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Prune Juice for Constipation

Bhakti Satalkar
Consuming prunes or prune juice is one of the easiest home remedies for treating constipation. It is safe and can even be given to children and pregnant women, if they have similar bowel issues.
A variety of dried plums are known as prunes. There are many health benefits associated with eating prunes. Prune juice (which is extracted from prunes) acts as a natural laxative that can be used both by adults and children alike. Pregnant women, who suffer from constipation can safely consume this juice.
Prunes are rich in sorbitol, which explains its laxative effect. They are also rich in potassium, iron, and dietary fiber, among other just-as-important elements. However, prune juice contains very little fiber (since it is filtered for any traces of fruit).

Prune Juice and Constipation

Prunes contain sorbitol, including soluble and insoluble fiber, and polyphenols (antioxidant). All these compounds have laxative properties. However, it is important to note that prune juice, which is strained and does not contain any pulp, has very less dietary fiber.
The sorbitol present in prune juice helps in drawing fluid to the intestine. This makes the stool soft, which aids in easy bowel movement.

Even pregnant women can safely consume prune juice to ease constipation, as earlier emphasized. Babies who suffer from constipation can also get relief by drinking this.
Dilute the juice with water when giving it to babies, because of its strong taste. It has been noticed that babies do not like the taste of prune juice. To make the taste palatable, it can be mixed with an all-natural juice, like apple or pear.

What is Constipation?

A person suffering from constipation has infrequent bowel movements, where stool is hard and not easy to pass. For good health, a person should have a bowel movement at least once a day, and a maximum of three times a day.
For some people, a bowel movement once in three days is also considered normal. Infrequent bowel movement gives rise to a number of health problems.

Prolonged bouts of constipation can cause a number of health problems like hemorrhoids, varicose veins, bad breath, body odor, headaches, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome.
The waste matter contains toxins, and these can also cause colon cancer. A diet that lacks fiber is one of the most common causes of constipation. An inadequate amount of water in the body can also lead to constipation, through dehydration.
In case you have been constipated for a week, it is advisable to consult your health care professional to confirm that there is no serious underlying problem.

Other Benefits of Drinking Prune Juice

Besides easing constipation, prune juice also has several health benefits.
  • Both prunes and prune juice contain neochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid (which are phenolic compounds), that help in reducing LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Prunes are also rich in potassium. Studies have shown that a potassium-rich diet can be beneficial for heart health, as well as regulating high blood pressure.
  • Prunes contain quercetin, a flavanol that is believed to help in preventing breast cancer.
  • Prunes are a good source of boron, a mineral which may help in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Prune juice contains natural sugars like fructose and sorbitol that release sugar very slowly into the blood, thus avoiding a spike in blood sugar levels.

How to Make Prune Juice

As prunes are nothing but dried plums, first you need to rehydrate them before you can use them for making juice. Soak the prunes in water until they soften and plump up. Remove the pits from the prunes and then blitz them in a blender, with a little water. 
Strain this mixture; your prune juice is now ready to be consumed. Add a little apple juice or even half a banana, to tone down its strong flavor.

Another way to make prune juice is to stew some prunes in a saucepan with water. When the prunes soften, remove them from the water and keep aside.
Once the prunes cool down to room temperature, remove the pits and process the pulpy mix in a blender. Add the same water used in stewing the prunes, into the blender. Strain the liquid from the mixture - using a sieve - and then consume the juice.
If prune juice is taken for easing constipation, then an adult can have around 1 cup (around 8 oz.) of this mix. It can also be diluted with warm water for a milder taste. If you are having difficulty in passing stool and looking for a natural alternative, then prune juice is quite effective. Since prune juice is also rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron, it is essential for your body's functioning.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.