Constipation: avoid these 7 constipating foods to regain normal transit

Constipation is an unpleasant and relatively common condition. If you suffer from constipation, you can improve your transit by making a few simple changes to your diet. Start by avoiding or reducing your intake of constipating foods, such as those listed below.

Here are 7 common foods that can cause constipation.

  1. The alcohol
  2. Alcohol is frequently mentioned as a probable cause of constipation. Indeed, if you drink alcohol in large quantities, it can increase the amount of fluid lost through urine, which leads to dehydration. Poor hydration, either due to insufficient water intake or excessive fluid loss through urine, is often linked to an increased risk of constipation

    Unfortunately, no studies have could be found on the direct link between alcohol consumption and constipation. Also, some people report having diarrhea, rather than constipation, after an evening of drinking. The effects may vary from person to person. People wishing to counteract the potentially dehydrating and constipating effects of alcohol should try to offset each serving of alcohol with a glass of water or other non-alcoholic beverage.

    1. Foods containing gluten

    Gluten is a protein found in cereals such as wheat, barley, rye, spelled and kamut. Some people may experience constipation when eating foods containing gluten. Also, some people are gluten intolerant. This is called gluten intolerance or celiac disease. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, their immune system attacks their gut, causing severe damage. This is why people with this disease should follow a gluten-free diet. In most countries, it is estimated that 0.5 to 1% of people have celiac disease, but many of them do not know it. Chronic constipation is one of the most common symptoms. Avoiding gluten can help relieve and heal the gut.

    Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two other cases in which the gut of a person can react to wheat. People with these conditions are not gluten intolerant but seem to be sensitive to wheat and other grains. If you suspect gluten is the cause of your constipation, be sure to consult your healthcare professional to rule out celiac disease before removing gluten from your diet.

    1. Processed cereals

    Processed grains and their products, such as white bread, white rice and white pasta, are lower in fiber and can be more constipating than whole grains. Indeed, the bran and germinative parts of cereals are eliminated during processing. In particular, bran contains fiber, a nutrient that adds bulk to stools and helps them move.

    Many studies have linked higher fiber intake to a risk lower constipation. Therefore, people with constipation may benefit from gradually reducing their intake of processed grains and replacing them with whole grains.

    Although a supplement of fiber is beneficial for most people, some people experience the opposite effect. For them, the extra fiber may make constipation worse, rather than relieving it. If you’re constipated and already eat a lot of fiber-rich whole grains, adding fiber to your diet is unlikely to help. In some cases, it can even make the problem worse. If this is the case for you, try gradually reducing your daily fiber intake to see if that gives you some relief.

    1. Milk and dairy products

    Dairy products seem to be another common cause of constipation, at least for some people. Infants, toddlers and children appear to be particularly at risk, possibly due to sensitivity to proteins found in cow’s milk. A review of studies conducted over a period of 26 years found that some children with constipation experienced improvements when they stopped consuming cow’s milk.

    In a recent study, children aged 1 to 12 years with chronic constipation drank cow’s milk for some time. Cow’s milk was later replaced with soy milk for a later period. Nine of the children in the study experienced relief from their constipation when cow’s milk was replaced by soy milk. There are many anecdotal reports of similar experiences in adults. However, little scientific evidence could be found, as most studies examining these effects focus on children, not older populations. It should be noted that people who are lactose intolerant may experience diarrhea, rather than constipation, after consuming dairy products.

    1. Red meat

    Red meat can make constipation worse for three main reasons. First, it is low in fiber, which adds bulk to stools and helps them move. Second, red meat may also indirectly reduce a person’s total daily fiber intake by displacing higher fiber options in the diet. This is especially true if you fill up on meat during a meal, which reduces the amount of fiber-rich vegetables, legumes, and whole grains you can eat at one time. This scenario would lead to an overall decrease in daily fiber intake, which could increase the risk of constipation. Also, unlike other types of meat, such as poultry and fish, red meat generally contains higher amounts of fat, and foods high in fat take longer to be digested by the body. In some cases, this can increase the likelihood of constipation even more. People with constipation may benefit from replacing red meat in their diet with alternatives high in protein and fiber such as beans, lentils and peas.

    1. Fried foods or fast meals

    Eating large or frequent portions of fried foods or quick meals may also increase the risk of constipation.

    This is because these foods tend to be high in fat and low in fiber, a combination that can slow digestion like red meat does. Fast food snacks such as crisps, cookies, chocolate and ice cream can also replace higher fiber snacks such as fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet.

    This may further increase the risk of constipation by reducing the total amount of fiber consumed per day. Interestingly, many people believe that chocolate is one of the main causes of their constipation. Also, fried foods and fast meals tend to contain high amounts of salt, which can reduce the water content of the stool, making it dry and harder to pass through the body. This happens when you eat too much salt because your body sucks water from your intestines to help compensate for the extra salt in your blood.

    This is one of the ways used by your body to bring its salt concentration back to normal, but unfortunately this can lead to constipation.

    1. Persimmons

    Persimmons are a popular fruit of Asia which can be constipating for some. There are several varieties, but most can be classified as mild or astringent. In particular, persimmons contain a high amount of tannins, a compound believed to reduce secretions and intestinal contractions, slowing bowel movements. This is why people with constipation should avoid consuming too many persimmons, especially the astringent varieties.

    If you are still having difficulty after reducing your intake of constipating foods, consult your doctor or your naturopath.

    Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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