Because Weetabix is made of whole wheat, it's one of the cereals that help you poop. If you're constipated, increase your intake of fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Be sure and drink enough water, and limit your consumption of refined grains.
Weetabix shouldn't cause constipation because it contains fiber, which helps moves the bowels.
Nutrient Profile of Weetabix
Weetabix is a breakfast cereal shaped into biscuits. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one serving has approximately 29 grams of carbohydrates. It also contains 4 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of added sugar, 130 calories and 130 milligrams of sodium.
The cereal's main ingredient is whole wheat, which is a healthy complex source of carbohydrates. It also has simple carbohydrates in the form of added sugar.
One serving of Weetabix contains 4 grams of fiber, which is the insoluble variety. This relatively high-fiber breakfast food should help relieve rather than promote constipation.
Breakfast Foods for Constipation
The Food and Drug Administration recommends eating a fiber-rich whole grain cereal, such as oatmeal or bran, for breakfast. Include fruit in the cereal to add yet more fiber.
A 1-cup serving of instant oatmeal contains 5 grams of fiber, while a 3/4-cup serving of bran flakes contains 5.5 grams of fiber, notes the Mayo Clinic. Topping the cereal with a sliced banana adds 3 grams, and including a medium apple with the skin adds 4.5 grams.
Other breakfast suggestions include an oat bran muffin, which has 5 grams of fiber, or two pieces of toast made of whole-wheat flour, which contain 2 grams of fiber per slice.
Foods That Help You Poop
Fiber, also called roughage, consists of the parts of plant foods that the body is unable to digest. While the carbohydrate, fat and protein components of food are digested and absorbed, fiber passes through the intestinal tract and exits the body relatively intact, explains the Mayo Clinic.
Read more: 19 High-Fiber Foods — Some May Surprise You!
Plant foods contain both soluble fiber, meaning it dissolves in water, and insoluble fiber, meaning it doesn't dissolve in water. Both types help promote regular bowel movements.
The recommended daily fiber intake depends on age and gender. It's 38 grams for men ages 50 or younger and 30 grams for men ages 51 or older, reports the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The advised intake is 25 grams for women ages 50 and older and 21 grams for women ages 51 and older.
Dietary sources of fiber include:
- Whole grains such as oats, bran cereal, bulgur wheat, millet, quinoa and any product made of a 100-percent whole grain flour
- Legumes, which refers to any variety of beans or peas, such as lentils, black beans and chickpeas
- All fruits, including berries, apples with the skin intact, pears, grapes and oranges
- Any vegetable such as broccoli, spinach, green peas and carrots
- Nuts like pecans, almonds and walnuts
Eating for bowel regularity not only involves the inclusion of high-fiber foods, but also low- or no-fiber foods. These are meat, fast food, chips, processed foods, such as some microwaveable dinners and hot dogs, and prepared foods like some frozen meals, says the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Low- and no-fiber foods also include dairy products like milk and cheese, but fermented dairy foods like yogurt may help rather than hurt. Refined grains, such as bread, pasta, crackers and cookies made with white flour, are constipating because they contain little, if any, fiber.
Tips for Increasing Dietary Fiber
In general, the more processed and refined a food is, the lower the content of fiber it contains, states the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To illustrate, steel-cut oatmeal has more fiber than instant oatmeal; and an apple with the peel is much richer in fiber than applesauce.
Keeping in mind a few substitutions can increase your fiber intake, notes the Academy. For breakfast, instead of reaching for a pastry or low-fiber cereal, opt for a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. When it's time for a snack, rather than grabbing a bag of nutrient-devoid pretzels, reach for a piece of fruit or have some hummus with whole-grain crackers.
If you normally eat a sandwich for lunch, prepare it with whole-grain bread and add vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes. At dinnertime, shun side dishes like white rice or white pasta in favor of brown rice or whole-grain pasta, suggests the Academy.
Tips for Constipation Relief
What about fiber supplements? First of all, fiber is found naturally in a host of nutritious foods from which to choose. Research shows some of the benefits of fiber, such as satiation of appetite, may not be associated with fiber supplements.
Because fiber is a part of healthy foods, if you're low on fiber intake, you're likely also low in nutrient intake, says the Academy. It's best to get your fiber from dietary sources so you can receive all the health benefits of the accompanying vitamins and minerals.
Laxatives aren't a good idea because they can cause dependence, states Harvard Health. Before you resort to these medications that can harm the bowel, make some lifestyle changes that promote regularity. Drink four to six glasses of fluid per day. Get on a daily bowel movement schedule. After breakfast, go to the bathroom and sit for 10 minutes to see if you feel the urge. Avoid straining because it leads to hemorrhoids and other rectal disorders.
Cleveland Clinic says that sometimes constipation can stem from a lack of exercise. Poor sleep may also play a role in the condition, adds University of California San Francisco Health. Such factors are easily remedied. Walk several times a week, and go to bed at a regular time every night, making sure you get enough sleep.
Read more: Exercise for Immediate Constipation Relief
Staying hydrated is essential for good bowel movements. Because coffee contains caffeine, which may reduce fluids in the body by stimulating increased urination, Harvard Health advises limiting intake in cases of constipation. However, other medical experts have a different viewpoint on coffee's effect on the bowel. The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders notes that coffee has a laxative effect.
Is This an Emergency?
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Cereals Ready-to-Eat, Weetabix Whole Grain Cereal"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "Dietary Fiber"
- Mayo Clinic: "Chart of High-Fiber Foods"
- Mayo Clinic: "Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Easy Ways to Boost Fiber in Your Daily Diet"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation"
- Harvard Health: "Natural Ways to Relieve Constipation"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Constipation: 6 Hints to Help You Return to Regular Bowel Movements"
- University of California San Francisco Health: "Constipation"
- International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders: "Common Causes of Chronic Diarrhea"