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Blue Tortilla Chips And Green Poop – Are They Connected?

Blue tortilla chips are derived from blue corn because they are made from blue corn flour. Aside from tortillas, other products derived from blue corn are blue corn chips, pancake mixes, waffles, pizza dough, cereals, and muffins.

Blue tortilla chips, like other blue corn products, are said to be healthier than their white and yellow counterparts. However, there is a significant effect right after you enjoy them. Are blue tortilla chips and green poop connected? Read on and be enlightened!

Blue Tortilla Chips: Background Info

The blue corn variety occurs naturally and is a type of flint corn grown primarily in Mexico and the US. In reality, blue corn is regular yellow corn with high amounts of flavonoids called ‘anthocyanins’ which give it its deep purplish-blue color.

Blue corn is one of the oldest corn varieties, going back to the pre-Columbian era. By the time Spanish explorer Coronado discovered Mexico and the southwestern United States in 1540, the Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande known as Hopi have been harvesting this crop and using it to make a popular hot drink called ‘atole’.

On the other hand, the first tortilla chip was invented in Los Angeles by Rebecca Webb Carranza in the mid-1940s. She gathered some misshapen tortillas, cut them into triangles, then fried them to enjoy at a party with friends. The snack became so popular that she started bagging and selling the chips with the help of her husband. Later on, tortillerias or tortilla bakeries began using blue corn when making tortillas.

Are blue corn tortillas healthier than white or yellow corn tortillas?

Source: lifeextension.com

Blue corn tortillas have a more intense flavor than either white or yellow corn tortillas. However, the edge of blue tortillas over white and yellow tortillas goes far beyond taste. According to Tasneem Bhatia, M.D., doctor, nutritionist, and author of the 21-day Belly Fix, “Studies have shown that corn anthocyanins may have anti-inflammatory benefits and may also help to control body weight.“

In order to reap these benefits from blue corn, it is recommended to eat around 6 to 8 blue tortillas daily. Blue tortillas are considered to be the healthiest and most nutritious among the tortillas because they have:

  • 20% to 30% more protein.
  • 5% to 10% less starch
  • 3 times more fiber
  • A lot of antioxidants
  • A lower glycemic index

The lower the glycemic index, the healthier it is because the sugar content is absorbed into the blood at a slower pace which provides a steady source of energy. In addition, the blue tortillas’ lower glycemic index value remained constant as time passed while the white tortillas’ already higher glycemic index value increased even more with storage.

Blue Tortilla Chips And Green Poop – Are They Connected?

Source: lovewithfood.com

There have been numerous online complaints about people indulging in blue tortilla chips only to get shocked when they found themselves producing green-colored poop. But it is not really surprising as it happens a lot of times. Here are some of the reasons:

  1. Blue tortillas contain anthocyanins.

The blue color of the blue tortillas in itself is already an indication of the presence of the beneficial anthocyanins, previously mentioned above. Anthocyanins are naturally occurring pigments that give certain fruits, vegetables, and even grains their vibrant blue, red, orange, or purple hues. They are also used as traditional food colorants.

Blue corn, where blue tortillas are derived from, also got its blue color from anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that offer health benefits because they boost brain function, improve heart health and reduce the risk of obesity and certain chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Aside from blue corn, there are other organic produce – some of which you may not even know exist – that come in blue varieties, and they include:

When you consume too many blue-colored fruits and vegetables, the anthocyanins in them may mix with the bile in your small intestine and make your poop green.

  1. Some blue tortilla chips contain blue dye.

Although blue corn is healthier than white or yellow corn due to the anthocyanins it contains, it is this same characteristic that makes blue corn more susceptible to spoilage. And this tendency increases during the hot summer months.

For this reason, other tortilla makers prefer to just dye their white tortillas blue and add preservatives. However, consuming food and drinks that have blue food coloring in them can give you an unpleasant surprise in the toilet. Apparently, blue dye (as well as purple and black dyes), when not processed properly, can combine with bile in your GI tract and leave a greenish residue in your stool.

Aside from the Blue Tortilla Chips, other popular snack foods that tend to make you poop green are Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, and Fruity Pebbles. This happening can all be attributed to the food coloring they contain.

  1. You have corn intolerance.

Have you ever experienced gastrointestinal distress right after eating corn or any food containing corn? Then you’re probably corn intolerant. Corn intolerance is the inability to digest corn properly and some typical symptoms of this condition include bloating, flatulence, stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

When you have corn intolerance, the tortilla chips you have just eaten don’t even have to be colored blue for you to produce green poop! You can consume white or yellow tortillas and still have the same result. Food travels through your digestive tract too fast that bile doesn’t get properly absorbed so you end up with greenish diarrhea.

Other Causes Of Green Poop

In the reasons mentioned above as to why blue tortilla chips can result in green poop, all three were attributed to reactions to bile. Bile is a greenish-yellow fluid produced by the liver which combines with the food you eat to help your body break down fats. However, bile is just one of the factors. Green poop can also be caused by any of the following:

  • Food you have eaten such as green leafy vegetables
  • Antibiotics and other medications
  • Bacterial infection
  • Gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease
  • Anal fissures

Conflicting Findings

Now let’s go back to blue corn. If you research blue corn, you will find that it is naturally occurring because of the anthocyanins it contains which gives it its blue hue. Therefore, it follows that blue tortilla chips which are usually obtained from blue corn would also be organic and naturally blue. Right? Well, not always!

There are blue tortilla chips that may not be naturally blue in color for the simple reason that they do not come from blue corn. Instead, they are “just a regular white corn tortilla dyed blue with artificial food coloring,” according to an August 2018 article in lataco.com. This is because blue corn is harder to handle and more prone to spoilage but tortillerias want their tortillas to last longer.

The Recap

Green poop is usually not a cause for concern. However, it might be advisable to consult with a health care provider

Blue is probably the rarest color in nature since they are not as easy to find as red, green, and yellow fruits and vegetables. But blue fruits and vegetables do exist and we have the anthocyanins to thank for that.

On the other hand, having green poop is not that unusual, especially when it was caused by something in your diet. So is there a connection between blue tortilla chips and green poop? The answer is a definite yes!

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Coreen Tan-Tambasen

A Mass Communications graduate as well as a registered nurse in the Philippines, Coreen has been a freelance writer since 2015. Most of her writing projects are in the health and medical niche, and she is committed to sharing interesting articles about digestion and gut health that can be applied to everyday life.

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