluggish due to a stomach issue, your mood is certainly going to be on a downer, at the very least.
How To Take Activia
For the best results, Dannon advises consumers to include Activia in a regular balanced diet by consuming it two times every day for two weeks.
According to Livestrong, one serving of the Activia yogurts cherry variant has 1.5 grams of fat and 90 calories. The serving also contains 4 grams of protein, which is equivalent to 9% of the total amount of protein women need in their diet and 7% of what men need.
Other flavors of the Dannon Activia Yogurt like the prune, banana, peach, strawberry, vanilla, and peach have the same calorie, protein, and fat content, whereas the blueberry variant has 90 calories.
Activia can be incorporated into your diet in various ways. You can choose to have it for breakfast as a stand-alone meal when combined with fruits or grains. You could also want to have it as a smoothie. And of course, you can decide to have it on the side when you have your regular meals.
Oh yeah! Familiar with Mediterranean dishes? These dishes make good combinations with yogurt, and Activia is known to do the job well.
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The Benefits Of Probiotics For Your Whole Body
Our guts are made up of trillions of microbes known as the gut microbiome, and what we eat and drink can affect our gut microbiome balance, says Caroline Susie, R.D.N., a registered dietitian nutritionist in Dallas.
When probiotics get into your digestive system, they balance and fight off harmful bacteria, keeping the colon strong and helping you avoid infections. Theyre important for managing symptoms relating to irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, lactose intolerance, and ulcerative colitis, because they break down fibrous foods like certain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The type of probiotic youre most likely to encounter is called Lactobacillus acidophilus, and experts say its the most beneficial. It supports overall digestion, promotes healthy blood sugar, and helps your body resist yeast infections. It is also commonly paired with Bifidus regularis and Lactobacillus casei, two other probiotic bacteria that also improveintestinal health.
L. acidophilus can be found in sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and cheese, but most dietitians recommend yogurt since its affordable, accessible, and easy to work into your diet.
Yogurt And Your Health
Yogurt is a nutrient-rich food that fuels your body with protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, and some key fatty acids that your body needs to stay healthy.
Studies have also shown numerous health benefits for regular yogurt eaters. For starters, they are thinner than people who dont eat yogurt.
But truthfully, its still not totally clear whether eating yogurt will slim your waistline. Its possible that people who eat yogurt are thinner because they have better eating habits overall. But what yogurt can do particularly yogurt with a high amount of protein is keep you feeling full, which might help you eat less and lose weight.
Yogurt isnt officially yogurt according to FDA standards without S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. Some brands of yogurt will feature a Live & Active Cultures seal from the National Yogurt Association . The NYA provides voluntary certification to companies that make yogurt, and the seal tells you that the brand has at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time its manufactured. Multiple brands of yogurt may contain live and active cultures even though the label may not explicitly list the bacteria or say live and active cultures.
Some yogurts have been heat-treated, a process that kills the cultures. Or the yogurt maker may just stir live, active cultures into the recipe and skip the fermenting process used to make yogurt. Yogurt must be fermented to get the NYA seal.
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It May Help Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Research has also shown that yogurt may play a role in preventing Type 2 diabetes. Yogurt contains unique properties, such as its lactic acid bacteria content, which may affect gut microbiota and have a potential role in reducing glycemic variability, Feller says, meaning that it may help reduce dramatic swings in a persons blood sugar levels.
Why Do I Feel Sick After Eating Yogurt
Sometimes after eating yogurt, your symptoms can resemble an allergic reaction but blood tests may prove otherwise. Its possible your watery eyes or nasal congestion could be your bodys response to the histamine in yogurt. When your body creates histamine, it causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
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Can Kefir Cause Constipation
Typically kefir relieves constipation and does not cause it. However, there are some people out there that report constipation when drinking kefir. Keep in mind that the microbiome is extraordinarily complex and sometimes has the opposite effect with some people.
