If you’re working to create a healthier, more balanced lifestyle for yourself, then you likely have a collection of habits that you’ve integrated into your daily routine to help you reach your goals. And what’s healthier than a regular, consistent bathroom schedule?
Pooping each day is important for overall health and generally feeling great in your body, but what if we told you that some of the positive habits you’re engaging in may actually mess with that restroom routine? Eating highly processed foods, failing to drink enough water, and generally avoiding exercise are some of the better-known belly bullies to ditch—but there are also some seemingly healthy habits that may lead to bathroom woes.
3 healthy habits that might mess with digestion:
1. Eating unripe bananas.
Don’t get us wrong, bananas are great. Not only are they packed with fiber, but they offer a great source of potassium to help you work toward your daily nutrition goals. However, if you’re eating bananas that fall on the green end of the scale, you may be doing your body a disservice.
While they do contain pectin and resistant starch, which act as a prebiotic and feed the good bacteria in your gut, they may also be more difficult to digest. So if you’re already experiencing trouble with regularity, this may not be the best fruit to nosh.
2. Doing HIIT workouts.
Exercise is generally considered positive for getting things moving, but the intensity of your HIIT workout may actually make things worse. “One client of mine was doing high-intensity interval training almost every day, and it was actually overly stressing her body,” Robin Berzin, M.D., an mbg Collective member and Functional Nutrition Program instructor previously told mbg. “What we know is that for the gut to move, it has to relax. And when you’re in a state of stress all day, and then you do high-intensity interval training over and over again, sometimes it never gives the gut that time to relax, digest, and move.”
3. Eating more veggies (kind of…).
A diet packed with veggies is certainly going to help provide your gut with the fiber it needs for regular bowel movements, but if you’re already having trouble using the restroom, quickly integrating loads of greens may not be the best course of action.
“If you start adding more plants to your diet, you’ll often feel gassy and bloated and have worsening abdominal discomfort. Instead, focus first on restoring rhythm,” gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI, author of The Fiber-Fueled Cookbook previously shared.
Registered dietitian and gut health expert Heather Finley, DCN, M.S., R.D., shares her strategy here for incorporating more veggies, without the unwanted effects.