Feeling a little backed up? Constipation can be a real drag, but taking simple measures can actually reduce your digestive discomfort and get things moving along. In line with what you may have heard, experts say that prune juice for constipation really works.
Constipation can happen for a number of reasons, including a poor diet, certain medications, health conditions that affect the nervous system, illness, imbalanced gut bacteria, and dehydration. Luckily, getting more of the right nutrients and digestive enzymes in your diet can help take care of the problem.
Prunes are actually just dried plums and they contain nutrients like potassium, iron, phenolic compounds, boron, and fiber. They’re also loaded with a few tummy-boosting nutrients that can move things along in your digestive tract, and eating prunes is considered a safe and effective remedy for constipation. Results from one study even suggest that having a serving of prunes daily should be considered a first line of treatment for backed-up bowels!
When it comes to prune juice for constipation, there’s one key compound that’s responsible for its benefits — sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that’s shown to help soften stools, making them easier to pass through the digestive tract. Sorbitol has a mild laxative effect, so you’ll probably notice more frequent, easier bowel movements once you start drinking prune juice. Not to mention, a cup of prune juice contains up to three grams of fiber — another constipation-fighting nutrient!
As for serving sizes, you don’t want to go overboard with drinking prune juice for constipation because you can actually give yourself a serious case of the runs. Yikes! To avoid this, start off with drinking two to four ounces of juice daily, slowly increasing to up to eight ounces. If you notice that your condition isn’t getting any better or you’re struggling with painful bowel movements, abdominal cramping, blood in the stool, or rapid weight loss, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible as additional interventions may be needed.
You can also combat constipation by getting more exercise (that’s at least 30 minutes a day), drinking more water, and adding more fiber to your diet! Not sure exactly how to change your eating habits? Check out 10 of the best foods you can add to your diet that will boost your digestion and send constipation packing.