With much of society being focused on good overall health, you may not think of popcorn as something that could help. But what is popcorn’s effect on people who suffer from constipation?
Constipation is a common ailment that many different things can cause. While there are a number of over-the-counter remedies available, some people may prefer to try natural solutions first. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at whether or not popcorn can help relieve constipation.
Whether you suffer from constipation or another family member, this overview will provide better insight into how eating popcorn could possibly help.
What Is Constipation?
We’ve all been there. You’re minding your own business, going about your day when suddenly you feel it: an unmistakable pain in your gut that can only mean one thing. Bowel obstruction symptoms.
You need to go, but nothing’s happening. This dreaded experience is constipation. Constipation occurs when you have more difficulty performing a bowel movement or you’re not going as often as you should.
Interestingly, it occurs to nearly everyone at one point or another. Symptoms can vary for individuals, but some typical ones are having limited bowel movements, belly bloating, or general stomach discomfort.
Typically, people who have constipation go to the bathroom less than three times a week.
Why Is Popcorn Good For Constipation?
When most of us are making a batch of popcorn, we’re thinking about what we’ll watch on television, not the added health benefits. You may already know that popcorn is high in fiber, but did you know that the benefits can impact your digestive health as well?
An average serving of popcorn (about three cups) will contain about 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. Nutritionists and health experts agree that high-fiber diets are good for promoting regular bowel movements.
However, there is one caveat to eating popcorn to aid in digestion. It’s best to eat it plain without added butter, oil, or heavy seasonings.
How Does The Fiber In Popcorn Help Constipation?
Popcorn is a high-fiber food that can help to soften the stool and make it easier to pass. This is because fiber helps to add bulk to stool, which makes it easier for the intestines to move it through the digestive tract.
Additionally, fiber can also help to draw water into the stool, which can make it softer and easier to pass. Of course, eating solely popcorn wouldn’t fix the problem altogether.
However, you could use it as an alternative to medicines if you’re trying to take the natural route. The main staple of your diet should include plenty of fibrous veggies, like broccoli and spinach, along with other whole grains such as high-fiber cereal. Additionally, you need to drink plenty of water.
Leading health experts across the world agree that fiber is an important part of regulating normal bowel movements. If you see your physician for constipation, they’ll most likely recommend increasing dietary fiber intake.
Healthy men and women need about 25-30 grams per day, so you can get a good amount of fiber in your diet by eating a few cups of popcorn. Unfortunately, most adults fall short of achieving this recommended amount.
Can I Eat Popcorn Every Day If I Have Constipation?
The simple answer here is yes. It’s fine to eat popcorn every day, as long as you’re eating in moderation, like other foods. One of the primary benefits of consuming a snack like this is that it’s highly satisfying.
With just around one gram of fiber for every cup, you can enjoy 3-4 cups as a low-calorie snack and help with constipation at the same time. Many individuals prefer eating foods to help with digestive problems instead of supplements.
Just like anything else, your body will need time to adjust to eating more fiber, so be patient. However, it’s quite important to note that air-popped popcorn is probably the best option for combating constipation.
Another option could be making it on the stovetop, but keep in mind to use oil sparingly.
Microwave popcorn will probably not help nearly as much if you’re having issues with constipation. One of the first reasons is the reduced dietary fiber that microwave popcorn has.
Secondly, it typically has a much higher sodium content. Also, studies have shown that some chemicals that are potentially harmful to our health are found in microwave popcorn flavorings.
If you’re tight on time but want to eat popcorn more often, make a big batch in an air popper or on the stove and keep it sealed in an airtight container for the week.
Does Eating Too Much Popcorn Make You Constipated?
While there has been plenty of research that proves popcorn can aid in good digestive health, could it have the opposite effect if you eat too much? A
s long as you ensure you’re not consuming popcorn with a high-fat content (such as movie theater butter), it won’t make you constipated. Some examples of other foods that could cause constipation include red meat, dairy, and fried foods.
What Are The Key Takeaways About Eating Popcorn And Constipation?
- Popcorn is an excellent source of fiber, which helps if you have issues with being constipated.
- Air-popped popcorn or preparing it on the stove with limited oil is best.
- Eating popcorn as part of a healthy diet can aid in excellent digestive health.
If you’re looking for a way to help get your bowel movements moving, adding popcorn to your diet may be the answer. The fiber in popcorn can help add bulk and moisture to your stool, making it easier to pass.
Plus, popcorn is an excellent source of antioxidants, which can also help improve your health overall. So next time you’re feeling constipated, reach for a bag of popcorn instead of that bottle of laxatives. Just make sure to avoid added salt and butter when you’re popping your popcorn at home.