There are claims that 12 hours of milk kefir fermenting has a mild laxative effect and 36-48 hours can cause constipation. Its repeated in several places over the internet, but the original study is no where to be found.
However it does make sense to some degree.
In the previous study that came out of Turkey, the researchers believe that a possible reason as to why kefir is effective in reliving constipation is because:
The probiotics lower the pH in the colon by producing lactic acid, acetic acid, and other acids. These effects result in enhanced peristalsis and, subsequently, in decreased colonic transit time.
So according to the researchers, some acid might help peristalsis , but what about too much acid?
One rare study on apple cider vinegar, which is basically acetic acid, shows that the acid actually slowed emptying on people that already had slow digestion. So its reasonable to assume that too much acid may not relieve constipation and may even contribute to it. So perhaps thats the reason why 36-48 hour ferments may cause constipation in some people. Longer ferments certainly have more acids, but not necessarily more probiotics. And too much acid may slow movement in some people.
How To Eat According To The Fodmap Diet
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. This special diet focuses on limiting the amount of fermentable, short-chain carbohydrates in your diet since these types of carbohydrates may not be absorbed well by the small intestine. To decrease occurrence of IBS symptoms, you may want to follow the FODMAP diet.
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Probiotics May Ease Constipation
- By , Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
Probiotics, and other cultured foods, have long been touted for their ability to ease digestive woes. Drug stores and supermarkets feature arrays of different probiotic supplements, often containing Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium, two of the most commonly used species of bacteria.
Perhaps the strongest evidence for probiotics is in treating diarrhea caused by a viral infection or from taking antibiotics. Both infection and antibiotics disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in your digestive system, which probiotics can help restore. But the opposite problem constipation is more common than diarrhea. It affects about 14% of adults and accounts for about 3.2 million medical visits in the United States each year. Americans nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars each year trying to unblock themselves.
Most over-the-counter remedies for constipation, such as laxatives and stool softeners, aren’t all that helpful. Nearly half of users aren’t satisfied with the results of such products, citing ineffectiveness or other issues.
Do probiotics work against constipation? Researchers at King’s College in London scoured the medical literature and found 14 studies that met their criteria for a well-done study. All were clinical trials that randomly assigned people with constipation to take either probiotics or a placebo .
Youll Get A Rush Of Many Vital Nutrients
In addition to probiotics, yogurt is packed with so many other nutrients that your body can benefit from. For example, Kane says youll get a decent dose of calcium , phosphorus , magnesium , and potassium . And thats not all, either.
Probiotics actually produce vitamin K as well, which is used for healthy blood coagulation to support healing, says Kane.
The best way to ensure that youre reaping the full health benefits of yogurt is to take a close and careful look at the nutrition label before adding it to your shopping cart. Ideally, Kane advises selecting one that contains multiple strains of bacteria.
Think of this as diversifying your roster for a sports team, she explains. You need all sorts of players to build a versatile unit, each contributing different skills and talents to create a strong and resilient squad capable of handling any opponent that comes their way.
Other than that, as long as you go for a product that doesnt contain heaps of added sugar, yogurt can definitely be a super healthy component of your daily diet.
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Can Yogurt Help With Constipation
What Is the Best Yogurt for Constipation?
There is a huge misconception that yogurt is one of the primary causes of constipation when the opposite is true that it is a natural remedy for constipation. It would help if you werent wary of it. There is some confusion when using dairy in remedying both constipation and diarrhea. Dairy products are likely to cause constipation because of their lactose. Furthermore, these dairy products lack a critical component present in many yogurt brands probiotics.
The best type of yogurt for people who suffer from constipation is Greek yogurt that has live lactobacillus. Read the label of the yogurt you are buying and make sure that there are live bacteria. This is probiotic yogurt, and it will help make your stools move more easily.
Probiotics include food like yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods packed with beneficial and life-giving good bacteria. Studies have shown that probiotics are beneficial to people who have constipation.
