It’s very common for people to experience problems with their bowel movements at some point in their lives.
Constipation occurs when your bowel movements become difficult to pass, and conversely, diarrhea is characterized by looser, watery stools that pass too quickly.
Usually, the stuff that comes out of us is a direct result of what we put in. The food we eat has a significant and direct impact on the consistency of our bowel movements, which is why it’s so essential to make good choices in the kitchen in order to have good experiences in the bathroom.
Foods That Upset Your Digestion
When you eat foods that are hard to digest, they can cause stomach pain, bloating, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence (farting), and other digestive problems.
Constipation is often caused by dehydration and not eating enough high-fiber foods. Soluble fibers soak up and retain water, making it easier for the stool to slide through your digestive tract correctly.
Foods that can cause constipation include:
- White bread
- White rice
- Red meat
- Fried foods
On the opposite end of the unhealthy poop spectrum, diarrhea is typically the body’s way of flushing out the digestive tract, expelling irritants as quickly as possible. This is often due to viruses and bacteria, but it can sometimes be a reaction to certain foods, and again, not enough fiber. In cases of diarrhea, fiber slows down the movement of stool through the digestive tract, helping food digest and absorb properly.
Foods that can cause diarrhea include:
- Spicy foods
- Sugar substitutes
- Allergens and intolerances
If you frequently notice a troubled gut soon after eating, it’s probably because of the food you’re eating.
Take note of what you’re eating in a food journal or tracker. Look for patterns that might connect certain foods to your bathroom issues.
Foods For Healthy Poops
The most effective way to make sure you have a healthy bowel movement is to take in enough fiber. Many people don’t eat enough fiber – they don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.
Fiber comes from plants. It cannot be broken down and absorbed into the body, but it plays a crucial role in your digestive system. Fiber holds all the waste material together, helping your intestines push stool through at just the right speed for nutrient absorption.
Foods with a high fiber content are, essentially, whole (unprocessed) plant-based materials, such as:
- Green Vegetables
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and legumes
If you’re constipated, fiber can help stimulate bowel movement, but you should also try drinking more water.
And for diarrhea, fiber can help slow things down and make your digestive system work properly.
Eating an abundant variety of plant-based foods every day is key to maintaining healthy bowel movements.
As simple as it sounds, the truth is, if you’re having issues with your bowel movements, you’re probably not eating enough vegetables.