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Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow Does Popcorn Cause Constipation?

Does Popcorn Cause Constipation?

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 22, 2023
3 min read 1789 Views 0 Comments
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Popcorn might be a delicious snack, but if you struggle with constipation, you should learn more about how popcorn causes and relieves it.

Does popcorn cause constipation

Popcorn is a popular snack for a lot of people. It’s tasty, salty, can be low-calorie, and can be spiced and flavored in hundreds of different ways. Plus, in most parts of the world, popcorn is a staple movie-theater snack and one of the healthier snack options you can choose.

Even though popcorn is generally considered a healthy snack, that doesn’t mean it’s good for your bowel movements. If you’re dealing with constipation or related digestive health disorders, you may wonder if popcorn could worsen constipation.

Let’s take a closer look at constipation itself, what causes constipation and constipation relief, and how popcorn plays a role in maintaining regular bowel movements.

Does Popcorn Cause Constipation?

Most of the time, popcorn doesn’t cause constipation, thanks to its high fiber content. In fact, popcorn is a good source of insoluble fiber, and air-popped popcorn is even a good snack for encouraging bowel movement.

However, like many high-fiber foods, how you eat your popcorn also matters. Adding a lot of fats or harmful flavorings might be what triggers constipation.

That’s because high-fat foods, like buttery popcorn, can actually contribute to abdominal pain and constipation. Your digestive tract needs more fiber to make up for the fats in certain foods, and even high-fiber foods might not be enough.

So, while plain or lightly flavored popcorn probably won’t cause constipation, too much popcorn or popcorn laden with butter and artificial flavorings might cause more of a problem.

Is Popcorn Good for Constipation?

While some kinds of popcorn are bad for your digestive system, you can also use popcorn to help avoid constipation.

Air-popped popcorn, or air-fried popcorn, adds fiber to your diet and can be a healthy part of a high-fiber diet. Just avoid adding unhealthy fats or too much salt and other flavorings to your popcorn.

Not a fan of plain popcorn? Consider substituting olive oil or other healthy fats for butter, margarine, or supplementing your buttery popcorn with healthy food choices like pumpkin seeds, whole-grain bread, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

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Why Am I Constipated?

Constipation can be a difficult condition to tackle because there are a lot of different factors involved. For instance, some people naturally have fewer bowel movements than others, while conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis can make it harder to manage your digestive health.

Usually, there are two problems involved in basic constipation, though, when you aren’t dealing with other underlying conditions. You might not have enough grams of fiber in your normal diet, or you might be simply dehydrated.

Certain medications, like some prescription painkillers, may also cause constipation.

Additionally, almost any illness or injury that affects your digestive system may cause constipation. Even certain kinds of back injuries may be the cause.

No matter why you have constipation, it’s a good idea to consult with a doctor or dietitian to make sure there isn’t any underlying condition causing the problem and get advice on the best and safest ways to get back to normal (and regular) bathroom visits.

How to Relieve Constipation?

Here are a few options to help relieve constipation:

#1 Drink plenty of water

Hydration is critical for your digestive system. Without enough water, your stool will be harder, less flexible, and more likely to cause pain and cramping if you get constipated.

The Mayo Clinic recommends adult women aim for 11–12 cups of water, or 2.7 liters, per day, while men should aim for 15–16 cups of water or 3.7 liters.

#2 Adopt a high-fiber diet

Dietary fiber is usually the most complete and healthiest way to fight constipation. Look for foods with 3 or more grams of fiber per serving that contain both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber for the best results.

Healthy adult women should aim for 25–28 grams of fiber intake per day, while men should aim for closer to 30–35 grams of fiber per day.

Brown rice, cooked oatmeal, and fresh fruit and veggies tend to be some of the easiest high-fiber foods to add to your diet.

#3 Add gut health supplements to your routine

If you’re looking to get more fiber in your diet but are struggling to find high-fiber foods you like, you could consider fiber or gut health supplements to help fill in the gaps.

These supplements help with digestion, reduce bloating, and soften your stool while also making bowel movements easier.

Some of them use fiber as the main ingredient, which in adequate amounts has been shown to improve sleep, reduce food cravings, and minimize skin issues.

A Word From MD

Fiber supplements are widely considered one of the best options to help avoid constipation. It can also be helpful for softening hard stools, and making sure you get enough fiber in your diet.

While increasing your fiber intake through diet, adding high fiber options like whole grains, brown rice, or sweet potatoes is ideal, but it’s not always possible to add enough high-fiber foods to your diet.

That’s where fiber supplements are most beneficial.

In addition to helping with constipation, fiber supplements can help lower cholesterol levels, decrease appetite, and avoid the complications of constipation like rectal bleeding and stomach pain or bloating.

Our recommendation is to always make sure you’re taking fiber with plenty of water. Most dissolvable fiber supplements should be added to an 8oz or larger glass of water for the best results.

Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water or healthy flavored beverages like green tea throughout the day to help boost your results.

For faster relief from constipation and bloating, consider adding more fiber supplements to your diet. Start with one glass of fiber-supplemented water in the morning, and consider adding a second glass either with lunch or before bed if one cup isn’t enough.

Conclusion

Popcorn might be a delicious treat, but it’s essential to be careful about how you enjoy this tasty snack if you want to protect your digestive health. Buttery, salty popcorn should be avoided or enjoyed in moderation with other high-fiber foods. Air-fried popcorn can be a good tool for relieving constipation, in combination with good hydration, diet, and high-fiber intake.

But, if popcorn is contributing to your constipation or you struggle with digestive health, consider adding ColonBroom or another fiber supplement to help regulate your digestive system naturally.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 22, 2023
3 min read 1789 Views 0 Comments
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