Popcorn is a whole grain that may help prevent constipation. As a source of fiber, popcorn may help support regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Constipation is a
Possible causes of constipation include low fiber intake, certain medications and dietary supplements, and health issues, such as certain gastrointestinal disorders. As a source of fiber, popcorn may be useful to include in a diet for constipation relief and prevention.
This article explains how popcorn may help with constipation. It also discusses other foods to eat and avoid to help relieve constipation. Finally, it explores other treatments for constipation and when someone should contact a doctor.
A note about sex and gender
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A medium single-serving bag of popcorn, which is about 57 g, typically contains
In addition, it notes that a recent analysis found that popcorn was one of the five most cost-effective sources of whole grains, so it may be more affordable for people on a budget.
Eating enough fiber and staying hydrated may help people avoid constipation and relieve symptoms. The NIDDK
|Whole grains||whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oats, buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa, popcorn, and barley|
|Beans||kidney beans, mung beans, soybeans, black beans, navy beans, and garbanzo beans|
|Lentils||red, green, brown, and puy lentils|
|Vegetables||broccoli, leafy greens, artichokes, carrots, pumpkin, green peas, and mushrooms|
|Nuts||pistachio, almond, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and pine nuts|
|Seeds||flax, hemp, chia, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds|
|Fruits||guava, berries, apples, and passion fruit|
The NIDDK explains that someone with constipation should drink water and other liquids, such as vegetable juices and clear soups, to help the fiber work better. If a person stays hydrated, it may help soften stools and make them easier to pass.
- high fat and processed meats
- dairy products and eggs
- potato chips
- fast food and processed food
- prepared foods, such as microwaveable dinners and frozen snacks
Changing what someone eats and drinks may be the doctor’s first recommendation for relieving constipation. Other treatments and changes that a doctor may advise
- staying physically active and exercising regularly
- trying to have a bowel movement at the same time each day
- putting the feet on a footstool to relax the muscles when trying to have a bowel movement
- changing medications that may be causing constipation
- taking certain over-the-counter medications, such as:
- stool softeners
- osmotic agents
- taking prescription medications such as:
- trying biofeedback therapy
- undergoing certain surgical procedures
- blood in the stool or bleeding from the rectum
- trapped gas or severe abdominal pain
- unintentional weight loss
- lower back pain
A person should also speak with a healthcare professional if constipation symptoms persist with higher fiber intake and more frequent exercise.
Popcorn is a whole grain that contains fiber. Eating popcorn and other fiber-rich foods can help keep the bowels regular and prevent constipation. Experts recommend that people exercise regularly and drink plenty of fluids to help the fiber work.
People may wish to speak with a healthcare professional to learn more about which constipation treatments may work best for them.