Constipation can make living difficult for people of any age. You are constipated when you find it extremely painful to have a bowel movement or pass the stools. This usually happens when the stools stay in the intestines for longer than usual, making the colon to absorb all the water from it. This could be the result of not drinking enough water, living a sedentary lifestyle, or not having enough fiber in your diet. You can find many remedies to handle the problem, and many people trust prunes for constipation. Do prunes really work? What is the right way to include prunes in your diet? Let's find out now!
Can Prunes Really Help with Constipation?
Prunes or dried plums can help relieve constipation and improve your digestive system for many different reasons. For instance:
- They contain loads of fiber. Soluble fiber promotes the movement of intestinal muscles and helps make it easier to have a bowel movement. It also plays a role in making it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients.
- They contain non-soluble fiber. Prunes are beneficial because they also contain non-soluble fiber, which bulks up the stools. It also draws up water and makes it easier to have a bowel movement. Getting enough non-soluble fiber is important for the growth of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
- They contain sorbitol. It works amazingly well to increase the amount of water in the colon, which in turn helps keep the stools soft and loose.
- They contain a chemical substance called dihydrophenylisatin. The substance increases fluid secretion and improves the movement in the intestines. The combined effect helps treat constipation.
- They contain active digestive enzymes. Prunes provide you with potassium, vitamin A, and many minerals that play a role in activating the digestive enzymes. These enzymes improve the health of your digestive system and ensure that the stools pass quickly through the colon and rectum.
How to Use Prunes to Treat Constipation?
You may have gathered the fact why it makes sense to consume prunes for constipation. However, it is important to understand how you can include it in your diet. Here are some options:
1. Take Prunes with Dry Fruits
A simple yet effective way to treat constipation is to combine prunes with dry fruits. Simply take a cup each of figs, raisins, currants, dates, prune juice concentrate, and pitted prunes. Now, blend these ingredients well and then put the paste in the refrigerator. Just take a couple of tablespoons twice a day to treat constipation.
2. Combine Prunes and Orange Juice
Another remedy is to combine prunes and orange juice. Take a small saucepan and add water, chopped prunes, and orange juice to it. Now, bring it to a boil and leave to simmer for about half an hour. Now, transfer the mixture into a bowl and add some cold milk to it. Consume it daily to prevent and treat constipation.
3. Use Stewed Prunes with Lemon Juice
Combining prunes with lemon juice helps treat constipation because lemon helps flushes out toxins from your body and improves digestive system as well. Take a soup pot and add a cup of prunes, a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and 1½ cups of water to it. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for half an hour and consume when it cools. Use it regularly to treat constipation.
4. Make Prune Jam
A good way to use prunes for constipation is to prepare prune jam at home. Take a saucepan and add a cup of chopped dry fruits, a cup of chopped dried prunes, and a couple of cups of boiling water to it. Let it simmer for 15 minutes and pour it into a jar. Put the lid back on the jar and store it for a few days. Do not put it into the refrigerator though. Be sure to take a tablespoon of it on a daily basis with whole wheat bread or rice cracker.
5. Make Prune Juice
Another good way to treat constipation is to drink prune juice on a regular basis. Take some prunes and remove all the stones. Now, soak them in water for some time. Now, transfer the solution into the juicer and blend well for a few minutes. Drink it to treat constipation!
6. Combine Prunes and Apples
Take 350ml of apple juice and 65g of stoned prunes. Combine in a bowl and let it sit for a few hours. Then, transfer to your blender along with a pinch of cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of yogurt. Blend nicely and drink!
How Much Should You Eat?
It is true that using prunes for constipation may prove beneficial, but you need to know how much to consume. Here are a few guidelines to consider:
- Prunes: When you are using prunes alone, you should not take more than 50g a day. It means you should take no more than 3-4 prunes to treat mild constipation. For moderate constipation, you can take up to 6-9 prunes a day. Do not exceed 12 prunes a day even if you have severe constipation.
- Prune Juice: Adults can take up to 4-8 ounces of prune juice in the morning to treat constipation. You can take 3 glasses a day if you did not have a bowel movement for more than 3 consecutive days. Be sure to drink a glass of water before you drink prune juice. It is even better to enjoy a glass of heated prune juice after you wake up in the morning. Keep in mind that you can give prune juice to infants, but you should not exceed 2-4 ounces a day.
Tips and Precautions
- Be sure to take enough fluid along with increasing your intake of fiber or else you will increase your risk of becoming constipated. Drink more water and include other liquids in your diet for better results.
- Prune juice is effective, but eat prunes whenever you can because they provide you with a good amount of fiber and sorbitol.
- Do not take prune juice or prunes when you have a kidney or gallbladder condition because the oxalates in prunes can affect the way your body absorbs calcium.
- Do not exceed the recommended dosage or you may end up dealing with stomach cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.