If you’re suffering from constipation, you’re probably wondering which foods can help alleviate this discomfort. If you love rice, I’ve done some research into whether rice could help you poop more, and here is what I found.
According to MedicineNet, white rice can cause constipation because the husk, bran, and germ are taken out of the final product. On the other hand, brown rice is rich in fiber and nutrients that will make you poop. This is because the husk, bran, and germ—which relieves constipation—have not been removed.
Keep reading to find out exactly how the consumption of rice affects your bowel movements, and how to consume the right types of carbohydrates to keep pooping without any problems!
How Rice Affects Your Bowel Movements
Since rice is so high in fiber, it may seem strange to think that it could perhaps contribute to bowel problems and constipation. Well, the truth is that there is a whole lot more to this, so keep reading to find out!
Foods rich in fiber are generally helpful when it comes to most digestive issues, including constipation. Fiber adds bulk and water to soften your stools, making it easier to pass through the colon. According to The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, you should be consuming 20-35 grams of fiber daily.
It is important to note that if you consume more than this recommended amount, the fiber may become indigestible, thus resulting in constipation.
Another important thing to note is the type of rice you are eating. As mentioned above, white rice and brown rice have different properties, with brown rice definitely being the better option when it comes to fiber-content and nutrition.
While white rice does contain some fiber, brown rice contains far more, and is an excellent source of whole grains and contains 3.5g of fiber and 5g of proteins in one cup. (MedicineNet).
Additionally, all types of rice (in their natural form) are gluten-free which is a great thing for your digestive tract! Since gluten is known to be a cause of constipation, you’ll be glad to know that your daily dose of rice won’t be a problem.
No matter what rice you choose to consume, it is important that you are also consuming other fiber-rich carbohydrates to keep your bowel movements healthy and regular and to prevent constipation, as rice alone is not enough.
Which Other Carbohydrates Are Good For Relieving Constipation?
Similar to rice, there are several other fiber-rich carbohydrates that are really useful when it comes to preventing and alleviating constipation. Keep reading below to find out!
In fact, making the switch to whole grains instead of refined grains such as white rice and flour can make a massive difference to your bowel movements!
Quinoa is known to be a super-healthy alternative to rice, due to the fact that it is so dense in nutrients! Although quinoa is frequently compared to rice, it actually isn’t a grain at all, but rather a seed of the goosefoot plant.
Quinoa is actually packed with 8g of protein, and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that your body requires. It is also gluten-free, meaning it won’t clog you up!
Most importantly, quinoa is packed with 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is actually more than white and brown rice. This means quinoa is great for relieving constipation, controlling sugar levels and maintaining a healthy weight.
According to a 2012 study, polysaccharides found in the cell wall of quinoa demonstrated gastroprotective activity against gastric lesions in rats. There is still more research that needs to be conducted on this matter, but this study does support the theory that quinoa has anti-inflammatory properties and is good for your gut health.
Oats and oatmeal are an excellent option when it comes to constipation relief! Oatmeal is extremely rich in fiber, and half a cup of dry oats contains 3 grams of insoluble and 2 grams of soluble fiber. Not bad at all!
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools and helps food pass faster through your stomach and intestines. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance (ExploreHealth).
Eating 2 cups of oatmeal in the mornings can make a huge difference to your bowel movements, so give it a try!
According to evidence-based research and Healthline, bulgur is in a league of its own when it comes to nutrition! In fact, brown rice has nothing on this nutritious cereal grain. Bulgur contains more than twice the fiber and four times as much folate (helps tissues grow and cells function).
With up to 8 grams of fiber per serving, bulgur is often used as a substitute for rice due to these positive health effects. It is, therefore, safe to say that bulgur can be extremely effective for fixing and preventing digestive issues such as constipation.
04. Barley/Barley water
According to The Mayo Clinic, barley water is highly recommended as a soluble fiber and an excellent way to keep your gut healthy and regular.
Barley is yet another cereal grain that contains high levels of digestive fiber which is great for preventing and relieving constipation. With that being said, drinking unstrained barley water will not only add fiber to your body but will also help to hydrate you which also aids digestion and keeps you regular.
Amaranth is an excellent source of high soluble fiber! The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for both women and men is 25g and 38g respectively. Dietary fiber is known to combat constipation, so this makes amaranth an excellent choice for making your bowel movements more regular.
“Amaranth is a good source of fiber, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron, along with several other important micronutrients.”Healthline.com
06. Rye Bread
Rye bread is another excellent source of fiber to ease constipation! In fact, one study published in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that rye bread was more effective than wheat bread and laxatives in moving your stools along!
People who eat rye bread were found to have an increased number of weekly bowel movements compared to the people who consumed wheat bread.
The rye bread used in this study was 100 percent whole-grain rye bread and contained 12.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
If you’re a fan of the movies and popcorn, then I’ve got some good news for you! According to MedicineNet, air-popped popcorn is a great option for a snack that is high in fiber and will help relieve you from constipation.
Three cups of air-popped popcorn contain 3.5 grams of fiber, and is also low in calories, making it the perfect snack to get your bowels moving! Just be careful that you don’t resort to high-fat, movie-popcorn that is full of sodium and fat, as this can actually have the opposite effect and cause constipation (MedicineNet).
How much rice should I consume per serving?
For your average adult, around 90g or half a cup of rice per person should be more than adequate, however, this does depend on the person and their size. For some, around one-third of a cup or 60g should be enough. Remember, these measurements refer to raw rice, so keep in mind that cooked rice will be around one cup in total, as rice doubles in size when you cook it.
Does brown rice take longer to digest?
Brown rice usually does take a little longer to digest, but this is only because it is much richer in nutrients and fiber. This is also why brown rice tends to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Despite the delay in the time it takes to digest, the fiber-rich content of the brown rice will allow it to move through your colon with no problems, making it another reason to choose brown rice!