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What To Eat When You Are Constipated

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Foods To Avoid When Constipated

What to eat if you are struggling with constipation

High-fat foods those rich in oil, butter and grease can contribute to constipation.

If you are chronically constipated, overeating fried food, processed meats, commercially baked goods and other high-fat items may be responsible. Slattery cites cheese as a particular constipation culprit.

Really high-fat foods slow down digestion, she says. Fats are tricky to digest, and take a long time for the body to break down. Also, most high-fat foods are low in fiber and delay motility.

Best Foods For Constipation Relief

When you’re backed up, it can leave you feeling bloated, sluggish, and all-around uncomfortable. If not being able to go to the bathroom is weighing you down then you’re probably looking for some constipation relief as soon as possible. And fortunately, you don’t need to turn to risky laxatives or other potentially disastrous over-the-counter medication, as there are plenty of natural foods that will, well, make you poop, moving things along, helping you go to the bathroom easily and regularly.

Note: These are healthy, fiber-rich foods that help make you poop, but they also have other positive benefits beyond your digestive system. So no, we’re not including those junk foods that may make you run for the bathroom for all the wrong reasons!

If you’re consuming the foods and drinks on this list and still having issues, be sure to see a doctor or gastroenterologist to help with your BM troubles. Have other bathroom issues? Don’t miss these IBS remedies.

And now, these are the healthiest foods that make you poop and naturally help aid any constipation relief.

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Constipation Symptoms And Causes

Constipation is a pressing digestive issue that affects your bowel movement. How often you have a bowel movement is subjective however, fewer than two to three weekly bowel movements is a conventional description of constipation. At least one bowel movement daily is considered normal however, two or three would be better.

It becomes a concern when you fail to have a bowel movement for longer than three days. After three days, the stool is far more difficult to pass. Other common constipation symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Gas and bloating

The most common cause of constipation is a low-fiber diet. Other causes include inadequate fluid, lack of physical activity, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, or taking medications such as diuretics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antispasmodics, iron supplements, blood pressure medications, antacids, anti-Parkinsons disease drugs, or pain medications like narcotics.

It can also be a symptom of a specific condition or disease, such as diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, hyperthyroidism, pituitary disorders, diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome , an imbalance of gut bacteria , or colon cancer.

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Dont worry, this usually isnt the case. Although your colon holds on to stool longer when you are constipated and you may feel uncomfortable, the colon is an expandable container for your waste. There is possibly a slight risk of a bacterial infection if waste gets into an existing wound in the colon or rectum.

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Add Fiber To Your Diet

According to USDA Dietary Guidelines, adult women should eat about 28 g of fiber daily and men should eat 35 g. But we often see people with constipation eating almost none, says Finkel.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that can help slow down the digestion process, so you can have regular bowel movements. Foods high soluble fiber include oats, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and some fruits and vegetables. Chia seeds, for example, are rich in soluble fiber a single serving of chia seeds is loaded with about 10 g of fiber, and it is noted for having digestive health benefits. You can also get soluble fiber from psyllium, a common fiber supplement.

Then theres insoluble fiber, which repels water and adds bulk to stool to get it moving in the digestive tract, helping to ease constipation. Insoluble fiber can be found in wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.

While fiber can be beneficial for both diarrhea and constipation, its important to remember that fiber works best when it absorbs water, so drink plenty of H2O. Fiber can actually cause constipation if you dont drink enough water.

How And Why Do Pregnant Women Get Constipated

The definition of normal bowel movement can vary from person to person. But when it becomes less frequent with hard stools and difficult to pass, you may have constipation.

The cause of constipation during pregnancy is not fully known. Many experts believe that there are several factors conspire to cause the problem. In early pregnancy , the occurrence of constipation is likely to be associated with the following factors:

  • The increased level of progesterone production. Its undeniable that this hormone plays a key role to causes changes what we see in early pregnancy. As the body changes for baby growth, you may experience some discomfort symptoms such as constipation, nausea, vomiting, and more. High progesterone may relax intestinal muscles, making them less capable of moving wastes.
  • Iron supplements. Pregnancy is one of conditions when you need more iron. For this reason, its recommended to eat more iron from dietary sources. If necessary, your doctor may also suggest taking iron supplements. But in some cases, iron supplements affect bowel movement too.
  • Other factors such as lack of physical activity, dehydration, stress, anxiety, etc. Most conditions that cause constipation in non-pregnant women can also contribute to cause pregnancy constipation.
  • At late stages of pregnancy, constipation is usually caused by the following conditions:

  • The same causes mentioned earlier .
  • Other factors such as pelvic pain and tailbone pain during pregnancy.
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    Foods That Make You Constipated

    Constipation can occur for a number of reasons: A lack of exercise, ignoring the urge to go, and certain medications and supplements can be to blame. However, your diet is typically the primary culpritand certain foods are harder on the body than others. To help you keep things moving on the reg, we’ve tracked down common foods that make you constipated. And to cover all our bases, we’ve also included a number of eats that will worsen your symptoms if you’re already backed up.

