Constipation is an unpleasant condition that is relatively common. Luckily, if you have constipation, you can achieve smoother digestion by making some simple changes to your diet. Start by avoiding or reducing your intake of constipating foods. If you are constipated and already consuming a lot of fiber-rich whole grains, adding more fibre to your diet is unlikely to help.
In some cases, it may even make the problem worse. While ripe bananas can help prevent constipation, unripe bananas tend to have the opposite effect. If you drink alcohol in large amounts, it can increase the amount of fluids lost through your urine, causing dehydration. Processed grains and their products, such as white bread, white rice and white pasta, are less nutritious and may be more constipating than whole grains.
Dairy products may cause constipation in some individuals. This effect is most common in those who are sensitive to the proteins found in cow’s milk. Red meat may worsen constipation for three main reasons. First, it contains little fiber, which adds bulk to the stools and helps them move along. Red meat is generally high in fat and low in fiber, a nutrient combination that may increase the risk of constipation. If you let red meat replace fiber-rich foods in your diet, it can increase the risk even further. Fast-food snacks like chips, cookies, chocolate and ice cream may also replace more fiber-rich snack options, such as fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fried and fast foods are low in fiber and high in fat and salt. These characteristics may slow digestion and increase the likelihood of constipation.