All fruit and vegetable juices contain water and nutrients, and some also contain fiber. Since hydration can relieve or improve many cases of constipation, certain juices are a great option. Many fruits and vegetables can help people have a bowel movement. Different foods work in different ways. Some provide fiber, while others contain certain compounds that can stimulate bowel movement.
Read on to find out how juices help relieve constipation, which juices to try, and how to make them at home.
Constipation occurs when a person has less than three bowel movements per week. Stools that remain in the digestive tract harden over time, making it difficult and sometimes painful to pass them.
In most cases of occasional constipation, dietary and lifestyle changes are very effective in relieving symptoms. Taking over-the-counter laxatives can be a short-term solution, but it can lead to unintended side effects, such as dehydration. People also run the risk of developing a physical dependence on laxatives. Drinking certain fruit juices can relieve constipation in some people. Some fruit and vegetable juices contain dietary fiber and sorbitol, which help regulate intestinal transit.
Juices also contain large amounts of water, which can help soften hard stools while keeping the body hydrated. The following sections explore why juicing can help relieve constipation.
Juices provide fiber
Even though they are liquid, some fresh juices contain dietary fibre, but not as much as if the person ate the fruit or vegetable raw. The body does not digest fiber. On the contrary, fiber passes through the digestive system and helps keep the gut healthy. Diets high in dietary fiber promote healthy and regular bowel function. However, increasing fiber intake without drinking enough fluids can make constipation worse. So try to gradually increase your fiber intake while drinking plenty of water.
Fruits and vegetables contain two types of dietary fiber, which promote regular bowel movement and reduce constipation:
Soluble fiber absorbs water and gives the stool a softer, more flexible consistency, making it easier to pass. Sources of soluble fiber include rolled oats, beans, fruits, vegetables, psyllium, seeds and nuts.
Insoluble fiber does not absorb water. This type of fiber helps move waste through the intestines. Insoluble fiber also eliminates bad bacteria from the gut. Sources of insoluble fiber are bran, whole wheat, rye, nuts, seeds, and the skins of fruits and vegetables. You can increase the amount of fiber in homemade juice by saving the skins of apples, adding the pulp to the juice, or adding fiber-rich fruits, such as berries.
Juices contain sorbitol:
Some fruits contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that draws water into the large intestine. The extra water in the bowel helps loosen hard stools so they can move through the digestive tract more easily.
The fruits that contain sorbitol are:
fruits with pits, such as plums, peaches, and apricots
dried fruits, especially prunes and dates
Prunes are one of the richest fruit sources of sorbitol. They can therefore be one of the best options to help relieve constipation.
They contain water
Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation. The digestive system needs a lot of water to keep food waste moving. Otherwise, the stools may become hard, lumpy and difficult to pass. Drinking plenty of water and healthy fruit juices can help relieve constipation in many cases.
The following fruit juices contain fiber, sorbitol, and water, and they may help relieve constipation.
1. Prune juice
Prunes, or dried plums, are well known for their laxative effects on the body. A 2014 review study reported that consuming 100g of prunes daily improved the frequency with which people produce bowel movements, as well as stool consistency, compared to psyllium, which is a common over-the-counter laxative. containing soluble fiber. Prunes are high in dietary fiber, but much of it is lost during the making of the juice. Prune juice acts more like a laxative because it contains sorbitol, magnesium, and potassium, all of which improve bowel function.
How to make prune juice
2 liters of water
Fill a saucepan with 2 liters of water. Add 300 g of prunes to the pan. Heat the pan over medium or high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for about 2 minutes. Pour the prunes and water into a blender and blend until smooth. If desired, pass the mixture through a sieve to remove larger pieces. Pour the prune juice into bottles and store it in the refrigerator.
Make it an easy green smoothie
To add extra fiber to prune juice, and to boost the nutrient content, try adding spinach and cucumber to make a laxative smoothie.
2 cups raw spinach
1 cup prune juice
1 cup chopped cucumber
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix them until you get a homogeneous mixture.
Add water to thin the smoothie if it is too thick.
Find the full recipe here.
2. Lemon juice
Lemons are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant compound that attracts water to the intestine. The increased water content in the intestine can help soften stools and stimulate bowel movement. Mild dehydration can cause constipation. Increasing water intake can help relieve constipation. Drinking a mixture of lemon and water can help relieve constipation in some people. People can add lemon juice to their diet and keep their body hydrated with lemon water. Use fresh, locally sourced lemons if possible.
How to prepare lemon water
To prepare lemon water, simply mix the juice of half a lemon in a glass of hot water. Try drinking this mixture in the evening and first thing in the morning. Remember to drink water throughout the day.
3. Apple juice
Eating apples can help relieve constipation as they are rich in both dietary fiber and sorbitol. A medium apple contains 4.4 g of fiber and 18.91 g of sugar. Apples also contain vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin A, among other nutrients. Apples also contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber that can promote intestinal transit. Apple juice contains relatively high amounts of fructose compared to other fruits. Drinking large amounts of apple juice can cause digestive upset in people with sensitive intestines. Apple juice also significantly reduces its fiber content, which may make apple juice less effective than other juices in relieving constipation.
Whenever possible, use fresh, organic and locally sourced apples.
How Much Juice Should I Drink to Relieve Constipation?
People can either make juices at home or buy them commercially. To avoid side effects, it is advisable to start by drinking small amounts of juice. Try a quarter or half portion for the first few days. People who can tolerate small amounts of juice can slowly increase their juice intake to 1-2 servings per day. Guidelines often suggest this is half a cup up to 8 1 cup. Slowly increase the amount of dietary fiber over a few days or weeks, as a sudden increase can cause digestive discomfort and diarrhea, and even make constipation worse.
When buying ready-to-use fruit juice, try to get 100% fruit juice. Some fruit juices and fruit drinks contain fruit concentrate and lots of added sugar. These types of juices do not provide the same constipation relief as 100% fruit juices.