Eat This High-Protein Vegetable To Poop Instantly

Constipation can be a drag on your day. You just feel that heaviness in your entire body that you know a good poop will release. Constipation is relatively common. If you're sitting at a table with seven people, at least one of you could be struggling with constipation, according to the National Health Service. A variety of things can make you struggle going number two, such as a change in your routine, dehydration, anxiety, depression, or medication.

Your eating habits can also factor into your poop schedule. Drinking more fluids and slowly adding more fiber to your diet can help wake things up down there. According to the Food and Drug Administration, you'll need to include at least 28 grams of fiber in your diet a day, or 14 grams for every 1,000 calories you consume.

However, less than 10% of Americans reach that goal. The American Society for Nutrition says that women on average only consume about 10 grams per 1,000 calories, and men consume about 9 grams. Rather than reach for a fiber supplement, you can get your fiber from foods like artichokes. A medium-sized cooked artichoke provides more than 3 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber (per USDA). That's 25% of your daily recommendation that could put you well on your way to a good poop. But the fiber isn't the only reason artichokes can help you poop.

The inulin fiber in artichokes is a prebiotic

While you've probably been bombarded with information about probiotics, prebiotics are also important for your digestive health. According to a 2019 article in BioMed Research International, prebiotics are carbohydrates that pass through your upper digestive system and promote the growth of good bacteria in your colon. Inulin is one of those prebiotics found in vegetables such as asparagus, leeks, and artichokes. Inulin feeds the good bacteria in your colon, and this fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids to lower the acidity in your colon and increase calcium and magnesium absorption.

The inulin found in artichokes isn't just good for constipation. A 2020 review in the Journal of Hygienic Engineering and Design said that inulin can help lower cholesterol and manage your blood sugar. Inulin might also improve heart health and reduce colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Inulin is also used to replace fat in some foods while also adding fiber. In this regard, the low-calorie inulin can contribute to weight loss.

Other foods with inulin fiber

If artichokes aren't your thing, there are plenty of other foods with inulin fiber to help you poop. A 2021 review in Food Frontiers says that inulin can also be found in bananas, wheat, rye, and barley. You'll find higher amounts of inulin in Jerusalem artichokes (which are different from regular artichokes), chicory, and yacon, but these sources of inulin aren't usually consumed whole. Instead, the fiber is extracted and dried as a powder for use in fat replacements, bulking agents for sweeteners, and to add texture to some foods.

Before you order a powdered inulin fiber supplement to help you poop, you don't want to overdo it. Although inulin isn't toxic to your body, taking more than 20 or 30 grams of inulin a day can cause gastrointestinal stress such as gas, bloating, and abdominal cramps. Instead, it might be best to get your inulin from whole foods to avoid GI distress.