Food provides the body with the nutrition it needs to function properly, but sometimes, getting too much of the wrong food can lead to constipation and leave you searching for foods that make you poop.
What we eat is supposed to go from our mouths, into our belly, and out. Digestion time varies from person to person, but it generally takes anywhere from six to eight hours for food to pass through the stomach and small intestine. It then enters the large intestine to further digest, and then undigested food is eliminated. Some foods will have us running to the washroom quicker, while others lead to uncomfortable constipation. For instance, lots of fruits can keep people full, but they can also cause the runs. Fried foods, on the other hand, can make you constipated. So can painkillers, since they contain elements that can bind receptors in the digestive tract. Although some people assume all fruits will help get things moving, certain fruits—such as unripe bananas—contain a lot of starch, which moves really slowly through the digestive system.
Most dieticians will tell you that a well-balanced diet is best to keep you regular. While you do want to have foods that help you poop, you don’t want to go overboard, and you should know what makes you poop instantly so you can avoid mad dashes to the washroom.
Bowel movement basics: What makes you poop?
What makes you poop might be different than what makes someone else poop. However, for many people, caffeine is a trigger for bowel movements. Caffeine increases levels of cholecystokinin, which can regulate bowel movement and help with fecal elimination. There are cases where caffeinated drinks don’t seem to work for a person who is constipated, but consuming spicy food does. This is due to the fact that spicy foods contain capsaicin, a substance that irritates the bowels and leads to movement.
Experts say that one of the best things a person can do when they are constipated is drink a lot of water. Since constipation is related to dehydration in the colon, plenty of water is needed.
When a person is constipated, multiple factors can be at play, but the bottom line is that regular bowel evacuation is vital since we need to eliminate toxins from our body. Failure to do so can lead to more serious health issues, including toxicity, bacteria growth in the gut, or diverticulitis (bowel pockets).
Foods that help you poop
If you have a history of constipation, you might want to take a look at the following list of foods that make you poop.
- Prunes – they have lots of fiber and sorbitol, a natural laxative.
- Avocados – they are high in magnesium and attract water to soften stool.
- Kiwi – this fruit is low in sugar and high in fiber.
- Popcorn – plain popcorn is a good substitute for chips because it has fiber.
- Flaxseed – the seeds are packed with fiber, but don’t eat them whole because they will pass through you. Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, or a salad.
- Oranges – they contain a flavonol called naringenin, which researchers found can work like a laxative to help constipation.
- Oatmeal – it contains insoluble fiber, which can bulk up stool, helping it pass quicker.
- Aloe Vera Juice – studies indicate that it can act as a laxative.
- Spinach – the green vegetable has fiber and magnesium. The mineral helps the colon contract and draws water in to flush things out.
- Beans – they contain resistant starch, a fiber that helps improve movement of food through the colon. It also helps balance bacteria in the GI tract.
- Green beans – this vegetable can be helpful due to its fiber content.
- Cereal – a high fiber cereal consumed in the morning can trigger movement.
- Wheat bran – the outer layer of a wheat kernel is full of fiber, with about 25g per cup.
- Almonds – they are loaded with healthy fats, proteins, and fiber, but it is really the magnesium in them that helps with constipation.
- Kefir – it is packed with probiotics, and several studies show that probiotics can ease constipation.
- Raspberries – they contain double the fiber that strawberries do.
- Broccoli – this popular green vegetable has about 5.1g of insoluble fiber per cup.
If you are looking for foods that make you poop immediately, you just might find something on this list that will do the trick. If you continue to struggle to find relief, you should consult a doctor.
More often than not, constipation is linked to diet, and there is an opportunity to turn to foods that make you poop right away. There are some causes that go beyond diet, for example, being sedentary, taking certain medications, or suffering from a neurological condition could lead to constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome can also make it difficult to poop. Some people with this condition suffer from diarrhea, while others have constipation.
When a person has a well-balanced diet and has already explored foods that make you poop right away—yet they still have difficulty with bowel movements—further investigation is required. It may seem like a hard subject to broach with a doctor, but it won’t be anything he or she hasn’t heard before. Bowel movement is a bodily function that is important to good health.
Related: 10 natural remedies for constipation