What Is The Effect Of Bread On Loose Motions?

By Janhavi Patel

We have come to bake various varieties of bread over the past 30,000 years. According to the modern-day lifestyle, bread is considered unhealthy despite the fact that it is consumed by 65% of individuals as an important part of their diet. Consumption of bread every day has various drawbacks. Like, an increased blood sugar, coeliac disease, a higher consumption of fructose, a diet of higher calories but low essential nutrients, a raise in bad cholesterol, etc.

So, what is the effect of bread on loose motions?

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1. Presence Of Gluten

The grains used in the flour are known to contain a mixture of proteins called gluten. Gluten is present along with starch in the endosperm of grains. This is the protein that contributes to the viscoelastic property of bread dough, which is responsible for the chewy texture the bread gets when the bread is baked and ready for consumption.

This gluten when digested by the body causes irritation to the digestive wall tracts, the villi of the small intestine mainly. This is called gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. These villi are responsible for the absorption of nutrients in our body. When this function is not performed, it leads to stomach pain, bloating of the body and an inconsistency in the bowel movement.

It's not just the people with coeliac disease that experience the irritation of the bowels, but 77% of the population is known to experience these symptoms regardless of the existence of the disease.

2. Presence Of Phytic Acid

The grains also contain an "anti-nutrient" called phytic acid. This causes a similar effect as gluten and prevents the absorption of important nutrients like zinc and calcium from the food consumed. This leads to bowel irritation and eventually to stool inconsistency.

3. Presence Of High Fibre

Bread is a fiber-rich food. Fibre itself is a substance that is hard to digest and consumed for weight regulation of the body. When there's existing bowel irritation, fibres combine with the water in the body, causing you to run to the washroom more often.

4. Presence Of Starch

Bread contains starch. This starch gets broken down by the body very easily, causing a rapid rise in the blood sugar levels. This causes you to get hungry sooner, and so you land up consuming more of those easy-to-find high-carb snacks. This high glycaemic index (GI) caused by bread consumption inturn leads to a gassy stomach and a watery stool.

Bread is thus not a loose motion friendly food.

In case a lot of bread has been consumed, a few of the best ways to soothe the irritation of the villi would be-

  • By drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated.
  • Consuming a lot of oral electrolytes to replenish the imbalance created in the body due to a loss of all the water.
  • Consuming foods rich in sodium and potassium.
  • Eliminating any form of fibre-rich foods, or foods that raise the GI.
  • Consuming a lesser quantity of food and eating food that is easy on the stomach, like apples, bananas, rice, etc.
  • External probiotics, aloe vera juice, digestive enzymes, flax or chia seeds.

Most of all, having a conscious mind when you eat is very important.
So, eat healthy, and stay healthy.

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