    Prune Juice And Prunes

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    Prunes have long been hailed as the king of keeping you regular! These dried fruits are absolutely packed with fiber, that important macronutrient that keeps waste moving through your gut.

    Prunes also contain a type of sugar called sorbitol. Because sorbitol cant be broken down by your body, it passes through your colon undigested and draws water into your gut. This helps to bulk up your stool and stimulate a bowel movement.

    Studies show that sorbitol is a safe and effective remedy for constipation, and its often a favorite with older adults.Prunes can increase the frequency of your bowel movements and improve consistency.

    If you really have no idea of what to eat when constipated, a handful of prunes could be the easiest remedy in the book. Take care not to overdo the prunes though, as they can also cause some gas and bloating!

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    Can Eating More Fiber Help With Constipation

    Yes. Fiber is the part of plant food that is not digested. There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber gives stool bulk. Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber include apples, bananas, barley, oats, and beans. Insoluble fiber helps speed up the transit of food in the digestive tract and helps prevent constipation. Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, most vegetables, wheat bran, and legumes. Foods that have fiber contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. A good goal for dietary fiber is a total of about 20 to 30 grams each day.

    Best Herbal Teas For Constipation

    One way to help ease constipation is to drink a soothing cup of hot tea. Hot liquids on their own are thought to promote bowel movements by encouraging peristalsis .

    There are also two herbals teas, both of which have a licorice-like flavor, that are said to have significant laxative effects:

    • Fennel tea

    A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that people given extracts of fennel or anise had an average colonic transit time of 15.7 hours. Those given a sham extract had a colonic transit time of 42.3 hours.

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    Whole Grain Bread For Constipation Relief

    Whole grains have lots of fiber, which is a good choice not only for the bowels, but also the heart.

    • Researchers at the University of Finland in Helsinki found whole grain rye bread to be better than wheat bread and laxatives for relieving constipation. They reported their findings in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010. Their subjects ate enough slices to get 30 grams of fiber a day, but you don’t have to eat that much for it to work.
    • Arabinoxylan, the main component of dietary fiber in rye, helps keep food moving through the intestine.
    • Ezekiel bread is another good choice for relief of constipation. It is bread made of sprouted whole grains and legumes, which provides a good dose of fiber and nutrients.

    Q & A: Diet And Constipation

    Best Foods to Eat When You Are Constipated

    Q. If someone is constipated, does it matter when they eat?

    A. There is not much research around this. But, we know the process of eating stimulates the digestive system end to end, so at least theoretically, keeping a regular daily meal schedule could support regular bowel movements.

    Q. Are there particular diets that cause constipation?

    A. The keto diet, with its high levels of fat, can definitely cause constipation. If you are on a ketogenic diet for health reasons and become constipated, work with a dietitian or doctor to balance your dietary needs with some low-carb fiber sources, such as leafy greens.

    The BRAT diet bananas, rice, applesauce and toast is one we recommend for a range of digestive issues, and it can help with both constipation and diarrhea.

    Intermittent fasting can have variable effects on bowel movement regularity since there are so many different schedules to choose from.

    If you have questions about constipation and diet or any other aspect of nutrition and how it might affect your health, consult a clinical dietitian or a doctor.

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    Prunes For Constipation Relief

    • Prunes were grandmas remedy. They could be yours, too. Prunes are high in insoluble fiber as well as the natural laxativesorbitol, which can help you go.
    • Researchers at the University of Iowa tested dried, pitted plums against psyllium in 40 adults who were constipated. Those given the plums had measurably higher spontaneous bowel movements than those given the laxative.
    • Prunes juice is also helpful at relieving constipation in babies.

    Medically Reviewed on 3/25/2021Aliment Pharmacol TherJournal of Nutrition

    Constipation Relief And Prevention

    One of the healthiest steps you can take is choosing foods that relieve constipation or prevent it in the first place. You may already turn to foods that relieve constipation, such as bran cereal or prune juice. But if you dont yet have constipation symptoms, you dont need to wait until they start to begin eating healthier.

    You can get constipation relief or work to prevent constipation now with the right moves. Follow these dos and donts.

