Constipation Awareness Month: Foods That Can Cause And Relieve Constipation

Constipation Awareness Month: Foods That Can Cause And Relieve Constipation
11 Dec 2023
Table Of Content
Constipation Awareness Month: Foods That Can Cause And Relieve Constipation

    "Digestion Delight: Savouring the Season Without Discomfort"


    As winter wraps the world in a peaceful blanket of snow, many find comfort in delicious seasonal foods. However, amidst a winter wonderland, it's important to be mindful of our food choices, as some winter foods can contribute to a shadow over our gut and digestive well-being - constipation.

    What Is Constipation? 


    Constipation is a common digestive issue where you experience infrequent bowel movements. It occurs when stool moves slowly through the digestive tract, leading to hard and dry stools, making it difficult to pass. constipation is the term used to describe the condition when there are less than three bowel motions each week. 


     How Widespread Is Constipation Seen?

    The average prevalence of constipation was estimated to be 16% worldwide. Generally, older adults showed a greater incidence, with about 33.5% experiencing constipation-related symptoms. Similarly, the prevalence of constipation among the Indian population was 16.8%, among which females are more significant than males.


    Break The Blockage, Embrace Constipation Awareness

    Constipation, a common and often underestimated digestive issue, greatly affects the well-being of individuals worldwide. The importance of awareness cannot be overstated, as it plays an important role in early detection, prevention, and promotion of overall digestive health. December is observed as constipation awareness month, which takes center stage to highlight this frequently disregarded health issue and offers a chance to increase awareness.


    9 Dietary Culprits: Identifying Foods That Cause Constipation


    If you are unable to poop or finding it difficult, here's a detailed list of foods that your intestines hate. Of course, your taste buds will crave for these foods. Don't let these temptations blindfold your healthy gut.


    1. Processed foods:

    The modern-day food plan frequently includes an array of processed meals, which lack the crucial vitamins and herbal fibers observed in whole, unprocessed foods. Processed snacks, fast meals, and pre-packaged food may be low in fiber and excessive in unhealthy fats, sugar, and preservatives, collectively developing an environment conducive to constipation.

    2. Red meat:

    Excessive red meat consumption, in particular, is linked to constipation for several reasons. While red meat is a good source of protein and essential nutrients, it lacks dietary fiber, a major cause of regular diarrhea. Additionally, red meat tends to have more cholesterol than other meats, such as chicken and fish, making it hard to digest. So limit your red meat intake. 

    3. Alcohol:

    Alcohol consumption can contribute to constipation through a variety of mechanisms, including dehydration, inhibition of intestinal secretion, changes in gut microbiota, electrolyte imbalance, effects on the central nervous system, and decreased sensory awareness.

    4. Dairy products

     Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter contain lactose which can cause increased gas and bloating, making a person feel even worse. Furthermore, protein quality in these products is slow digesting and makes you feel full for a long time, promoting constipation.

    5. Chocolate:

    While chocolate is a favorite treat, it is low in dietary fiber important in regular bowel movements. In addition, chocolate contains compounds such as theobromine and caffeine, which have mild dehydrating effects, causing thickened stools.

    6. White flour:

     Avoid eating white sandwich bread or rolls, hamburger buns, cake, and cookies excessively. White flour, a common ingredient in refined cereals, can cause constipation due to a lack of dietary fiber and nutrient deficiencies. These foods have a high glycemic index that rapidly raises blood sugar and possibly results in an imbalance in the gut microbiome.

    7. Unripe bananas:

    Though there is a belief that bananas help in the smooth passing of stools, unripe bananas have 100–250 mg of tannins per 100 g; having such a high amylase-resistant starch content, they may induce Constipation or exacerbate it already. 

    8. Fast foods:

    All those fast foods such as burgers, fries, hotdogs, noodles, and pizzas contain low fiber content, high levels of unhealthy fats, inadequate hydration, and cause potential disruption of the gut microbiota that makes you feel bloated, causing Constipation. 

