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Zucchinis share the same plant family as cucumbers and melons. They are popular for their versatility; their mild flavor goes well with various recipes. You can also use them as pasta (so-called zoodles) to replace noodles altogether. While they are usually thought of as a type of vegetable, they are actually botanically categorized as a fruit. You can get multiple health benefits from zucchinis, whether you eat them cooked or raw.
One of their many health advantages is promoting gut health. Hence the reason why you might have the urge to poop every time after eating zucchinis. Here is everything you need to know about why zucchini makes you poop, according to science.
Does zucchini make you poop?
Zucchinis can make you feel the urge to poop due to their rich dietary fiber, magnesium, and water content, all of which promote your digestive health. Fiber helps cleanses the bowels and improves bowel movement, magnesium pulls in water into the intestine, and the high water content softens the stool.
In addition to being rich in several antioxidants, including zeaxanthin and lutein, folate, vitamin A, and potassium, zucchinis are a great source of dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber is a kind of carbohydrate that your body is incapable of digesting or break down into sugar molecules or a source of energy. So it will remain undigested as it passes through your digestive tract.
Zucchini contains both insoluble and soluble fiber.
Soluble fibers become a gel-like substance when dissolved in water during digestion, whereas the insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water.
Both fibers help improve digestion and support gut health in many ways. For instance, insoluble fibers pull water into your poop, making it bigger, softer, and easier to pass through your bowel without much straining and help prevent constipation.
On the other hand, soluble fiber does a great job in feeding the beneficial microbiota in your intestines. These bacteria help in the digestion process and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which give nourishment to your gut’s cells. These SCFAs help decrease inflammation and alleviate symptoms of various gut diseases, including inflammatory bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
Aside from maintaining bowel health and normalizing bowel movements, fibers help lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
High-fiber food like avocados and zucchini also tend to be more filling, so you are more likely to eat less and stay full for much longer.
Nice to know: Increasing your dietary fiber intake to 2 servings of whole-grain products every day may decrease your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21%.
Another essential element in zucchini that helps you poop easier is dietary magnesium.
According to USDA’s Food Data Central, one large zucchini (around 323 grams) contains about 58 mg of magnesium, which provides about 14% and 18% of the RDI or recommended daily intake for men and women, respectively.
Magnesium can be found naturally in many foods and is available as a dietary supplement on the market. It plays a vital role in facilitating peristaltic movement, which helps move food along your intestines during digestion.
It also helps relax the muscle of your digestive tract and functions as an osmotic laxative, which involves pulling water into your gut to make your stool softer and easier to pass.
Your bowel will become sluggish and you may get constipation if you do not consume sufficient magnesium.
This mineral also makes up the bone mineral’s component. Eating enough magnesium will thus help you maintain strong bones.
In addition, zucchini contains a significant amount of water. One large zucchini has around 306 grams of water, which takes up around 95% of the vegetable by weight.
Its high water content helps soften your poop effectively and enables the waste to pass through your digestive tract more easily and lowers your risk of constipation.
Therefore, including zucchini in your diet can help boost your digestion and prevent you from becoming constipated and developing other digestive problems.
Is zucchini a good source of fiber?
Zucchini is rich in fiber. A large zucchini contains 3.6g of fiber, providing 14% daily value. Its high fiber content improves digestive health and may help lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Zucchini may also aid in weight loss due to its low-calorie count, high-fiber, and high water content.
It contains a type of soluble fiber called pectin that can lower the total and harmful LDL cholesterol in your body effectively.
One meta-analysis involving over 65 controlled trials showed that eating as little as 2g to 10g of soluble fiber daily for about one to two months lowered, on average, bad cholesterol by 2.2 mg/dL and total cholesterol level by 1.7 mg/dL.
Its high-fiber content is also principally responsible for improving heart health. Studies found that people who consume more fiber have a reduced risk of heart disorder.
Moreover, since zucchini is low in carbs and high in fiber, it makes an ideal staple for any low-carb diet.
It’s also an excellent low-carb alternative to pasta. You can use it to replace linguini, spaghetti, or lasagna noodles in a dish.
Is Zucchini good for constipation?
Zucchini is considerably high in water and dietary fiber, which helps the body produce bulky and soft stool and prevent constipation. It also contains a reasonable amount of magnesium, which stimulates peristaltic movement and attracts water into the gut to soften the stool.
Generally, constipation is described as having less than three bowel movements in one week. It commonly happens when your stool or waste moves too slowly through your digestive tract or your body cannot eliminate it effectively from your rectum, making it dry and hard.
You’ll experience a painful bowel movement and a feeling that you have not completely emptied your bowels.
One of the common causes or risk factors of constipation is insufficient fiber intake, either because you consume too little fiber or most of the foods you eat are low in fiber.
Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent constipation is to eat plenty of high-fiber foods like zucchini.
One medium-sized raw zucchini (weighing about 196 grams) has around 2 grams of fiber with less than 34 calories, 35 mg of magnesium, and up to 186 grams of water.
Given a steady supply of zucchini at the farmers’ markets and groceries, you can depend on it for a portion of your daily fiber all year.
What other foods will make you poop right away?
Other foods that make you poop immediately aside from zucchini include the following:
- High-fiber vegetables, such as artichokes, bananas, green beans, peas, snow peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
- High-fiber fruits, such as apples, dates, figs, kiwi, oranges, prunes, pears, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes, such as almonds, pistachios, chia seeds, sunflower kernels, black beans, baked beans, and lentils.
- Grains, such as oatmeal, oat bran, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, rye bread, air-popped popcorn, quinoa, bran flakes, barley, and whole-wheat spaghetti.
Regular exercise while modifying your fiber intake also helps stimulate your digestive tract.
After eating zucchini, you may have the urge to poop mainly because of the three components it contains: dietary fiber, magnesium, and water.
Zucchinis are loaded with dietary fiber. You can get as much as 3.6 grams of dietary fiber from one large zucchini. This fulfills around 14% of the daily recommended intake of a person with a 2,000 calorie reference diet.
Fibers in zucchinis, including both insoluble and soluble, help boost your digestion and gut health in various ways.
Insoluble fibers attract water into your stool and make it bulkier and softer, allowing it to pass through your bowel easily.
On the other hand, soluble fibers help feed the good bacteria inhabiting your gut. This beneficial microbiota helps produce the SCFAs, which nourish the cells in your intestines and help reduce inflammation and symptoms of many gut disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome.
The magnesium in zucchini helps facilitate peristalsis, a sequence of wave-like muscle contraction processes that moves food along your digestive tract. This mineral also pulls water into your intestines to soften your poop and make it easier to pass.
The high amount of water in zucchini also helps in softening your poop and reducing your chance of becoming constipated.
Can raw zucchini give you diarrhea?
Commercial varieties of raw zucchini are generally safe for consumption. But extremely bitter zucchini may be harmful as it contains a high amount of cucurbitacins, which have been associated with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and may even be fatal. Zucchini allergies may also cause diarrhea.
Does zucchini make you gassy?
Zucchinis are easy to digest and have low enough carbohydrate, leaving only a little residue which can be unduly fermented in the gastrointestinal tract. So they are not likely to cause intestinal fermentation and bloating. Eating cooked rather than raw zucchini is better since they generate less gas.