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    How Can I Deal With And Prevent Constipation

    To prevent and treat constipation:

    • Drink more liquids. Drinking enough water and other liquids helps keep stools soft so they can move more easily through the intestines. When you dont drink enough, the stool can get hard and dry, and you might get stopped up.
    • Eat more fiber. Eating high-fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain bread, can help prevent constipation. Fiber cant be digested, so it helps clean out the intestines by moving the bowels along. A diet full of fatty, sugary, or starchy foods can slow the bowels down. To get more fiber in your diet, try fresh fruits like pears, apples , oranges, and ripe bananas, or dried fruits like prunes. Other high-fiber foods include beans, oatmeal, whole-grain breads, and popcorn.
    • Make sure you get enough exercise. Physical activity helps move food through the digestive system and nudges the bowels into action, so be sure to get plenty of exercise. It can be as simple as playing catch, cycling, or shooting a few hoops.
    • Set a regular meal schedule. Eating is a natural stimulant for the bowels, so regular meals may help you develop routine bowel habits. You might schedule breakfast a little earlier to give yourself a chance for a relaxed visit to the bathroom before school.
    • Get into the habit of going. Maybe you dont want to use the bathroom at school, or maybe you just dont want to stop what youre doing right then. But ignoring your bodys signals that its time to go can make it harder to go later on.

    What Not To Eat When Constipated And Bloated:

    What To Eat When Youâre Constipated | Dr. Will Bulsiewicz Live Q& A

    Constipation and bloating are a common problem that usually means having not as much as three bowel movements every week.

    In a research, it was revealed that about 30% of adults suffer from this. The older you get it is more likely you will have digestive problems.

    These 8 foods you must try to avoid as much as you can.

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    Drink More Water For Constipation

    She also stresses the importance of adequate hydration. Water is essential to helping fiber work its magic.

    The large intestine draws water out of the stool before its passed out of the body. So if you are dehydrated due to exercise, hot weather, a medical condition or just not drinking enough water, you can end up with hard, dried-out stool that is more difficult to pass.

    As you increase your dietary fiber, its important to increase your hydration at the same time, she advises.

    How Can I Prevent Constipation

    Use the same home-based methods you used to treat constipation to prevent it from becoming a chronic problem:

    • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain breads and cereals. Fiber and water help the colon pass stool. Most of the fiber in fruits is found in the skins, such as in apples. Fruits with seeds you can eat, like strawberries, have the most fiber. Bran is a great source of fiber. Eat bran cereal or add bran cereal to other foods, like soup and yogurt. People with constipation should eat between 18 and 30 grams of fiber every day.
    • Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, can dehydrate you. You may need to stop drinking these products until your bowel habits return to normal.
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Treat mild constipation with a dietary supplement like magnesium.
    • Move your bowels when you feel the urge. Do not wait.

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    How Is Constipation Treated


    Most cases of mild to moderate constipation can be managed by you at home. Self-care starts by taking an inventory of what you eat and drink and then making changes.

    Some recommendations to help relieve your constipation include:

    • Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks and alcohol, which can cause dehydration.
    • Add fruits, vegetables whole grains and other high-fiber foods to your diet. Eat fewer high-fat foods, like meat, eggs and cheese.
    • Eat prunes and/or bran cereal.
    • Keep a food diary and single out foods that constipate you.
    • Get moving, exercise.
    • Check how you sit on the toilet. Raising your feet, leaning back or squatting may make having a bowel movement easier.
    • Add an over-the-counter supplemental fiber to your diet .
    • If needed, take a very mild over-the-counter stool softener or laxative . Mineral oil enemas, like Fleet®, and stimulant laxatives, like bisacodyl or senna , are other options. There are many laxative choices. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for help in making a choice. Do not use laxatives for more than two weeks without calling your doctor. Overuse of laxatives can worsen your symptoms.
    • Do not read, use your phone or other devices while trying to move your bowels.

    Medication/supplement review

    Prescription medications


    What To Know About Foods That Help You Poop


    When you’re dealing with some stopped intestinal traffic, changing your diet is a good first step. Consider “fiber FTW” your poop-friendly words to live by. The good news is that there are so many, very tasty, foods that help you poop. “Most dietary fiber is not digested or absorbed, so it stays within the intestine where it modulates digestion of other foods and affects the consistency of stool,” explains Dr. Sonpal. There are two different types of fiber, he says, which each have their own benefits, according to Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD. “Soluble fiber” is made up of carbohydrates and dissolves in water while “insoluble fiber” comes from plant cell walls and does not dissolve in water .

    Getting a good mix of both is probably your best bet. Add in some healthy fats, and you’ll be hitting the squatty potty in no time. With that in mind, here are 10 different foods that help you poop to…ahem, keep things moving along.

    For more intel on foods that make you poop, check out this video:

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