Corn is a beloved food across the United States. Enjoyed as popcorn, on the cob, as delicious niblets, and tons of other ways, it holds a central place in the American diet.
Most folks consider corn one of their servings of vegetables. However, this delicious food is actually a grain.
With that being said, when you consume it in its whole form it is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which makes it a great addition to any plate.
Just like other grains can be refined, corn can be processed to have its fiber and other nutrients removed.
At this point, it is no longer a whole grain and functions differently in the body. There is room for both types of corn in the diet, but is one better for preventing constipation?
So, does corn cause constipation? That depends on a couple of factors such as whether you’re allergic to it or not. It also depends on if you’re eating whole grain corn that’s loaded with fiber or snacking on refined corn products that have no fiber and are high in sugars that feed pathogenic bacteria.
Read on to discover more about whether corn is a vegetable or a grain, if it causes constipation, and if it can help you poop or not!
Is Corn A Vegetable Or A Grain?
Corn is a staple in kitchens around the country, but what most people don’t know is that this food we consider a vegetable is actually just a large grain!
However, just because it isn’t a vegetable doesn’t mean corn doesn’t still have some great health benefits.
Since we are often eating corn as a whole kernel, either on the cob, as niblets, or even as popcorn, it is considered a whole grain. That means it still contains all its fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy part of any diet.
The fiber content of corn can be helpful for easing constipation in some people.
Oftentimes constipation is a result of not eating enough fiber to push food through the digestive system, so adding corn to the diet could actually help relieve constipation.
With that being said, corn could also be a culprit of constipation if you’re allergic to it.
Does Corn Cause Constipation?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to this question because it all depends on a few factors, such as whether or not you’re allergic to corn, if you’re eating whole grain corn, or if you’re enjoying refined corn products.
According to allergists, corn is one of the top 8 allergens in the United States, which means that quite a few folks are going to be allergic to this grain.
If that is the case, eating corn could cause constipation since eating a food you’re allergic to can trigger an immune response in the digestive tract.
This immune response can sometimes cause people who are allergic to corn to become constipated whenever they eat this grain, regardless of whether it is in whole or refined forms.
They are reacting to the specific proteins found in corn, so the amount of fiber has no impact on if it will cause constipation in these people.
With that being said, some folks with allergies to corn actually have the opposite problem: eating corn can cause diarrhea.
If you think you might be allergic to corn, it’s worth working with a qualified healthcare practitioner to test out an elimination protocol to get some answers.
So, if you are struggling with constipation and don’t have an allergy to corn, it can actually help relieve constipation, if you eat whole grain corn thanks to all the natural fiber in it.
1 cup of whole corn kernels has 3.5 grams of fiber, which goes a long way towards the required 28 grams per day you need to keep your digestive system functioning optimally.
If you really love corn and are looking for a way to get some more fiber into your diet, then eating it in its whole form could actually help prevent constipation.
Finally, eating refined corn products like corn chips, corn starch, and other processed foods could contribute to constipation.
These foods have usually been refined to the point that all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals have been removed, leaving behind a simple carbohydrate product.
Without fiber to help move food through the digestive system, it can take a lot longer to leave the body, which can contribute to constipation.
The high amounts of carbohydrates in these refined corn products can also feed pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract, which can contribute to constipation.
So, does corn cause constipation? It can if you’re allergic to it or eating lots of processed corn products that don’t contain any fiber and are high in sugars that feed pathogenic bacteria, which can cause constipation.
However, if you’re eating whole grain corn on the cob, as niblets, or popcorn, then the fiber can actually help prevent constipation by moving food through your digestive system in a timely manner.
Can Eating Too Much Corn Cause Constipation?
If you really love corn, you might be wondering whether eating too much corn can cause constipation. Just like above, the answer depends.
Some people can get constipated if they eat too much fiber, while others will get constipated if they’re allergic to corn.
Still, others may get constipated if they’re eating a ton of refined corn products. These products don’t contain any of the helpful fiber that moves food through the digestive system to prevent constipation.
They are also loaded with simple carbohydrates, which can feed pathogenic bacteria.
Pathogenic bacteria love eating simple sugars and carbs, and refined corn products like corn chips and foods made with cornstarch or refined corn flour, are packed with simple carbs.
When these bacteria get a lot of food, they are able to grow out of balance with the beneficial bacteria in our guts.
When they grow out of control and out of balance with the beneficial bacteria who help us poop, it can lead to constipation.
So, eating too many refined corn products can make you constipated while eating lots of whole-grain corn products can help you regularly poop.
Does Corn Make You Poop?
Some of the most popular products at the pharmacy are the ones that are designed to help us go to the bathroom more frequently and easily.
If you don’t want to have to rely on different laxatives, which can be habit-forming, then you might be wondering if certain foods can make you poop.
Specifically, you might want to know whether corn can make you poop.
If there are no allergies present and you’re eating whole grain corn products, then it can absolutely help you poop thanks to the high amounts of fiber in this grain.
One of the things that help us go to the bathroom is eating enough fiber every single day.
Nutritionists and health experts recommend that women consume at the very least 21-25 grams of fiber a day, while men should consume at least 30-38 grams per day.
Making sure you are getting the very minimum amount of recommended fiber every day is one way to ensure regular and consistent bowel movements.
A great way to add more fiber to the diet is to consume whole grains and vegetables, such as corn.
One cup of corn contains 3.5 grams of fiber, which is a solid amount to add to your daily intake. So consuming corn regularly is a fantastic way to help you poop since it is loaded with fiber.
Another benefit of this fiber is that it feeds the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract.
These bacteria work in synergy with our digestive system and help to keep us regular and pooping every single day. So by feeding them fiber from corn, you can help make sure you poop.
While whole grain corn can be a great addition to the diet to help you poop, refined corn products such as flours, corn starch, corn chips, and so on, can actually prevent you from pooping for a couple of reasons.
Refined corn products have had all the fiber removed from them so you are left with something that is very rich in simple carbohydrates.
Not only have you gotten rid of the fiber that helps you poop and feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut, but you’ve also now created a food that pathogenic bacteria love.
These pathogenic bacteria thrive on eating simple carbohydrates and when they grow out of balance with the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract it can lead to constipation, gas, bloating, and other digestive discomforts.
So if you’re looking for food to help you poop, make sure you always reach for the whole grain corn products that are loaded with fiber.
Many companies are becoming aware of the importance of using whole grains in their products, so they should be much easier to find.
Look for foods like whole-grain popcorn, corn on the cob/niblets, whole grain cereals, and whole-grain corn tortillas.
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