Although walnuts are technically seed, they are considered nuts. Nutrient-dense walnuts can be consumed by healthy diet plans also. In fact, it is among the best nuts for keto.
On the other hand, several people get constipated after the consumption of highly nutritious nuts. So, does eating nuts cause constipation, especially walnuts? No, walnuts do not cause constipation in normal situations as it is a great source of gut-friendly probiotics and also contains fiber, magnesium, and polyunsaturated acid.
These nutrients make walnuts among the best natural laxatives that aid in smooth bowel movements.
However, too much consumption of walnuts may cause constipation. In this article, we will check when does walnut cause constipation and whether walnuts are good for constipation or not.
Can Walnuts Cause Constipation?
Walnuts do not cause constipation in normal circumstances as they are high in probiotics and contain anti-constipation nutrients like fiber, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fat. Let’s check how these components act in constipation control.
Walnuts are a great source of probiotics that helps to maintain healthy gut function. A study has shown that daily consumption of 43 grams of walnuts is able to enhance probiotics (1).
On the other hand, another study has shown that probiotics can increase intestinal frequency and improve stool quality (2). That’s why probiotic-rich walnuts can reduce the risk of constipation by improving stool frequency.
Fiber is another macronutrient that aids in constipation control. A 100 gram serving of walnuts contains 6.7 grams of dietary fiber (3). Studies have shown that intake of fiber-rich foods increases stool frequency and softens stool consistency (4).
Another study has shown that dietary fiber intake can is able to increase stool frequency in patients with constipation (5).
Walnuts contain a moderate amount of one of the essential macromineral aka magnesium. You will get 185 mg of magnesium from 1 cup chopped magnesium (117 grams of serving size).
Regular consumption of walnuts can reduce constipation occurrence chances by enhancing magnesium intake. It’s because studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of constipation by decreasing stool frequency (6).
The presence of a high amount of polyunsaturated fat in walnuts helps to improve bowel movement. Polyunsaturated fat is a very essential nutrient to fight constipation problems.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids affect immunity, inflammation, and motility of the GI tract. In fact, lubiprostone, a Prostaglandin E1 derivative, has been registered in the treatment of IBS-C and chronic idiopathic constipation (7).
Considering all of these facts we can say that walnuts do not cause constipation. However, in certain circumstances, you may get affected with constipation after the consumption of walnuts.
So, When Do Walnuts Cause Constipation?
Uncontrolled intake of walnuts can increase the risk of constipation by fiber overload. Too much consumption of fiber creates phytobezoar formation in the gastrointestinal tract.
These are the masses produced by the accumulation of undigested fibers. Studies have shown that phytobezoar formation is a common cause of small bowel obstruction (8). That’s why a high intake of walnuts may promote constipation by causing phytobezoar formation.
Moreover, walnuts are moderately high in saturated fats. A 100 gram serving of walnuts contains 6.13 grams of saturated fat. Studies have shown that more than 30 grams intake o saturated fats per day is associated with the occurrence of constipation (9).
That’s why too much intake of walnuts may break the daily saturated fat limit of 30 grams and cause constipation.
Furthermore, walnuts are moderately high in monounsaturated fat. According to studies a high intake of monounsaturated fat may negatively affect gut microbiota(12). This in turn may promote constipation.
Also, the high dietary fiber component of walnuts may cause constipation problems for some individuals. It’s because intake of fiber-rich foods can cause or worsen constipation problems for
Other Constipation Factors
Also, there are some other factors that may cause irregular bowel movements and promotes constipation. However, not all of these facts are dierctly linked with walnut consumption.
These are (15):
- Tooth problems
- Less water or fluid consumption
- Too much intake of dietary fiber
- Overweight or Obesity
Are Walnuts Hard To Digest?
Unsoaked walnuts can be hard to digest like other nuts especially almonds. It’s because walnuts contain a high amount of phytic acid like almonds. Studies have shown that phytic acid may cause indigestion (16).
That’s why people should consume soaked walnuts to remove the phytic acid component and make them easy to digest. Also, the presence of probiotics in walnuts aid digestion.
Substitutes Of Walnuts
There are several substitutes for walnuts. All of these nuts and seeds are high in nutrients and may be a great option for controlling constipation problems. Some famous walnut alternatives are:
- Macadamia Nuts
- Chia Seeds
- Pine nuts
Among these alternatives, almonds should be the first priority. As almonds do not cause constipation because of their high nutrient value. Like almonds, macadamia nuts aid in constipation relief also.
Moreover, chia seeds can also be a good substitute for walnuts as chia seeds do not cause constipation. Also, you can go for peanuts also as peanuts are a great source of dietary fiber and magnesium.
However, if you are intolerant to peanuts, you may get constipated after the consumption of peanuts.
Walnut Nutrition Value
Walnuts are a high source of both macronutrients and micronutrients. It is full of fiber, protein, fat, potassium, magnesium, etc. It also contains a little amount of vitamin C, A, and K.
A 100 gram serving of walnuts contain:
- Calories: 654
- Fiber: 6.7 g
- Fat: 65.2 g
- Protein: 15.2 g
- Carbs: 13.7 g
- Sugar: 2.61 g
Walnuts are a rich source of dietary fiber and magnesium. These two nutrients help to relieve constipation by regulating bowel movement. Also, the probiotics of walnuts improve gut function and they are also beneficial for constipation cure.
However, too much consumption of walnuts can do the reverse aka promoting constipation by causing overload. Moreover, unsoaked walnuts can also cause constipation because of their high phytic acid presence.