Peppers are a culinary favorite for many tasty dishes around the world, thanks to their unique flavor. Not all peppers are equal, with some hotter than others, hence why many people have digestive issues related to consuming different peppers. A common concern is, “Is it normal to see red pepper flakes in my poop?”
It’s normal to see red pepper flakes in your poop. Generally, many people find digesting hot peppers difficult when consumed in higher quantities, especially if they suffer from a gastrointestinal ailment. If you’ve suffered from a gastrointestinal ailment, know that you’re not alone.
In this article, I will explain why pepper flakes sometimes show up in our stools and the effect of peppers on the digestive system. I will also describe some ways to reduce the adverse impacts of peppers on your body. Keep reading until the end.
Eating Too Many Peppers Can Affect the Digestive System
When eaten in moderation, hot peppers tend to be safe for our digestive systems. However, hot peppers can backfire if consumed in higher quantities or if somebody struggles with digestive issues.
Livestrong lists several potential issues caused by consuming too many hot peppers. A primary concern linked to eating too many peppers is gastric ulcers when the mucus lining of our stomachs gets too thin to protect the organ.
Hot peppers can also be an easy aggravator for symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). While not every person who struggles with IBS reacts poorly to hot peppers, the food can easily cause diarrhea or constipation for some. This is a prominent cause of seeing pepper flakes in stools.
Something else to keep in mind about peppers is their fiber content.
Peppers and Fiber Content Can Cause Digestive Issues
Peppers can also be harmful due to their fibrous nature. While fiber is good for us, ingesting too much of it from any source can cause digestive complications.
Well + Good explains that when we ingest too much fiber, it can easily cause us to suffer constipation. If we consume plenty of fiber but not enough water, it creates a persistent blockage that leads to constipation and other issues.
Unfortunately, this is ironic, given that fiber is meant to prevent constipation instead of causing it. Like consuming peppers as part of our diet, moderation is the trick.
While there are certain downsides to eating peppers, they still come with health benefits when appropriately handled.
Consuming Peppers in Moderation Can Be Beneficial for You
On the other hand, hot peppers can also provide a surprising advantage for our digestive health. It is possible that consuming hot peppers can kill gastric cancer cells, preventing us from developing gastric cancer. This is thanks to capsaicin, the natural “spicy chemical” in peppers, killing off cancer cells in our stomachs.
Of course, even with capsaicin offering these powerful benefits, limiting how much of it you consume daily is still essential.
Peppers Are Safe To Eat in Moderate Quantities
The best way to prevent suffering digestive issues due to peppers is to cut back on how many of them you consume daily.
Peppers are healthy to eat, but you should always avoid making them a mainstay of your diet if you know they are hurting you. For cooking, the safest way to use them is to treat them as any other kind of
Milder peppers such as bell peppers are typically safe to eat as a side, so long as you don’t have a generally poor reaction to peppers. Don’t hesitate to choose a different vegetable for a side if you’ve determined that you have an overall aversion to peppers.
Consider Cutting Out the Pepper’s Pith Before Cooking
Another trick to preventing digestive issues with peppers is preparing them for cooking. Chili Pepper Madness explains that contrary to popular belief, it’s not the pepper seeds that cause peppers to be spicy; it’s the pith, the white part on the inside.
Many people believe that the seeds in peppers contain capsaicin. The capsaicin is instead found in the pith, and when cooked, the oils get released onto the seeds.
To make your peppers easier to digest, consider cutting out the pith before cooking them. This will reduce the heat level and will help prevent digestive issues.
Another way to reduce adverse reactions to hot peppers is to select a milder option for your meals.
Choose a Milder Pepper To Avoid Digestive Issues
While having a kick, Jalapenos aren’t as spicy as habaneros or others. They tend to be safe to eat in moderation. Because not all peppers have the same heat level, it’s safer to avoid certain ones altogether.
Pepper Scale provides a detailed list that breaks down 100+ different peppers by how much capsaicin they contain. This list uses the Scoville Scale to break down how hot a pepper is compared to others. They show that bell peppers rank as one of the milder ones, while Carolina Reaper peppers rank at nearly the highest in heat level.
Before preparing a meal that calls for a hot pepper, feel free to peruse the Scoville Scale to determine if you should use a different, milder option. By mixing and matching other peppers, you can see which ones have an easier effect on your body.
It’s important to be careful with your red pepper flakes consumption because having too much of them could lead to nausea, even vomiting.
While hot peppers usually make a great addition to many dishes, you must watch how many of them you consume daily. The unfortunate truth is that if you have asked yourself, “Why am I seeing red pepper flakes in my poop?” overconsumption of these spicy items is the likely cause.
Your best bet to prevent this issue from happening is to cut back on your consumption of peppers. Remember that there are a wide variety of peppers to choose from. There will always be a milder option to consume, and these choices will help you avoid digestive discomfort.
- Livestrong: Hot Peppers & the Stomach
- Livestrong: Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Eating Bell Peppers?
- Livestrong: Worth the Burn? Why Experts Say Hot Peppers Should Be a Diet Staple
- Well + Good: Why Too Much Fiber Causes Digestive Problems
- PepperScale: The Hot Pepper List: 150+ Chilies Profiled
- Chili Pepper Madness: Should I Remove The Seeds Before Eating Or Cooking With Chili Peppers?