Does Peanut Butter Make You Poop?

/ / Does Peanut Butter Make You Poop?

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Peanut butter is my favorite low-carb food. It’s yummy taste and creamy texture just makes you crave for more each time. In fact, famous celebrities like Channing Tatum and Jerry Seinfeld love it. However, peanut butter may cause bathroom issues to some people.

Peanut butter contains nutrients, including fiber and magnesium, which make people poop. Fiber makes stool soft and loose, while magnesium stimulates bowel movement and has a temporary laxative effect. 2 tbsp serving of chunky-style peanut butter provides 2.56 g of fiber and 51.2 mg of magnesium.

If you have an allergy or are sensitive to certain nutrients in peanut butter, you may also experience diarrhea or constipation.

How does peanut butter help make you poop?

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the two main nutrients in peanut butter that make you want to poop after eating peanut butter are:

  • Fiber
  • Magnesium

Here’s how each of these valuable nutrients triggers your bowel.

Peanut butter and fiber: How fiber in peanut butter makes you poop? Is peanut butter a good source of fiber? 

Peanut butter contains a decent amount of fiber.

In fact, just 2 tablespoons serving of chuck-style peanut butter gives you more fiber than some high-fiber foods [1], such as:

  • 1 medium high-fiber raw carrot
  • 1 cup of chopped raw cauliflower
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat bread
  • 1 slice of rye bread
  • 100 grams of strawberries
  • 100 grams of apples
  • 100 grams of sweet potatoes

According to USDA’s Food Data Central, 2 tablespoons of chunk-style peanut butter like this one, which is around 32 grams, gives you about 2.6 grams of total dietary fiber. [2,3,4].

On the other hand, 2 tablespoons of smooth style peanut butter like this one provide you around 1.6 grams of total dietary fiber. [5,6]

Fiber plays a critical role in your digestive health. It is primarily a type of carbs that your body cannot digest and can be found in various plant foods, nuts, seeds, vegetables, lentils, and beans.

You might notice that Nutrition Facts labels on certain food list down two fiber types: soluble and insoluble. [7]

Simply put, soluble fiber is a form of fiber that can dissolve in water while the insoluble form does not dissolve in water.

Essentially, fiber helps maintain regular bowel movements. [8]

Fibers in peanut butter promote healthy poop flow through the following mechanisms:

  • Slows down food passage: Soluble fiber helps slow down the passage of food from your stomach to the intestine, pulling in more water as it goes and turns into a gel-like substance that may boost your digestion in multiple ways
  • Loosen and add bulk to the stool: Insoluble fiber holds onto water and helps soften and add bulk to your stool, which makes your stool easier to pass

Also, fiber serves as a food source for your good gut bacteria, which function as prebiotics. 

One study published in Gut Microbes suggests prebiotic fibers as a promising and cost-effective means of regulating and promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut.  [9]

Keeping your gut and bowel movement healthy is not the only benefit you can get from the fiber. 

Multiple studies show that fiber may offer the following health advantages:

  • Help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite and make you feel full much longer [10]
  • Has a low glycemic index, which keeps your blood sugar level stable[11]
  • Has a slight cholesterol-lowering effect [12]
  • Lower risk of colorectal cancer [13]
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease [14]

The FDA recommends consuming around 25 g of dietary fiber every day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, on the other hand, suggests women consume about 25 grams of dietary fiber daily while the men should aim for 38 grams per day. [15]

The American Heart Association recommends women under 50 consume between 21 g and 25 g of fiber per day, whereas men under 50 consume between 30 g and 38 g each day. [16]

Based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet, 2 tbsp of chunk-style peanut butter provide approximately 10% of the daily value for dietary fiber for women and around 7% daily value for men.

Peanut butter and magnesium: How magnesium helps make you poop?

Apart from fiber, peanut butter is rich in magnesium, which is another substance that gives you the urge to poop.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body that can be found naturally in many foods. It is also available as a dietary supplement [17].

