They say the root of good health lies in your gut. If your digestive system functions with regular bowel movements, in all probability, your overall health would be good. So, if you have less than three bowel movements in a week or hard stools, you may be constipated. Many people try out different home remedies such as drinking juices for constipation relief.
There are many other natural remedies which help relieve constipation. So, how and when you should try these remedies, their benefits and side effects, and consulting a doctor if they don’t work are some factors we’ve discussed here.
How Juices Help Relieve Constipation
Do juices really work for constipation, and are they suitable for people of all ages? Yes, juices do relieve constipation to some extent. However, they are not useful for all age groups, especially infants. Before we proceed with juices for constipation relief, we should know what causes constipation.
There are various causative factors of constipation. The primary factor is the lack of a proper diet and exercise. If your diet lacks fiber and fluids, you are bound to be constipated. Not having enough movement or not getting enough exercise also leads to slowed bowel movements.
Normally, if you start exercising and add fiber and fluids to your diet, you will notice improvement in your bowel movements within a few days. However, if you do not find any difference after making these lifestyle changes, there could be an underlying reason for the constipation, such as hypothyroidism, certain medications such as iron supplements, neurological conditions, and more. This is precisely when you should consult your doctor for the right diagnosis and medication.
What Nutrients Make Certain Juices Good for Bowel Movements?
Juices help with bowel movements owing to their soluble fiber content and sorbitol. They contain fluids, mostly water, which give an added advantage.
1. Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber mixes with water and gets a gel-like consistency. This softens the stools and helps them pass without any strain. Also, it improves gut health by increasing intestinal flora with its probiotic effect. Most fruits and vegetables contain soluble fiber.
Most fruit juices consumed without excessively filtering them would give you a positive effect.
This is because excessive straining or filtering would leave out the fiber. Soluble fiber is present in kiwis, prunes or plums, bananas, grapes, pears, apples, and more.
Sorbitol, on the other hand, is a sugar alcohol naturally found in fruits and has been used as a laxative and diuretic for many years. Sorbitol is present in good amounts in apples, apricots, pears, prunes or plums, cherries, and more.
Sorbitol has very few calories and is much less sweet than sucrose. It holds water in the intestine and stimulates muscle contractions, or peristalsis, thus creating a natural diuretic as well as laxative effect.
Complete List of Juices That Help with Constipation Relief
Here’s a complete list of juices for constipation for you to try out if that is not a chronic problem for you or there is no other underlying cause of constipation in your case.
Prunes or dried plums contain sorbitol, fiber, and phenolic compounds such as chlorogenic acids in good amounts. These phenolic compounds may also serve as a natural laxative. One can use fresh plums as well.
2. Apple Juice
Ever wondered how apple juice works for constipation relief? Apple juice contains sorbitol and soluble fiber which help relieve constipation. However, make sure to include the skin in the juice as it contains maximum amounts of fiber.
3. Banana Juice
Ripe yellow bananas help deal with constipation. On the other hand, unripe bananas are used to treat diarrhea. Ripe bananas contain some amount of tannins, soluble sugars, and soluble fiber.
Unripe bananas contain starch and tannins in high amounts, which may aggravate constipation. This is why only ripe bananas are recommended to treat constipation.
4. Cherry Juice
Apart from fiber and sorbitol, cherries also have some amounts of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. According to some research case studies, pantothenic acid may also be helpful in treating constipation. Vitamin B5 stimulates peristalsis and hence softens the stools.
Although the study is not particularly based on pantothenic acid in cherries, the findings can be applied to the vitamin B5 content in cherries. However, it cannot be concluded and more research would be required to gather evidence.
5. Kiwi Juice
Apart from soluble fiber, kiwis have a peptide called kissper, which may be useful in dealing with constipation. However, more research is required in this area.
6. Grape Juice
Grapes have a decent amount of fiber and are generally considered a mild laxative. Grapes are often a part of detox diets and are known to cleanse your system.
Grapes are known to have many other health benefits that may be useful in preventing certain types of cancers.
7. Pear Juice
Pear juice is used for better bowel movements and is a topic of research. Pears are a rich source of fiber and sorbitol and have higher amounts of these than apples.
The fruit is also watery. Pear or pear juice should be consumed along with its skin.
Final Word on Best Juices for Constipation Relief
Drinking juices for constipation might help owing to their sorbitol and fiber content if it is merely due to lifestyle issues. However, do not overdo it as drinking these juices in excess may result in diarrhea. It is best to drink homemade juices without straining, to retain maximum sorbitol and fiber from the fruits.
Also, drink them fresh and consume within a day or two. Do not refrigerate for more than 24 hours, or else it may lead to food-borne illnesses. As often as possible, avoid packaged juices as they may contain huge amounts of added sugar and preservatives.
Juices for constipation are not meant for infants. If your baby is constipated, it is best to consult a pediatrician for other suitable home remedies or medication.
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