Constipation can refer to it being too difficult to have a bowel movement or that they do not occur often enough. In medical terms, constipation is considered a condition where you have a bowel movement less than three times a week. While there are plenty of foods you may know about that can help relieve some of the discomforts of constipation, there are many foods that cause constipation as well. Knowing these foods can be helpful so you know what to avoid to not make the condition worse.


Unripe bananas

While banana is a good source of fiber which can help relieve constipation, unripe bananas can make it worse or bring it on. This is because bananas that are not yet ripe contain more starch than ripe bananas, which is more difficult for the body to digest.


Products that contain gluten

Breads, pastas, and cereals that are made from wheat, barley or rye can cause constipation for those who have a gluten allergy or sensitivity. While gluten may not affect everyone, it can be problematic for others.


Avoid white rice

If you have the option, always go with brown rice as it contains fiber, protein and whole grains. White rice, on the other hand, will cause constipation because the bran, husk, and germ which contain all fiber and nutrients are found in brown rice, not in white rice.


Excess red meats

While lean red meats can be healthy for you, excess red meats can hard on the digestive systems. Red meats that are high in fat will take longer to digest and the protein fibers are not easily digested by the stomach. Red meats also contain a significant amount of iron which can lead to constipation.


Alcoholic beverages

Alcohol tends to dehydrate the body which can lead to constipation. It also slows down the digestive tract and can be irritating for bowel movement which can worsen constipation if you already have it.


Chocolate treats

If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may have known chocolate is one of the foods that cause constipation. Chocolate can contain a significant amount of fats that slow down the digestive process by restricting the muscle contractions that help bowel pass through the digestive tract.



Eating an excess amount of dairy products can lead to constipation. This is because dairy products contain lactose which can cause bloating and gas, resulting in more discomfort when your digestive tract functions.


Eating too much fast food

It may be convenient to go through for your lunch or dinner, but fast foods, especially burgers and fries, have little fiber and a lot of fat. Fast foods tend to have little nutritional value and will cause constipation.


Processed foods

Frozen foods, prepackaged foods, and junk foods can all increase your risk of being constipated. Not only do these foods contain little nutritional value, but they are also often high in fats that slow down the digestive tract.


Potato chips

While snacking on chips might seem like a delicious idea, these crispy, salty snacks contain a lot of fat and little fiber.


Energy drinks

Coffee and drinks that contain a lot of caffeine can lead to constipation. While a cup or two of coffee can help promote bowel movement, excess caffeine intake will have the opposite effect because it can lead to dehydration and cause the digestive process to slow down.


Ice cream

Aside from typically being a dairy product, there are others reasons why ice cream can cause constipation. This frozen treat has no fiber and is high in fat as well.


Persimmon fruit

One of the foods that cause constipation that you might not be familiar with is persimmon. While it is more popular in Asia, this fruit can contain a significant amount of tannin which will slow down the digestive process.


White breads

White bread will not help you digest foods easily. There is a low amount of fiber in white bread which is why it is recommended to eat more whole grain breads instead.



Accidentally swallowing a piece or two of gum usually won't result in constipation, but doing this too often and regularly can cause problems with the digestive process. Gum is often unable to be digestive, resulting in a large mass that can block the digestive tract.

Bad Habits That Can Cause Constipation


Lack of exercise

Not moving around enough can cause foods to remain stagnant in the digestive tract. To help promote proper functioning of the digestive tract, it is important to exercise regularly to not only promote digestion but strengthen the muscles that can help digest go more easily.



While you may think taking a bunch of laxatives will help increase bowel movement, if taken in excess, this can actually cause the opposite effect. Taking laxative on a daily basis to treat constipation can weaken the colon's ability to pass bowel through the system. If taking for a prolonged amount time, it can be difficult to treat constipation since the digestive tract may rely on the laxatives too much to function properly.


Not going when you need to

While occasionally it may be necessary to hold in your bowel movement, doing this too often can cause you to be constipated. If done too often, you may reduce the signal you typically get that indicates you need to have a bowel movement, which will lead to things not moving properly through the digestive tract.


Medicines and supplements

It may not be foods that cause constipation but instead may be the medication you are taking. Painkillers, antacids, antidepressants, allergy meds and supplement like calcium supplements can all cause you to have constipation.



Many pregnant women suffer from constipation and this problem can be worse after childbirth. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this such as the pain medication taken and fear of causing more pain by having bowel movements.


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