A lot of health freaks claim that constipation is caused by a fiber-less diet, but this is far from the truth. The majority of food that people consume actually does not have a lot of fiber. Watermelons only have 0.2% fiber, which will keep the colon active without a doubt, but cookies and white bread come with 3% fiber and might cause constipation.
However, foods that cause constipation are usually fleshy, prepared food, rich in protein and dairy, as well as wheat products and products with supplementary calcium or iron. If your levels of calcium elevate, your colon muscles will get inhibited, as well, so it would also be bad for your bones.
Constipation is often the result of a poor diet. It is important that you eat a healthy diet that consists of foods that help your digestive system to work properly. It is just as important that you avoid foods that cause constipation. Since constipation is something that can affect anyone, it is important for you to know what foods are beneficial to the prevention and treatment of constipation and what are the foods that cause constipation so that you can limit or avoid the intake of these foods.
- 1 Causes of Consipation and Remedies
- 1.1 The cause of constipation in babies
- 1.2 The cause of constipation in adults
- 1.3 What foods cause women constipated during pregnancy?
- 1.4 A Healthy Diet in Constipation
- 1.5 Foods to Avoid in Constipation
- 1.6 Overall Health
- 1.7 Home Remedies for Constipation Treatment
Causes of Consipation and Remedies
The cause of constipation in babies
When babies start to eat solid food, the colour and texture of stools become different. When they are breastfed, the stools smell sweet and soft. Since being fed by solid foods, the stools become harder and contain undigested food. Sometimes a baby doesn’t have a bowel movement for a couple of days; the parents might be concerned that their baby is constipated. Afterwards the stools appear and are still soft and smooth, it indicates everything is fine.
Baby constipation is very painful, because they are too small, they don’t know how to force the stools out of their body, they cry and don’t want to eat. This bout of constipation normally occurs once a baby starts to eat solid food. The digestion system is not fully developed to cope with the solid foods, the baby hold the stools back in the anus, which leads to light constipation. In this case, the parents can feed the baby with more soft and well-cooked food with sufficient fluid as well as fruit juice, such as carrot and orange juices to naturally help the baby’s intestines to get used to the new texture of nutrition.
The cause of constipation in adults
The cause of constipation in adults is more complex than babies. What foods can cause constipation?
1. Red meats
Many people are only in favour of red meats, such as beef steak, lamb and pork. They seldom eat the vegetables rich in fibre. Those meats contain protein and fat which are hard to be digested in the intestines; which leads to dry stools.
2. Foods rich in sugar
Many foods contain a huge amount of sugar, such as biscuits and lollies. They are also very dried and oven baked. Lack of fluid and rich in sugar, those characteristics of foods cause adults constipated.
3. Dairy products
Dairy products such as cheese, milk, butter and ice cream can cause adults to become constipated. They are rich in protein and protein is hard to be fully digested if over-eaten, it makes the stomach bloated and full of gas. However yogurt is very special, it contains numerous live bacteria and leads to bowel movements more frequently than normal.
What foods cause women constipated during pregnancy?
When women are pregnant, they have less exercise movements but eat more than normal; they are frustrated by constipation during pregnancy. What foods should pregnant women eat less of?
1. Greasy foods
Stir fried foods are greasy, containing vegetable oil, they are not easily digested. The greasy foods consist of chips, fried chickens, eggs and sausages.
2. Processed and refined foods
Processed and refined foods are hard to be digested also. Foods such as pizza, lasagne, frozen sausage rolls and spring rolls are some examples. It takes more time to consume and digest them for pregnant women because of a lack of physical exercise.
Therefore, pregnant women better eat more vegetables and fruits such as prunes, pears, broccoli, carrots, celery and beans. Those foods make their stools soft, especially a couple of weeks before delivery, those foods also really aid pregnant women in bowel movements, otherwise a dry stool may cause an abortion at an early stage of pregnancy and premature birth at a later stage of pregnancy when they sit fighting against constipation and the excessive air forces cause an unexpected accident to pregnant women.
Overall the symptoms of constipation for babies, adults and women in pregnancy are different, if the causes are predicted, it can be avoided by taking precautious measures.
A Healthy Diet in Constipation
It is essential, not only to your overall health, but also in the prevention of constipation that you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetable, foods high in fiber, and foods that provide Omega-3 fatty acids. Your healthy lifestyle should also include planning your meals and maintaining a daily schedule for eating. Eating on a schedule will help your digestive system to stay on a regular schedule, which will aid in the prevention of constipation.
Foods to Avoid in Constipation
There are many types of foods that cause constipation. You should limit or eliminate your intake of these foods in order to prevent the onset of constipation symptoms. While constipation can occur in anyone and is not a serious illness, repeated bouts of constipation can lead to more serious illnesses. Sometimes constipation is a side effect of a medication or illness. If you are taking the medication or suffer from an illness that may involve constipation as a symptom of the illness, you should try to avoid foods that make the risk of constipation higher. Here are some common foods that cause constipation:
Instant mashed potatoes
In order to help prevent constipation you should avoid or limit your intake of dairy products, foods that are high in fat content, foods that are high in cholesterol content, and processed foods. Prepared meals that come in boxes is one type of food that causes constipation.
