Though there are times when constipation could seem advantageous, everything about it is pretty horrible. When your digestive system can't work as it should, you feel sluggish, bloated, tired, and, well, gross. You know you should try to eat healthfully to avoid that "backed up" feeling, but, frankly, "healthy" means different things to a lot of different people, even experts. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that some perfectly healthy foods can be deemed culprits and are actually among the list of foods that make you constipated.
There are lots of activities and lifestyle changes that could cause constipation, as well, including time spent traveling and being pregnant, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Taking time off from your normal exercise routine, not drinking enough water, or taking certain medications or supplements can also cause disruptions in your digestive system and prevent you from pooping normally, according to Health. And knowledge is power, as the saying goes, so knowing what could be causing your constipation — or what could cause future issues to arise — can be key to solving (or avoiding) your constipation woes. Avoid these 13 foods that can cause or exacerbate constipation, and feel happier and healthier.
A 2014study found that when bananas aren't ripe enough, they can make constipation worse because the digestible soluble sugars haven't formed yet. So do yourself a favor and make sure to avoid the green bananas.
Cheese is high in fat and low in fiber, which can cause you to feel constipated, according to Health. Easing up on the cheese a little bit, plus incorporating a balance of other foods, can help relieve those feelings and get your digestive system back on track.
3. Red Meat
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, nearly 70 percent of adults are lactose intolerant. And while intolerance can cause diarrhea and other painful intestinal issues, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that difficulties digesting milk can also cause uncomfortable constipation, especially in kids.
5. Frozen Meals
Let's face it: frozen meals are super convenient. All you have to do is zap them in the microwave, throw them in the oven, or heat them on the stove, and then they're ready to go. The bad news? Registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos told Everyday Health that frozen meals can cause constipation. due to their low fiber, high fat, and high sodium content.
Pastries are a triple whammy when it comes to constipation, unfortunately. Registered dietitian Jessica Fishman Levinson told Rodale's OrganicLife that the high fat, low fiber, and low fluid content of pastries can really back you up. Step away from the pastry case.
Although science hasn't solidly confirmed a link between chocolate and the inability to go, many people claim that chocolate mucks up their digestive system. According to Healthline, the dairy or caffeine content of chocolate can cause constipation, rather than the cocoa itself.
8. Black Tea
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that tea can cause constipation due to its dehydrating qualities. According to a 2005 study conducted in Germany, lots of people name tea when describing constipating foods.
Although that same 2005 study conducted in Germany found that some people perceive coffee to not be constipating, TheHuffington Post noted that coffee is a diuretic and dyhdration can cause constipation in some people. Make sure your morning jolt isn't affecting your digestive system to the point of discomfort.
Breads made with refined white flours don't contain as much fiber as whole grain options, which means that eating a lot of it can back you up, according to St. John Providence Physician Network. Swap your white flour bagel for a whole grain version to avoid potential constipating issues later on.
11. Ice Cream
According to Rodale's OrganicLife, ice cream contains a milk protein called immunoglobin G, which means ice cream can be constipating. Dairy products are well-known for being potential constipation culprits, however, so if you've gone a few days between pooping, avoid the ice cream case.
12. Fried Foods
Registered dietitian Mark Spielmann told Everyday Health that the bread and grease of fried foods make them move slower through your digestive system, causing constipation. So if you're battling irregularity, consider skipping the drive thru.
Although eggs themselves aren't constipating, eating too many of them can cause constipation in some people, due to their lack of fiber and high fat content, according to The Huffington Post Canada. If eggs are your go-to breakfast of choice, consider switching it up a couple mornings a week to keep everything functioning as it should.