15 Foods That Cause Constipation

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

Bananas and chewing gum

Bananas

Bananas are a conundrum when it comes to constipation foods to avoid. It's a matter of timing: Unripe bananas can cause constipation; ripe bananas can help relieve constipation.

  • Unripe or under-ripe green bananas cause constipation because they still have a lot of starch, which can be hard for the body to digest.
  • Bananas also contain fiber (pectin), which draws water from the intestines toward the stool.

If someone is already dehydrated, this can make constipation worse.

Babies can also get constipated if they eat too many bananas. Moderation and a variety of fruits and veggies for your little one is the key.

Chewing gum

  • It’s not true that if you swallow a piece of gum it takes seven years to digest.
  • However, it is true that if you swallow many pieces of gum in a short time, or if you swallow several pieces of gum with other indigestible foods such as seeds, this can create a mass that in rare cases, blocks the digestive tract. This blockage can cause constipation.
  • Children under age 5 should not chew gum at all, and if you do chew gum, stick to just one or two pieces a day – and throw it out when you’re done chewing!
Reviewed on 10/11/2016
References
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National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Eating, Diet, and Nutrition for Constipation." Nov 13, 2014.
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<http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3745?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=flaxseed> IMAGES:

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