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Constipation Causing Foods

The National Digestive Disease Clearinghouse report that constipation affects nearly 15% of all Americans, which is defined as having less than three bowel movements per week or having stool that is difficult to pass. Common causes of constipation includes certain foods that are either low in fiber or high in particular substances.

Foods that are Highly Processed

Constipation Causing FoodsMedlinePlus suggest people avoid processed foods if feeling constipated. These foods have had much of the fiber removed during processing, and fiber is important for normal human digestion. Fiber increases the size of stool and absorbs moisture, which then softens the waste and makes it move through the alimentary canal with less resistance.

Most processed foods have healthier alternatives, which have been less processed and retain more of the original fiber. Whole wheat bread is better than white bread. Whole grain pastas are healthier than regular pasta. Whole grain rice has more of the rice kernel and doesn’t go through a bleaching process.

Animal Proteins

Although foods can affect people in different ways, meat and eggs have been shown to cause constipation in a large sample of people. In 2003 the “Journal of the Korean Academy of Nursing” published a study claiming children who ate meat more once a day or more were more likely to become constipate than those who ate meat less frequently.

Substitute meat products for high-protein foods that also offer high levels of fiber. Beans, nuts, and seeds are great high-fiber sources that also provide protein. Beans can be added to many dishes to up fiber and protein levels without decreasing the dish’s appeal.

Constipation Causing FoodsDairy Products states that dairy can be very constipating if consumed too frequently.

Cheeses,yogurts, and milk products contain substances that can be difficult for the body to break down, including casein and lactose. Kids have even more difficulty processing dairy than adults, although cheese has been found to be constipating in both adults and children.

Dairy does not need to be avoided completely, but should be limited and part of a fiber-rich diet comprised of many fruits and vegetables.

Other Foods That Cause Constipation

Constipation Causing FoodsA 2005 study from the “European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology” discovered that many people believe the foods that constipated them the most were chocolate,bananas, and black tea. Make substitutions to avoid these foods.

Avoid bananas by choosing a different fruit that contains more fiber and can actually improve digestion. Berries of all kinds are excellent options. Stone fruits such as apples, pears, and apricots are also good choices. Dried fruits like raisins and prunes pack a lot of fiber that will promote a healthy colon.

Black tea contains more caffeine than any other kind of tea, which may contribute to why it can cause constipation. Green and white teas have much less caffeine and may be a better option, or herbal teas that do not contain any caffeine.

Chocolate is a delicious treat that some people cannot resist. To prevent constipation from eating chocolate, eat it in smaller portions. Switching from milk chocolate to dark chocolate may also be beneficial as dark chocolate contains less milk, meaning less casein and lactose.

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*The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the Editor. Results may vary from person to person and cannot be guaranteed.

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