Several months ago, I began eating a healthy diet. I tried to cut out much sodium, fat and just junk food. I prepared fresh, low fat meats, usually chicken and fish and fresh fruits and vegetables with whole grains. Incorporated good fats of olive oil, avacado, etc.
I started having a fresh green sald every eveing along with my meal consisting of green leaf lettuce, tomatoe, cucumber, and onion. I noticed that even though I was eating lots of vegtables incuding green beans, squash, zuccini, etc, and whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat bread, I was becoming constipated. It was really odd and very bad!
I stopped the lettuce last week and am back to normal again! How can this be? Lettuce is supposed to make you go, not stop you up. Oh, I discovered a few years ago that spinach constipates me too. I laid off it a few years ago and the consitipation left. I thought it was the iron, but maybe not.
How can a green leafy vegetable such as lettuce and spinach cause constipation? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
The Following User Says Thank You to Kendra01 For This Useful Post: ddnoyes (02-06-2012)
You might not be drinking enough water to start with, and with the change in your diet, your digestive tract/colon has slowed a bit.
Spinach.....awesome absorber of water, and if it's absorbing more water in your colon, it can slow your bms down a bit more.
That in combo with the whole grains, etc...you're not taking in enough water to off-set what it all can absorb in your digestive tract.
You need more water/fluids.
Describe constipation....you mean every day but less/harder? or do you mean every few days? etc
You might want to change the types of lettuce to Romain or to maybe the mixed greens.
Your diet sounds awesome....
Oh, the other thing could be...eat a bit more, add digestive enzymes which will help break down the foods better (beano helps with the type of carbs you're taking in), drink some coffee which increases the colon activity, add more vitamin C which also increases colon activity...etc.
Fish oil will also help to lubricate the stool...that might help.
Probiotics will also encourage healthy flora to the gut...using the fibres you're taking in as the prebiotics will help them work better.
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I think you're right about the water. Most days I don't drink enough water. I drink about 12 oz. in the morning first thing. Then one cup of coffee at work. Then 8 oz at lunch and 10 oz in the evening. I don't think it's much less than most people drink though.
However, before I started eating my good diet, I went without problem 2-3 times per day without difficulty. Everything normal. When I started the plan it got slow. I wouldn't even feel like I had to go at all for 5 days! No urge at all. I would then use a suppository and it was a slow go and large! Quite painful.
When I stopped the lettuce, I kept everything else the same, lean meats, veggies and fruits. Now, I'm going about twice a day with no problems. Very normal.
I guess I could go back to the lettuce and add more water and see what happens. Honestly, I don't know if the lettuce is worth it.
Kendra01: What type of lettuce is it? It does seem odd that it's constipating you. I agree that you might need to mix the lettuce with romaine, red leaf, green leaf, escarole and more. You can try adding more "p" fruits to your diet. Pineapple, pears, peaches, etc. You can also add magnesium to your list as a supplement. Your body knows when you have enough magnesium because you'll end up with loose stools. Magnesium is also found in nuts, fish, and dark chocolate.