    9. Persimmons: [Korean mango]

    Specifically, astringent persimmons are high in tannins, which are supposed to lessen stomach contractions and secretions and slow down bowel movements and digestion.  In summary, foods low in fiber can negatively affect the balance of the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome plays an important role in digestive health, and when out of balance, it can lead to irregular bowel habits, including constipation.


    Foods that relieve Constipation


     "No More Traffic Jams Below: Choose Foods that Let You Go"


    We have got all your worries covered. The ultimate solution for your poop problem lies in your kitchen itself. Let's find the foods that help flush the block in the baggage. Eating enough fiber and staying hydrated are the two keys to keeping you away from constipation. 


    1. Fibre-rich fruits:

     Fruits contain high amounts of fiber; consume them when you feel bloated.  Are you tired of eating these bland fruits? Feast your tummies by making a fruit salad or mixing yoghurt to accelerate your relief.  

    • Kiwifruit
    • Apples
    • Pear
    • Blackberries and raspberries 
    • Grapes 
    • Papaya 
    • Prune 

    A prune is a dried plum that, apart from containing the essential fiber, contains high amounts of fructose, sorbitol, and phenolic compounds, which possess some laxative effect enough to ensure smooth movements through your bowel.


    2. Probiotics

    Probiotics offer a wide approach to addressing aspects of digestive health. They work by balancing the gut microbiota, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. This microbial balance supports smooth movements and increased stool frequency. In addition, probiotics help soften stools. Most probiotics are found in dairy foods. Some of them are:

    • Yogurt
    • Kefir
    • Sauerkraut


    3.  Pulses:   

    Their high dietary fiber content encourages regular bowel movements and assists in preventing constipation. It has high fiber content and gives feces more volume, which softens and makes it easier for the stool to pass through the digestive tract. Here is the list to fill your kitchen cabinet:

    • Lentils
    • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
    • Black Beans
    • Kidney Beans
    • Split Peas
    • Black-eyed Peas
    • Pinto Beans
    • Green Peas


    4. Liquids:

    Apart from fiber, adequate hydration is essential for the smooth passage of stools. Drinking sufficient water [4-6 liters] helps make the poop softer and easier to pass. Coconut water and watermelon also contains high water content and can be consumed as alternatives since they contain key vitamins and minerals that help relieve constipation.


    Myth Busters


    Myth: Constipation is always caused by  lack of fiber.

    Fact: While fiber is important, various factors contribute to constipation, including a lack of physical activity, dehydration, certain medications, and underlying health conditions.


    Myth: Constipation is unavoidable

    Fact: Constipation is often manageable through lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, and, if necessary, medical interventions. Seeking professional advice can help address and alleviate the condition.


    Myth: If you're not experiencing pain, you're not constipated.

    Fact: Constipation is not solely defined by discomfort. Infrequent or difficult bowel movements, even without pain, can still indicate constipation. Consulting a healthcare professional is advisable.


    Takeaway Tales


    The secret to saying goodbye to constipation is prioritising your gut health. Adopt a healthy, high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and lead an active lifestyle. In this awareness month, let us join together to spread the word about the importance of constipation and home remedies treatment to bid farewell to the blockages.

    Written by
    Dr. Thamizhakaran K SMedical Content Writer
    AboutThamizhakaran K S is a Medical Content writer at Mr.Med. He completed Doctor of pharmacy from Annamalai University in 2023. He has worked as clinical pharmacist intern at Government Cuddalore medical college and hospital. During internship he gained expertise on clincial pharmacology, pharmacotherapeutics and clinical research. He also published an research project in International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Research. He has thorough knowledge on clinical trail methodologies and various pharmacovigilance guidelines. He possesses a strong interest in writing and uses his research skills to clearly communicate health information to the readers.
    Tags :Constipation awareness monthconstipation and foods to avoidfiber rich foods