Around 50% to 60% of magnesium can be found in your bones, while the rest are in soft tissues. [18]

According to USDA Food Data Central, 2 tablespoons of chunk-style peanut butter contain about 51 mg of magnesium. [19]

In contrast, 2 tablespoons of smooth-style peanut butter contain about 49 mg of magnesium, as reported by SELF Nutrition Data. [20]

Magnesium serves as a cofactor in hundreds of enzyme systems in your body and helps promote a healthy poop flow.

Magnesium in peanut butter keeps your digestive system runs smoothly and lets you pass poop easier through the following mechanisms:

  • Relaxes intestines’ muscles: Magnesium promotes muscle relaxation within the intestinal wall and helps create a smoother flow as your feces passes through the bowels
  • Soften and increase the stool’s size: Magnesium works as an osmotic laxative by attracting water into your intestines. This additional water keeps your stool soft and makes it easier to move [21]

Since magnesium works so well in treating constipation in some people, the American Family Physician reported that many patients normally self-treat their constipation with over the counter magnesium medications like magnesium citrate or magnesium hypoxia (popularly known as Milk of Magnesia) [22].

In fact, research found that a low intake of magnesium correlates to a higher constipation rate.

Magnesium acts as a gentle laxative that forms either citrate or sulfate salts, which help retain fluid in the digestive tract and indirectly enhance motility [23,24].

However, some people may be a bit too sensitive to the laxative properties in nuts and legumes, especially those who can’t handle high-fat foods well and can’t resist going to the bathroom after consuming them.

Apart from helping you maintain a healthy digestive system, several studies showed that magnesium provides various other potential health benefits, which include:

  • Involves in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body,  including protein synthesis, creation and repair of genes, convert food into energy, as well as muscle contraction and relaxation [25]
  • Enhance exercise performance [26]
  • Lower blood pressure to some extent [27]
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes [28]
  • Prevent and treat migraines [29,30]

According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, the recommended daily intake of magnesium is about 400 to 420 mg for men and around 310 to 320 mg for women.

Pregnant females should consume around 350 to 400 mg of magnesium while breastfeeding women should take around 310 to 360 mg of magnesium.

Based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet, 2 tbsp of chunk-style peanut butter gives you up to 13% of magnesium daily value while the smooth-style peanut butter gives you roughly around 12 %DV of magnesium.

Does peanut butter cause or give you diarrhea?

Since peanut butter helps loosen and soften your stool, you might be wondering if it can actually cause diarrhea.

In most cases, peanut butter is used to treat diarrhea. The US National Library of Medicine and the American Cancer Society recommend eating peanut butter as part of a low-fiber diet to reduce diarrhea. But some people with a peanut allergy may develop diarrhea after eating peanut butter. [31,32]

You can learn more about peanut butter and the digestive problems it may cause in my article here.

How to include peanut butter in your diet to make you poop?

For a fiber-packed breakfast, a gastroenterologist from Chicago, Dr. Benjamin Levy, recommends eating whole wheat toast in the morning with some peanut butter. [33]

For a high-fiber and nutritious snack, American Dietetic Association’s spokeswoman, Lona Sandon, suggests consuming an apple with 2 tbs of chunky natural peanut butter like this one and 2 rectangle graham crackers. [34]

5 more foods that make you poop immediately

Peanut butter is not the only food that can make you poop, other foods that help you poop easier and faster (almost immediately in some cases) include [35]:

  • Caffeine
  • Fiber-rich fruits like apples, apricots, papaya, guava, raspberry, and mangoes
  • High-fiber vegetables like artichoke, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli
  • Nuts and legumes, such as almonds and lentils
  • Grains like oatmeal and brown rice 

Does butter make you poop?

Depending on people’s tendency toward diarrhea or constipation, high-fat low-fiber food like butter may either make people poop and cause diarrhea or result in constipation due to slow digestion. One tablespoon of salted butter contains zero fiber and more than 11 g of fat.

Do peanuts make you poop?

Peanuts are a good source of fiber and have a poop-producing effect. They are particularly helpful to prevent many gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation. One ounce of roasted, salted peanuts contains about 2.7 grams of total dietary fiber.

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