However, chronic constipation means that the digestive system is not functioning as it should.
5 foods that can cause frequent constipation
Constipation is common, and most people experience it occasionally — particularly if their usual routine or diet has recently changed.
What causes constipation can vary from person to person. For some, eating a diet low in fibre can cause or worsen constipation.
For others, food allergies and intolerances can cause or worsen constipation. Finding the cause of constipation can help these people determine which foods they should avoid.
Below are some foods that may cause constipation:
- Dairy products
Dairy products are a common staple in many people’s kitchens, but eating too much dairy may lead to constipation.
Dairy products like yoghurt, cheese, and milk contain many beneficial nutrients, but they are naturally fibre-free because they aren’t plant-based food.
Some dairy products are especially problematic for constipation because of the combination of being high in fat and low in fibre.
- Refined grains (e.g white bread)
Refined carbohydrates, or refined carbs, are those which have been stripped of some of their nutrients during processing and aren’t in their natural form. One of the most common sources of refined carbohydrates is refined grains.
When grains are refined, they are stripped of the bran and germ, leaving a low-fibre, lower-nutrient grain. These grains are often enriched with the vitamins and minerals lost during the refining process, so many refined grains have the ingredient “enriched flour” as the main ingredient.
Refined grains are also very low in fibre since the part of the grain highest in fibre is removed during processing. As a result, refined grains are higher in simple, low-fibre carbohydrates.
Instead of refined grains, choose whole-grain bread, crackers, pasta, and any other types of products made from grains.
- Red meat
Like all non-plant-based foods, meat doesn’t contain fibre. Dietary fibre is essential for promoting regular, healthy bowel movements.
Eating a high-meat diet without enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can cause constipation and isn’t good for your health in general.
Your hydration status plays a big role in your digestive health and bowel patterns. While eating fibre is great for your digestive system, it won’t provide constipation relief if you don’t have enough fluid.
Alcohol is dehydrating because it causes your body to release more water, which is why you might have noticed that you have to urinate more often when drinking alcohol.
If you’re losing more fluids in the form of urine, that can cause dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your stools can become more difficult to pass.
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