Constipation is a common condition that has affected several people around the globe. It has no age bar; hence, everyone from young to old is prone to be constipated. According to the Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases(1), about 16% of the adult population in the United States suffer from the symptoms of constipation.
Most of the times constipation is treated using natural remedies/treatments as it forms the first line of defense. Out of these treatments, prune juice stands out and is popular amongst the masses.
Prunes, now officially called ‘dried plums’ are the varieties of plums that undergo the process of fermentation and dehydration causing them to sweat out all the sugars and making them a dried husk of their previous form.
Prunes V/S Prune Juice
They are two forms that you could use this fruit. Manufacturers make prune juice from the prunes, although prune juice appears to offer some benefits for people with constipation. It is noticed that prunes may be slightly more effective.
Research has suggested that regularly eating prunes can help prevent constipation and could also cut down the risk of developing colon cancer. It is also to be noted that compounds from prunes may also act as an antibacterial agent in the GIT (gastrointestinal tract)
However, in regards to the confusion that you may be facing. It is easy to conclude. You could use both of these products based on your preference as both of them consist of several health benefits and could easily fit into your diet. Prunes could be an evening snack, whereas the juice could be something you could sip throughout the day.
[Read: Benefits of Prune Juice]
Health Benefits of Prune Juice
Prune juice is considered to be a very good substituent for all your caffeinated beverages. Prune juice is known to have high fiber content and hence is a well-known laxative, with a high sorbitol content.
They are also known to contain:
- High amounts of iron, which is essential for preventing anemia
- Potassium, which helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure
- High sorbitol content combined with soluble fiber helps in the provision of sustained energy
- Phenolic compounds, which help in preventing several chronic diseases
- Help in controlling obesity
- Lower the risk of diabetes
- Preserve bone strength
They are several health benefits for this super fruit and its juice. However, its laxative qualities and lack of side effects make it one of the best remedies for treating constipation.
Is Prune Juice Good for Constipation?
There has been a downpour of testimonials and reports from people suffering from constipation that prune juice has been extremely beneficial in treating their constipation. There have been several studies that were conducted on the same topic to validate their claim medically.
A review from 2013 analyzed the health benefits of prunes and their juice. Researchers noted that the fruit contains significant amounts of sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol. It was also stated that prune juice contains 6.1 grams of sorbitol per 100g of juice, which could be the reason for the laxative effects of the juice.
It is hypothesized that sorbitol passes through the patient’s body undigested, whilst doing, so it draws water into the large intestine and helps in the bulking up the stool and helps in the stimulation of the bowel movement.
Research(2) also suggests that sorbitol is an efficient laxative that could be used by all, regardless of their age and gender.
How to Use Prune Juice For Constipation?
It is simple and easy to use prune juice for constipation; however, figuring out the dosage is something that could be a little cumbersome. It is to be noted that there are no set guidelines on the use of prune juice for constipation, one of the reasons being that there is a lack of research in this spectrum.
How Much Prune Juice for Constipation?
However, this is an effective remedy for constipation in both children and adults and in the case of prune juice for infant constipation, the Mayo Clinic recommends trying 2 to 4 ounces at a time and then adjusting the amount as per the requirement. For adults, it is about 4-8 ounces of prune juice each morning to stimulate the bowel movement.
It is to be noted that in this case, more isn’t better. Adding more fiber necessarily doesn’t translate into a smooth bowel movement. Also, additionally, extra or overdose of fiber can make you dehydrated. Hence in the case of the juice, it is recommended that you stick to the aforementioned dosage and for the fruits, it is recommended that you have around six dried plums per day.
Side Effects of Prune Juice for Constipation
It is to be noted that consuming the recommended amount of prunes or prune juice has little to no risk associated with this remedy. However, the most common side effect that people have reported is that there is an increase in flatulence or gas.
However, it is to be noted that prune juice is also high in sugar and calories, with each cup consisting of 182 calories and 42.11g of sugar. There is a correlation between excessive sugar intake and blood sugar problems. Hence it is strictly advised that you consume only the whole fruit juice and in the recommended dosage.
Constipation is a common problem that can affect a person’s day to day life and can cause havoc. Using prune juice and prunes may be an effective and low-risk solution for several people suffering from mild to moderate constipation. However, it is to be noted that the fruit and juice variant comes with a lot of sugar and calories; hence, their usage has to be moderated.
It is also to be noted that depending only on warm prune juice for constipation, is not recommended. Including this in your diet, alongside eating more fiber, staying hydrated, exercise, and probiotics is a wholesome strategy to combat constipation effectively.