10 Foods Making You Constipated & 10 That Keep You Regular

10 Foods Making You Constipated & 10 That Keep You Regular

Constipation happens for any number of reasons, from lack of exercise to not enough dietary fiber. It can be uncomfortable to talk about, but even more uncomfortable to work through. Luckily, there are foods you can eat to help ease a BM through your system—and some foods to avoid that plug you up even more.

1. Processed Grains

Excess pasta, white bread, and white rice are all number one suspects for constipation. That’s largely in part due to their low fiber content, especially when stacked against whole grains. Eat too much and your next trip to the bathroom might be uneventful. 

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2. Cheese

Cheese, and dairy products in general, are rich in calcium that can lead to a plug in our system. The reason is that cheese can firm stool and interfere with how long it takes to leave our bodies, which leads to constipation. This is a particular problem for those with lactose intolerance. 

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3. Bananas

Bananas are packed with pectin, a kind of fiber that thickens in the digestive tract and slows a stool's movement. It’s a fine line with bananas because on the one hand, they’re a great way to stop diarrhea, but too many of them have the opposite effect. 

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4. Fast Food

It would be nice if there were one solid benefit to fast food, but alas. Keep away from greasy, fatty food if you want a normal cycle because fast food is loaded with fat and not enough fiber. Fat takes longer to break down and paired with the lack of fiber, stools can sit in our guts for longer.

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5. Red Meat

Red meat has a lot of fat and not a lot of fiber, making it a prime candidate for constipation. If you eat a lot of red meat, you might experience slower digestion thanks to the fat and slower transit time thanks to the low fiber.

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6. Eggs

Eggs are a terrific source of protein but fall short on fiber, meaning some might experience constipation. Eggs already take their time leaving your system, but the high protein also means more digestive work—so they could spell trouble.

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7. Marshmallows

They’re so light, so fluffy…surely they’re not that big a problem. Well, marshmallows do come with some figurative fine print, namely that they’re often packed with sugar and gelatin, and too many can cause a blockage. 

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8. Ice Cream

Ice cream delivers on flavor, but also a lot of fat and sugar. Some people may find that coupled with the lack of fiber, ice cream plugs their system and slows down digestion. It’s best to explore other dessert options and avoid regular consumption.

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9. Alcohol

Overconsumption of alcohol affects everyone differently—and some unlucky few may find that too much leads to constipation. Alcohol dehydrates you and if you pair a beer with fatty foods, your system is now filled with fat and sugar and not enough water, all of which can lead to a blockage. 

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10. Potato Chips

Potato chips contain a perfect storm of binding ingredients. They’re full of salt and fat and can easily dehydrate you, meaning the potential for an upset stomach and digestive issues that lead to a plug.

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On the other hand, let’s dive into which foods promote healthier trips to the bathroom.


1. Prunes

Prunes aren’t just for grandma—they’re a sought-after remedy for anyone with constipation. Their sugar alcohol, sorbitol acts as a natural relief that can soften stools and help aid in a regular schedule. 

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2. Kiwi

Kiwis are packed with fiber and enzymes that do wonders for your digestive tract. They help with stool consistency, can regulate how often you go, and even alleviate some symptoms of stomach upset.

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3. Broccoli

We’ve all got some childhood trauma with broccoli, but you may want to give it a chance if you’re plugged. Broccoli is full of the fiber, water content, and vitamins you need to relieve constipation.

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4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber, the kind of fiber that becomes gel-like during digestion and thereby softens the stool. When you’re constipated, oatmeal promotes healthier bowel movements and can make it easier to pass what’s already caught in your gut.

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5. Pears

Now let’s quickly peek at insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, which helps move things along your system quicker—and pears are full of it. They’re also filled with sorbitol, the sugar alcohol present in prunes that naturally works to soften stools.

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6. Kale

Kale has just about every remedy for constipation: fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This leafy green has been linked to mild constipation relief by bulking up stools and promoting regular bowel movements.

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7. Apples

Apples contain two things we’ve already learned about—pectin and sorbitol. Pectin is a soluble fiber that adds bulk to our stools and sorbitol is nature’s laxative that softens them. Apples are also filled with water, so reach for one the next time you need some help on the toilet.

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8. Flaxseed

Not only is flaxseed rich in fiber, but it also comes loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Both relieve constipation by working to bulk up stools and reduce inflammation. You also have the added benefit of flaxseed’s versatility, meaning you can add it to smoothies, yogurt, or soup.

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9. Beans

Beans are packed with both insoluble and soluble fiber, making them a go-to for anyone with constipation. If you feel plugged, try baked beans to help soften your stool and promote regular bowel movement—just be careful you don’t eat too many too quickly because the high fiber can lead to further GI upset.

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10. Liquids

One of the most important things to do when you’re constipated is to stay hydrated. Remember that when you’re constipated, your colon soaks in a bunch of water from your stool and hardens it to the point of discomfort. So, staying hydrated helps to soften a BM and hopefully make it easier to pass.

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