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Can bread cause or alleviate constipation?

5 years ago

There are many different breads available in shops and at food markets, as well as a growing trend to bake your own, partly due to the popularity of programmes such as the Great British Bake Off. However, can bread be a factor in causing your constipation? Or, are there certain types that could help relieve constipation?

Bread Is eating bread the trigger for your constipation? 

Everyone is different and trying breads will very much be a case of trial and error for most of us. If you notice that a certain type causes you bloating or worsens your constipation, then it may be advisable to cut it out of your diet. If you are sensitive to gluten it may be best to steer clear of all breads as they may well trigger constipation.

The quantity of fibre in a type of bread may be relevant if you suffer from constipation, as discussed in ‘Fibre and Constipation’. 

Which breads can cause constipation?

White breads are generally the bad guys! The flour used to make them has been processed and therefore all of the goodness has been stripped out, including fibre, hence their white colour. 

Steer clear of all white breads including rolls, sandwiches, baguettes, sourdoughs, muffins, crumpets and cakes if you suffer with constipation or any digestive complaints.

Which breads can alleviate constipation?

Those with the higher fibre content are the brown and wholemeal varieties, which I have talked about in ‘Do carbohydrates cause constipation?’.

Any breads that contain whole wheat, wheat bran and/or rye may help alleviate constipation and it’s symptoms. Rye bread in particular is high in fibre and therefore beneficial if you are suffering with constipation, as it helps to add bulk to the stool and is important for the health of your digestive system. In fact, there has even been some research into the effectiveness of rye bread over wheat bread, in relieving constipation. 

Rye Bread

Rye bread provides plenty of fibre which may help with constipation 

Wholemeal and rye breads also keep you fuller for longer, so are an excellent addition to the diet if you are trying not to snack between meals, and are a good source of some B vitamins, iron and calcium, helping to support your overall well-being. 

You should be able to find rye bread in your local supermarket, or you can look to make your own using something like Dove’s organic wholemeal rye flour. If you do enjoying experimenting and making your own breads, then consider adding ground flaxseeds to your recipe for an added fibre boost. 

You may also like to read ‘Foods that can cause constipation and 'Foods that can relieve constipation'. 


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