If you’re having any trouble with regular bowel movement then it is termed as constipation. It is a very common digestive disorder affecting people of all ages that causes difficulty in passing stools along with bloated abdomen, acidity, loss of appetite, depression, headache, ulcers (if not treated properly).
Poor (low fiber) diet, not drinking enough of water or fluids, stress, usage of certain medications, laxative abuse, lack of any physical activity, etc. are some causes of constipation. However, the problem is very embarrassing and frustrating aside from discomfort. There are many natural remedies available at your home to treat this problem whenever you suffer from it.
Prunes (or dried plums) are one of the effective natural remedies that widely used for treating constipation and keeps you stay regular by helping the body to function properly. Here we are presenting the various benefits of prunes to know how it works for preventing constipation.
- These are rich in insoluble fiber and soluble fiber (1 prune has 1 gm of fiber) that soaks up large amounts of water to add bulk to stool and pass it easily which in turn decreases transit time.
- It provides laxative effect due to sorbitol (draws water from the intestine to move the stool) or fructans content.
- The skin of prunes contains a chemical called dihydrophenylisatin, which acts as a gentle stimulant laxative.
- It is rich in potassium (protects colon walls by strengthening from harmful bacteria), vitamin A and other essential nutrients that activate the enzymes in your digestive tract to dissolve feces, helps stool to pass through colon and thereby rectum.
- Many studies state that this small, dried fruit is a nature’s remedy for constipation. Using prunes or prune juice is more effective in preventing constipation rather than over the counter medicines or fiber supplements like psyllium.
Now, we are going to know about 5 best and effective methods of using prunes for constipation. Let’s get started.
Method – 1: (Prunes with Other Dry Fruits)
It is an easy, simple and cost-effective method that gives more effective results rather than daily prescribed laxatives by producing normal bowel movements.
Steps to be followed…
- Add 1 cup each of raisins, figs, dates, currants, pitted prunes and prune juice concentrate.
- Blend it thoroughly to make a thick paste and store the paste in refrigerator.
- Consume 2 tablespoons of this paste for twice daily whenever you suffer from constipation to get rid of the problem.
Note: Or you can prepare jam by adding 1 cup of prunes, figs, and apricots (cut into pieces) in a saucepan. Cook it by adding 2 cups of water and stir till the water gets evaporated. Put it in a jar after it gets cool. Refrigerate and consume a tablespoon of this jam by placing on rice cake or whole wheat bread to clear constipation.
Method – 2: (Prunes with Orange Juice)
Orange juice is another effective remedy used for treating constipation and exhibits laxative property when mixed with prunes.
Steps to be followed…
- Place chopped prunes, water, and orange juice in a small saucepan.
- Bring it to boil and cover it to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Prunes absorb most of the water and the remaining water will become like syrup.
- Then transfer the hot prunes along with syrup into the bowl.
- Now pour cold milk over the pruner and consume this regularly to get rid of the problem.
Method – 3: (Prunes)
Eating prunes alone is very effective and safest way of treating constipation.
Here are few ways of consuming prunes…
- Consume at least of 3 prunes as a quick snack to cure constipation.
- Drinking 1 glass of prune juice a day or adding prune juice to any of the smoothies and take it as breakfast.
- Mix chopped prunes to your pancakes, muffin batter or simply sprinkles it over your salads, cereal or oatmeal.
Method – 4: (Stewed Prunes in Lemon Juice)
Lemon stimulates the digestive system and flushes out toxins and undigested material by cleansing the colon to prevent constipation.
Steps to be followed…
- Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1 cup of prunes and 1 ½ cups of water in a soup pot.
- Stir well and heat it to bring a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer it for about 20 – 30 minutes.
- Leave for few minutes to get cool and consume this with a few lemon slices.
- Regular intake will help you in clearing constipation and its symptoms.
Method – 5: (Prunes with Applesauce and Bran)
This process increases the dietary fiber which in turn used for proper and regular bowel movement.
Steps to be followed…
- Combine 1/4 cup each of applesauce and prunes and 1/2 cup of bran in a large bowl.
- Stir well and consume 1 – 2 tablespoons of this mix every evening followed by a glass of water or juice.
- Regular intake will help you a lot in preventing the constipation problem.
Recommended dosage of prunes for constipation is 50 grams (or 7 medium sized prunes) which is more effective than 11 gms of psyllium. Prunes produce more spontaneous and regular bowel movement. Always remember that 3 – 12 is the range in which you have to eat prunes per day to get rid of constipation as per your frequency or severity.
Tips and Precautions:
- You will raise your risk for constipation by increasing fiber without taking enough fluids. So, increase your fluid intake by drinking water, fruit juices and other liquids that add fluid to colon and bulk your stool to make your bowel movement soft and easy to pass.
- Both prunes and prune juice is effective for relieving constipation but prefer prune only, as they contain more of fiber and sorbitol rather than prunes juice.
- It contains oxalates and if taken in large quantities then it inhibits the body’s ability to absorb the calcium level. So, people those suffering from gallbladder or kidney problems should not eat prunes in excess.
- If you don’t like the taste of prunes, then drink prune juice ice pops or sip prune juice that mixed with another fruit or vegetable juices to hide the taste. For adults, 1/2 cup of prune juice and for children, 1 – 2 oz prune juice is suggested.
- Also, it causes bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and gas, if consumed in excess. So, be sure to check the severity of your problem and then consume as per it.
- Consult your doctor if your bowel movement didn’t get regularized for immediate diagnosis and treatment.
Include prunes in your diet to notice regular bowel movement. Do you know any other methods of using prunes for constipation? Then share it with us.