Constipation is a condition when one is having troubled bowel movement and experiences difficulty in passing bowl or has infrequent bowels. Suffering from constipation can be extremely painful and very bothersome for anyone. Usually women and elderly suffer more from it than others. Constipation can be chronic which can turn into bowel obstruction that is fatal. Whereas, in many cases, it is a problem of a couple of days that is caused by some particular foods. These foods create a rectal blockage in our body which makes it very difficult and painful to pass stool.
Insufficient intake of water also is a major cause for constipation as it causes hardening of stool which is difficult to pass. Fibers play quite a tricky role in this. They are required for the body to keep digestion proper, but dietary fibers are the ones that create a lot of trouble. Natural foods play absolutely no role in constipation but if they contain dietary fibers then it can be a reason to worry. Any kind of food that reaches out colon undigested, results in constipation which can take the form of a colon cancer if not treated at time and with care. Meanwhile,we look at the common foods that are a part of our everyday meal but they can trouble you with your daily business.
10. Red Meat
Red Meat is liked and consumed by many because of its taste. People also think that while eating red meat like pork or beef, they are providing their body with essential proteins. But the truth is that cooked meat has got 0% proteins and is really difficult to digest. And if taken regularly, red meat becomes a fiber rich element of our diet. Moreover,red meat is very hard for our body to digest. Just partial digestion can take up to 90 hours, now you may have got an idea how it can cause constipation and why you should avoid having excess of it.
9. Sugar products
After serving your taste buds, your sweet tooth can actually leave you constipated. All sugar coated products, like cakes, cookies, pies, pastries etc and other sources of refined carbohydrates are very low in protein, fiber and fluid, but they are high in fat and sugar. Sugar products are fondly liked by many people but if you consume high amounts of sugar products regularly then it develops a risk of chronic constipation. For relief, one must choose higher fiber products like fresh fruits over these sugar coated items.
8. Dairy products
Dairy products are a must have in our diet but they are also known as the binding products or constipating foods. Dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, cakes are again low on fiber and high on fat. Human body is naturally designed for digesting only human milk that’s why consuming cow’s milk or any other animal’s milk and products made from that can cause trouble with our digestive system. Apart from causing constipation, these can also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. You may like to prefer fruit sherbets to keep you fresh and provide nutrients over dairy products to prevent constipation.
One of our favorite munching snacks, potato chips can also cause constipation. If one eats potato chips along with a meal or anytime other time, then they take the place of a richer in fiber side dish whereas chips themselves are low on fiber and high on fat. Eating potato chips can also lead to a “too full” feeling in one’s stomach, and they also slow down the digestion process. To counter constipation, one should try to increase fiber intake in their diet by eating whole grains instead of potato chips.
Eating bananas can cause constipation whereas it can also cure it. It totally depends upon how ripe is the banana that you are eating. Green bananas that are not yet fully ripe have a lot of starch content in them which can cause bloating in our digestive system that leads to constipation. On other hand, ripe bananas contain soluble fibers that have a tendency to stimulate our bowel movements. Unripe bananas have high amount of pectin that has binding abilities. Pectin can cause the binding stool and soaks out the water from the intestinal track. Now lack of water in the intestines causes hardening of stool which also makes it very difficult to pass.
5. Processed food
We should, or whether we should not consume processed food have been a debate for a long time. While people believe that processing the food sucks out all the beneficial nutrients out of it, having processed food can also make you constipated. Processed food and fast foods like pizzas, corn chips, frozen foods, and mashed potatoes contain less fiber that leads to constipation. In order to avoid constipation, one should try to stay away from processed food and start consuming more fresh and unprocessed food that has got all the nutrients and fiber intact in it. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be preferred over processed, canned or frozen food.
Every next day we hear about a harmful effect of caffeine and are advised to reduce our regular intake of caffeine which can be found in our daily cup of coffee, aerated drinks, black tea and many other things. Caffeine is highly dehydrating which is the main cause of constipation, and it disables the digestion to take place smoothly. It is also a diuretic which stimulates the person to urinate more than often. Urinating more compellingly decreases the body water levels causing difficulty in bowel movement. To ensure a healthy bowel movement one must stay away from excessive intake of caffeine whereas a limited intake can be healthy for our bowel routine.
Wheat is the third most produced cereal grain and the second human food crop after rice. Wheat has fibers but still it can cause constipation. Wheat naturally contains lots of opioids peptides that can be 100 times more powerful than morphine molecules. These opioids cause paralysis of the gut which results in constipation. For a proper digestion of food, there has to be muscular contractions in our digestive tract which are stopped due to wheat. We consume wheat in a lot of food items like bread (especially whole meal), pastas, pizzas, doughnuts etc that makes millions of people constipated everyday. Not just because they are made up of wheat but these products are also prepared proteinaceous food which makes the proteins change chemically under the influence of heat and it becomes very difficult for our body to decompose them under the action of enzymes.
Rice is another cereal grain and is the most widely consumed staple food in the world, mainly in Asia. Rice is also the second largest grain produced in the world after maize. But it is also quite known for its binding abilities. Rice can be high on fiber depending upon the outer layer of the grain and fibers are required by our body but indigestible fibers are the one that obstruct the bowel movement leading to constipation. Using brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice can be effective for countering constipation and is also good for your overall health.
Medications are prescribed to improve your health but they can also mess with your digestive tract and cause constipation. Iron supplements, painkillers, antacids and antidepressants that contain codeine and oxycodone can be a reason for major constipation. Some other medications which are taken for treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular problems can also originate bowel problems. In all, there are more than 150 prescriptions and medications which are known to cause constipation and one should always see the labels of these medicines to check for any side effects. Also herbal supplements and natural treatments should be preferred over chemical medications if one wants to keep their bowels regular and smooth.