Foods that cause constipation in winters
From tea and coffee to deep-fried foods, here are foods you must avoid to prevent constipation in winter season.
The onset of winters can make our daily routine go haywire if we are not careful. People wake up a little late and some even skip their morning walks or exercise routine which can change the course of their entire day. From water intake, food habits to physical activity during the day, everything gets affected in winter, which could lead to constipation. With junk and processed food intake on the rise especially among youngsters, constipation is increasingly becoming far more common. Lack of physical activity in winters only worsens the condition. Besides causing several long-term problems, chronic constipation also spoils daily routine of people suffering from it as it leaves them with less energy and enthusiasm. (Also read: Triphala to anjeer; Ayurveda remedies to cure constipation in kids)
"Constipation is a very common ailment that affects people of all ages and genders. It has become a common occurrence in young kids as well who have adopted a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Constipation is not always the result of a bad lifestyle, it can also be developed as a comorbidity with diseases like IBS, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and general stomach conditions. This condition occurs when the stool is not able to pass effectively through the digestive tract or cannot be eliminated from the rectum. As a result, the stool may also become hard and dry," says Dr Gurbakhshish Singh Sidhu, Senior Consultant, Medical Gastroenterology, Manipal Hospitals, Patiala.
Chronic constipation can also lead to major conditions like haemorrhoids, anal fissures, and rectal prolapse. Foods play a major role in determining the symptoms of constipation and if left uncontrolled, it could get worse in the winter season.
Therefore, one must know what is good for the digestive system and what is not.
Dr Sidhu shares a list of food items that are best to avoid for a healthy stomach:
1. Drinks that cause dehydration
It is easy to miss the average water consumption during the winter season, and a person might go a full day without realizing that they haven’t consumed any water. Dehydration is a key player in causing constipation and drinks such as alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration when consumed regularly or in excess quantities.
2. Processed grains
Foods with high-fibre content are good for digestion and highly processed grains such as white bread and rice lack fibre content, making them a cause of constipation in many people.
3. Raw bananas
Bananas are considered very good for digestion but they can trigger constipation if eaten raw. A well-ripped banana has good fibre content that could help in treating constipation. However, an unripe banana has large quantities of starch that makes it difficult to digest and causes constipation.
4. Dairy products
Many people in the world are lactose intolerant, due to the inability to produce lactase, which is an enzyme that helps to digest milk and milk products. The usual symptoms of lactose intolerance are diarrhoea and gas but many young children and adults also experience constipation as a side effect.
5. Junk or fast foods
Many fast foods, including pizza, ice creams, burgers, chips, and biscuits have high salt/sugar and high-fat content with very less fibre. Fibre is essential in digestion and lack of it always causes ailments that get worse if appropriate changes are not made. Fast foods not only cause constipation but also triggers many other severe diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and fatty liver.
"Although constipation is a common ailment that is bound to happen sometimes, but with proper care and attention, the issue can be avoided. In case of underlying symptoms of constipation for more than 3 weeks, it is best to consult a medical expert to avoid any complications in future," says Dr Sidhu.