Constipation is incredibly uncomfortable and can interfere with your daily life. Characterized by the inability to pass stool and abdominal discomfort, constipation is a very common condition. There are some main causes of constipation and some easy-to-access solutions, like eating high-fiber foods. As it turns out, popcorn is high in fiber and can make you poop. However, the type of popcorn you eat is very important.
Constipation can be caused by dehydration, lack of exercise, a low-fiber diet, and other health conditions.
Air-popped popcorn and other high-fiber foods can help relieve constipation.
Exercising, taking fiber supplements, and using a footstool to poop can also relieve constipation and other stomach issues.
What causes constipation
Chronic constipation is defined as passing fewer than three stools a week, straining to have bowel movements, and feeling as though you can’t completely empty your stool. Other symptoms of constipation are abdominal bloating, cramps, pain, decreased appetite, and lethargy.
There are many reasons that constipation happens, and the most common are dehydration, a low-fiber diet, and a lack of exercise. Here are all the potential causes of constipation:
Can popcorn cause constipation?
Yes, microwave popcorn and “movie theater” popcorn is high in fat and sodium, both of which can cause constipation.
Even though popcorn has recently been touted as a helpful food for relieving constipation and helping you poop, if you’re not eating the right kind of popcorn, you might be making the problem worse.
Therefore, choose air-popped popcorn which is high in fiber and low in fat and sodium, and can make you poop if you’re constipated.
How to relieve constipation
There are a handful of things you can do to relieve constipation with food and without food. Below-listed solutions may help you if you’re experiencing constipation.
Foods high in fiber
Fiber is the key to a healthy bowel. It adds bulk to watery stool and softens hard stool, making it easier to pass.
Here are high-fiber foods you should eat to relieve constipation:
- Beans and lentils
- Air-popped popcorn
- Whole grains
If you suffer from chronic constipation, a fiber supplement can help to keep your bowel healthy and prevent constipation. Supplements don’t provide all the fiber you need, but when combined with a high-fiber diet, can prevent and relieve constipation.
It’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor before incorporating fiber supplements into your diet, as they can sometimes cause bloating and gas, lower blood sugar, and interact with other drugs.
Sometimes all you need to get the bowels moving is to get the body moving. A brisk walk, yoga, or 30 minutes of cardio can relieve constipation. There are even some yoga poses that are known to target digestion, like a supine twist, a child’s pose, and a pose known as a wind-relieving pose where you lay on your back and hug your knees to your chest.
The best time to exercise to help constipation is after you’ve digested a meal. Exercising at this point in the day increases blood flow to the GI tract and intestines, which helps move food waste along.
Use a footstool to poop
Sometimes the position you’re in can help you poop. Use a small footstool to rest your feet on, bringing you into a squatting position. Squatting relaxes your muscles and straightens out your colon, which allows you to pass stool without straining. If you don’t have a footstool, just bend your knees or place a stack of towels in front of the toilet.
Best foods to relieve constipation
The best foods to relieve constipation are high in fiber as well as other nutrients, like protein and healthy fats. Here are some of the foods that can be categorized as natural stool softeners and help reduce constipation:
Can popcorn make you poop?
Yes, popcorn can make you poop if you’re eating air-popped instead of microwaved ones. It’s because they are very high in fiber — 3 cups of popcorn contain 3.5 grams of fiber. And the American Heart Association recommends a total of 25–30 grams of fiber a day.
However, it’s important to know the difference between air-popped popcorn and microwave popcorn. Air-popped popcorn has significantly higher levels of fiber than microwave popcorn. Plus, microwave popcorn and movie theater popcorn is high in fat and sodium. When you eat too much salt, your stool has less water, and this makes it harder to pass.
How to relieve other stomach issues
If you frequently deal with constipation, you might also be dealing with other stomach issues. Bloating, gas, diarrhea, and IBS make it hard to function throughout the day. Here are some tips for managing other stomach issues and promoting digestive health.
Relieve gas bloating
Relieve gas and bloating by slowing down when you eat and eating smaller, more frequent meals. Take up daily physical exercises like yoga or walking, and be sure to do light exercise after digesting a big meal. You can also try digestive teas made from peppermint, fennel, or ginger root.
Diarrhea often clears up on its own, but if you have a chronic condition like IBS, diarrhea is a part of daily life. To help relieve diarrhea, be sure to drink plenty of water and electrolytes. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
If your diarrhea is severe, you may want to skip a meal or two, then introduce a bland diet of bananas, toast, rice, and applesauce, or skinless chicken and turkey once you start to feel better.
Additionally, you should get probiotics to promote a healthy digestive system. For that, consume foods, like sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha regularly.
One of the best defenses against chronic constipation is to simply drink plenty of water. Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation, and if you drink a lot of caffeine and alcohol, your body needs plenty of water to get your digestion working smoothly. The average recommendation for water intake is 8 cups a day. If you’re drinking less than this, you may be dehydrated.