If you are suffering from the pains of constipation, you may have been told to add prunes to your diet. Many people who are having constipation problems turn to prunes because they think it will help. While prunes are a good source of fiber, there are other foods that should also be included when trying to treat constipation. Here is what you need to know.
The primary function of prunes is to act as a laxative. They are high in fiber and can easily flush out undesirable digestive wastes. Often times, enough laxatives will dislodge troublesome blockages without adding any additional food. Another plus of prunes for constipation is an ingredient called sorbitol that promotes digestion. Sorbitol is also a laxative and will help to move waste material out of the digestive system.
There are many different brands of prunes on the market today, but they all work the same way. Take one tablespoon of dried fruit and soak a tablespoon in the juice of one-half lemon per day. Drinking a glass of prune juice each day will provide the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs to keep your digestive system running properly. While prunes are not recommended for everyone, those who need them should still drink one glass per day.
Many people think that just by eating the fruit itself, that they are getting their daily fiber requirement. This is not true however, as any food that contains fiber will also need to be taken in through the digestive system in the form of either soluble or insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is known to create bulk and reduce the feeling of fullness, whereas insoluble fiber provides more calories and helps with constipation as it absorbs into the body. The amount of fiber you need to take each day will depend upon how much you weigh and your personal preference.
Some of the other things that prune juice can do for the body include: regulate the levels of potassium, increase the production of digestive enzymes, and clear the digestive system. Potassium is important to help maintain normal blood pressure. When you are constipated, the level of potassium will drop, which can result in a number of health problems. Many people believe that the addition of a sweetener like prune juice will aid in clearing the bowels, thus eliminating constipation. However, the addition of sugar can interfere with the elimination of toxins and increase the feeling of nausea or diarrhea.
Digestive enzymes are important to help with constipation. Because the colon and intestines are designed to push out waste, the production of digestive enzymes is important. Hard stools are hard to pass and as a result, the colon must work overtime to soften the waste. When you use prunes to soften solid waste, the colon and intestinal muscles will be less likely to be taxed and this will result in fewer digestive problems. Also, prunes have been shown to help with weight loss, which is why they are recommended for those suffering from constipation.
Another great thing that prunes contain is vitamin A. Vitamin A has been known to help with a variety of conditions, including age-related macular degeneration. Prunes are also a great source of potassium, which helps to maintain healthy heart health. Keep in mind that if you want to get a full supply of vitamin A, you should store prunes in the refrigerator, as they are a great source of the vitamin.
Finally, prunes contain an acid called sorbitol, which is a great source of fat soluble energy. Sorbitol is naturally found in sweet potatoes, but it can also be found in prunes. Sorbitol works to burn stored fat and it may be responsible for reducing deposits of dried feces inside the colon. Prunes may not be able to completely soften stool, but they do provide a natural alternative for people looking for ways to get their bowels soft.