While there are definitely foods that constipate, there are also healthy foods that can help to relieve constipation. Plus, there are other natural constipation home remedies.
Foods that constipate are generally SAD foods. "Sad about what?" you may ask.
"SAD" is short for the Standard American Diet. And the name "SAD" fits because our U.S. diet is high in foods that cause constipation, such as non-nutritive sugars, unhealthy fats and refined grains that are low in fiber. These “SAD” foods and constipation problems go hand in hand.
Foods that Cause Constipation
Since straining to pass dry, hard stools is no fun, constipation is absolutely no laughing matter.
Even occasional constipation can cause indigestion, gas, halitosis and hemorrhoids. And constipation and the foods that constipate can also lead to other serious health problems.
But fortunately, there are four basic natural constipation home remedies. Doing these four things can help you to relieve constipation problems forever:
1. Increase water intake.
2. Eat more high fiber foods.
3. Expand your physical activity.
4. And avoid foods that constipate.
Low fiber foods, foods high in saturated fats and processed foods that have had the fiber and nutrients removed are the main foods that constipate. Here's a list of foods that have been shown to cause constipation problems:
- Deep-fried foods, chips and other foods high in bad fats,
- Dairy Products, such as cheese, ice cream and whole milk,
- Meats, especially fatty meats, red meat and processed meats,
- Refined grains, like white rice or any refined white flour products,
- Highly starchy foods – white potatoes, corn and any refined grains,
- Fast Foods – burgers, pizza, French fries and most other fried foods,
- Refined foods from the sugar list, such as cakes, cookies and pastries.
And the list of constipation causing medications is very long and often overlooked. They include prescriptions for depression, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease and even laxatives, when used frequently.
Foods that Relieve Constipation
Since diet and constipation go hand in hand, by switching to the healthy foods below you can make a huge impact on solving any constipation problems you may have.
- Fruits and vegetables – Most foods high in fiber that are on the list of whole fruits and healthy vegetables help to relieve constipation. Those fruits and vegetables that are especially high in fiber are apples with the skin, apricots, blackberries, peaches, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, cabbage, raw carrots, beets, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
- Beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds – Foods from the lists of beans, whole grains and nuts also help to relieve constipation. Try kidney and lima beans, oatmeal, sprouted whole grain breads and cereals, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sesame and sunflower seeds.
- Water – Getting enough healthy fluids is essential for relieving constipation. And when you increase your fiber intake, your water intake needs to increase too. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day.
- Yogurt – The beneficial organisms that are found in healthy probiotic foods like yogurt help you to properly digest what you eat and protect you from colon and bowel diseases. Unlike cheese and milk, low-fat yogurt doesn't constipate. And it provides the calcium you need to reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.
- Fiber supplements – Psyllium husks, fruit and vegetable fiber and oat, rice and wheat bran soak up huge quantities of liquid. And when combined with plenty of water, fiber supplements can help you to have softer, bulkier, easier to pass stools. It's a great way to make sure you get all the fiber you need to prevent and relieve constipation.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.