It is important for your overall health to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Avoiding constipation should be a part of your healthy lifestyle. You should learn what foods cause constipation and try to avoid them altogether – or limit your intake of these foods.
Maintaining a regular exercise regimen will help build the muscles in your intestines and will allow these muscles to work properly in the digestion of food. Chewing your food slowly and sufficiently will also help in the digestive process. Leading a healthy lifestyle and aiding your digestive system in the natural process of eliminating waste from your body not only helps you to feel better, but can also aid in preventing more serious illnesses that can be caused by repeated bouts of constipation.
You should be very careful when it comes to laxatives. Before you begin taking laxatives, you should know the difference between constipation and your body’s natural digestive schedule. Constipation occurs when you have less than 3 bowel movements per week. Remember that not everyone has a bowel movement each day, and in many cases, this is normal. Each person’s body has it’s own individual schedule.
If you start taking laxatives in order to make your digestive system perform according to what is normal for other people, you are increasing the chance that your digestive system will become dependent on laxatives in order to process waste from your body. Upsetting the natural process of your digestive system can cause more frequent bouts of constipation, which could lead to more serious illnesses. Being aware of your own body’s natural schedule and learning what foods cause constipation so that you can limit your intake can help in allowing your body to naturally process waste and improve your overall health.
Note: Non-vegetarian foods like egg, meat, chicken, pork and beef cause indigestion as human body is not naturally made to digest non-veg foods
Home Remedies for Constipation Treatment
At some point in your life, you have probably experienced uncomfortable bloating and constipation, both of which can be quite debilitating at times. Constipation is merely a symptom with an underlying issue. By approaching the root cause, it is very possible to relieve the constipation, even before it starts. When constipation happens, you can save a little time and money by utilizing natural remedies, many of which you probably have around the house. Before you run to the pharmacy, give these 10 natural remedies for constipation a try.
It may seem simple, but keeping hydrated facilitates digestion and supports muscle function. When the body receives enough water, the digestive system can process nutrients and move wastes along smoothly. Bowel muscles are also more efficient and are able to keep things moving. The question is: how much water is enough? If you feel thirsty, that’s one indication that you should probably take a sip. If you’re feeling a little backed-up, try 8 to 16 ounces every two hours. Generally speaking, you should divide your body weight in half, take that number and drink the same amount of water (in ounces). If you weigh 150 pounds, then you should drink 75 ounces per day. You may need to alter this based on your activity level.
Prune Juice and Prunes
I bet you probably expected this one. Prunes are high in fiber and sorbitol, a carbohydrate the body digests slowly. As the fiber and sorbitol move along the intestines, they collect water which softens fecal matter. Start with an 8 oz glass of prune juice or 2 or 3 prunes. Give them a little time to work before trying more. Too much fiber and sorbitol can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Coffee (not for people who are allergic to caffeine)
This morning brew does more than wake you up. Coffee — particularly dark-roast coffee — stimulates digestion and contains fiber, oil, and water, all of which help keep the bowels moving. A cup or two will do the trick. As a diuretic, more than a couple cups may make for too many trips to the bathroom. Plus, the excessive caffeine may cause nervous symptoms. Choose organic and fair-trade varieties when choosing coffee.
Take a tablespoon of olive oil before eating breakfast in the morning. As a nutrient-dense oil, it stimulates the digestive tract. It also lubricates the bowels and provides antioxidant protection at the same time.
Yogurt and kefir make for an excellent breakfast, whether it’s consumed as is or mixed with your favorite breakfast cereal or grain-free granola. The probiotic strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium encourage healthy bowels which translates to easier evacuation. Increased frequency, better stool consistency, and a reduced digestive transit time have all been observed with individuals who consume probiotics.
Rich in fiber, a meal containing beans shares many similar benefits as one containing prunes. The fiber keeps stool soft, and the protein has added benefits for growth and repair of bodily tissues. Beans also possess nutrients essential for muscle health and function. For many people, beans may be easier to incorporate into their daily meal plans than prunes.
Magnesium is essential to muscle health and peristalsis, or the movement of food along the digestive tract. Low magnesium consumption has been associated with increased incidence of constipation. Adequate magnesium intake directs water to the bowels, keeping the stool soft and easier to move. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, nuts, and fish are high in magnesium.
Baking Soda and Warm Water
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a quarter cup of warm water. Supposedly, this mixture is said to relieve pain and pressure associated with constipation, and the bicarbonate is believed to reduce the symptoms associated with heartburn. The quicker you finish drinking, the better it seems to work.
Movement encourages muscle health and stimulates digestion, so going for a walk after eating may help get things moving. For cases of occasional constipation, pelvic floor exercises have proven more effective than laxatives. Yoga, Pilates, and even running may encourage the movement of wastes along the intestinal tract.
Flax seed, psyllium, and fenugreek are generally the herbs recommended to start with when it comes to fighting constipation. These are easier on the stomach and fall under the category of bulk laxatives. Purgative herbs such as senna, aloe, and buckthorn are also effective when it comes to constipation; but remember, these herbs are meant for short-term use.