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Prunes for Constipation

Aastha Dogra
Natural remedies like prunes or prune juice can bring some relief from constipation. Read the following article to know how prunes can prove to be effective for constipation.
Generally, people prefer natural home remedies for preventing and curing constipation. Prune is one of the most effective home remedies for constipation. Here are the health benefits of prunes as well as the ways in which they should be consumed, to beat constipation.
Recommended Serving: 6 - 7 medium-sized prunes or ½ cup of fresh prune juice per day

Rich Source of Dietary Fiber

Prunes contain high levels of fiber. The digestive system can't process fiber like other foods. Due to this, fiber remains as it is in the colon and adds weight to the waste present. Also, fiber pulls water into the stools and makes them soft, thus speeding up its passage through the body and relieving constipation in the process.
Prunes, a rich source of soluble fiber, if taken every day, in the right quantity, help in getting rid of constipation. When you are eating prunes, remember to increase your fluid intake by drinking lots of water as the fiber tends to absorb water from your digestive tract.

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Potassium Supplement for The Body

Prunes are rich in potassium and vitamin A, thus making them a preferred constipation relief food. They provide potassium and certain minerals to the body which activate the enzymes in the digestive system. These enzymes start acting rapidly and dissolve the feces in the colon.
The enzymes propel peristalsis, a radially symmetrical contraction of muscles that moves content out of the digestive tract, and thus move the stools out of the rectum. Potassium helps in pulling water out of the body and into the colon.
It also protects the colon walls from bacteria and provides them strength. Lack of potassium in the body can cause tension which further leads to constipation. Thus, prunes help in curing constipation, by providing the body with huge amounts of potassium.

A Natural Laxative

Prunes are natural laxatives and are any day better than chemical laxatives which can cause many side effects such as diarrhea and dehydration. But, prunes, if eaten in limited quantity, do not cause any such problem.
Moreover, they cost nothing compared to the chemical laxatives. If your digestive system is too weak to process prunes, try prune juice instead. It is lighter on the stomach and is equally beneficial. In fact it is so mild that it can be used to treat infant constipation.
Thus, prunes can be quite beneficial. But, how to use prunes for curing constipation? Well, you can simply buy them from the market and eat them raw or make juice. If they are not available, you can dry plums at home by sunning them for 3 - 4 weeks and make your own prunes at home. Dried prunes are as effective as the juice. However, prunes do have some side effects.

Side Effects

Prunes contain oxalates which can pose a problem in calcium absorption by the body. Excess of oxalates in the body fluids can solidify them. So, avoid them if you have a kidney problem or a gallbladder problem. Prunes may sometimes cause stomach cramping and gas. To avoid this, do not eat in excess. Excess intake of prunes can also cause diarrhea.
Besides eating prunes, it is recommended that you make certain lifestyle changes. Increase your physical activities. Change your food habits as a proper diet for constipation should include lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Increase your fluid intake by drinking at least 8 - 10 glasses of water and lots of fruit juices. Prunes, are, no doubt useful. Besides curing constipation, they also provide a number of vitamins to the body and help in lowering cholesterol.
Disclaimer: This information is meant for educational purposes only. It is recommended to consult the doctor for personalized advice.