One study that involved numerous adult women showed that the regular consumption of fermented dairy products in the form of yogurt with beneficial bacteria could reduce the severity of constipation symptoms and the period that a person feels constipated.
Furthermore, the subjects who regularly consumed yogurt were better able to move their stools with less pain and inflammation.
Why and How Yogurt Help with Constipation?
Why Is Yogurt Not Part Of The Fodmap Diet
Dairy yogurt might be a problem on the FODMAP diet for two reasons. First, it contains fat, which can increase instances of diarrhea. Another reason is that some people with IBS are also lactose intolerant. This means your body cant digest lactose, which is common in milk products.
For these people, yogurt can make symptoms worse, including stomach pain, bloating, and gas. If an increase in fat or allergic reaction to lactose causes IBS symptoms, you may want to try low-fat yogurt or non-dairy products, like soy, coconut, or almond milk yogurt.
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How Much Plain Yogurt Can I Give My Dog
So how do you serve yogurt? You can go simple with a spoonful of it on top of their food, mix it in, or you can use it as an ingredient in treats and homemade dog food. You can also freeze plain yogurt in ice cube trays for a cool treat. Generally, one to two teaspoons of yogurt a day is a fair amount to give your dog.
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Is Yogurt Good For Diarrhea
Yogurt may be especially beneficial for diarrhea because these types of bacteria contain anti-inflammatory compounds. It can help decrease inflammation in the large intestine, which can reduce fluid secretion and help slow down bowel movement.
Yogurt is a dairy product that is produced by fermenting milk with live bacteria. It contains the two primary species of bacteria that are still found in the human gut after birthLactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
The anti-inflammatory compounds may also affect how glucose is absorbed by intestinal cells, which helps stop diarrhea.
What You Can Do
Dont start taking probiotics without talking to your doctor or pharmacist about whether probiotics might help you. People who have immune deficiency or are being treated for cancer should not use probiotics without a doctors okay.
The most common species of bacteria used in probiotics are species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The bacteria are usually freeze-dried when you take the supplement, they warm up in your digestive system and become fully active. You can find probiotic supplements in most drugstores and supermarkets. They come as capsules or tablets to swallow and as loose powder to sprinkle on food. Youll want a product that explicitly states a sell-by date. Dosages vary by product, so no general dosing recommendation can be made. However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day.
Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.
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Does Kefir Help Ibs
In one sense, yes. Kefir will promote better gut health, especially if it manages to propagate within the intestines. Probiotics in general can help alleviate many of the symptoms of IBS.
For some people with IBS, its the lactose that causes issues. Kefir is much lower in lactose than regular milk and for some people, that really helps.
On the flip side, kefir is considered fairly high on the FODMAPs. FODMAP are foods that contain sugar that may not be properly absorbing, possibly leading to symptoms for people with IBS.
So, when it comes to IBS, its quite different for every sufferer and people seem to react to kefir in very different ways. What we recommend is just to trust your senses and your body. Start slow and if your body continually reacts to the kefir, try coconut milk kefir or water kefir. Water kefir has similar effects on bowel movements.
Can You Eat Yogurt When You Have Stomach Flu
Yogurt, which contains probiotics, may also be helpful for nausea and vomiting caused by the flu.
The flu usually runs its course in about a week. Still, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications like oseltamivir or zanamivir to make the illness go away faster and help prevent severe complications like pneumonia.
However, these medications can cause nausea and vomiting, leading many doctors to prescribe anti-nausea drugs like ondansetron in conjunction with antivirals.
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What Does The Research Say About Yogurt And Constipation
Researchers looked at the efficacy of an unflavored probiotic yogurt containing polydextrose, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis to treat constipation in a 2014 study.
The researchers discovered that consuming 180 milliliters of this yogurt every morning for two weeks reduced the amount of time waste took to transit through the intestines in patients with chronic constipation.
In fact, according to a 2014 meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, probiotics increased the frequency of bowel movements by 1.3 per week and improved consistency, making it more comfortable to go.