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Is your bowel movements irregular? Then chances are that you are suffering from constipation. A noted study revealed that around 22 per cent of Indians suffer from constipation. Constipation is caused due to various factors but it's usually the result of slow movement of food through the digestive system. In this article, we will be writing about fruits that will help relieve constipation.
Why Does Constipation Occur?
Constipation happens when the colon absorbs too much water. This occurs when the muscles in the colon contract slowly, causing the stool to move slowly and lose more water.
Poor diet, dehydration, medication, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system are some of the causes of constipation. The symptoms of constipation are passing lumpy or hard stools, straining, a blocked feeling and inability to pass stool.
Fortunately, certain fruits can help relieve constipation by softening the stool, decreasing gut transit time and increasing stool frequency. Read on to know the fruits that help cure constipation.
1. Kiwi Fruits
1. Kiwi Fruits
A study found that people who ate kiwi fruit daily for four weeks had better bowel movements. It softened and increased the bulk of stools. The fruit contains an enzyme called actinidain which is responsible for improving bowel movements.
Another study done by the researchers in Taipei also revealed that consuming two kiwis a day increased the bowel movements in adults with constipation.
Each kiwi fruit has about 2.5 g of fibre and contains a lot of vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin E, potassium and folate. The high fibre and water content make it an excellent fruit to get your bowels moving.
Add kiwi to your diet along with other veggies, fruits, and beans to help ensure that you receive enough fibre to relieve and prevent constipation.
Apples have high fibre content. They contain approximately 1.2 g of soluble fibre and 2.8 g of insoluble fibre. The soluble fibre is mostly in the form of a dietary fibre called pectin. Pectin acts as a laxative which is rapidly fermented by bacteria to form short-chain fatty acids which pull water out of the colon, thereby softening the stool and decreasing the gut transit time (the digestion time).
Furthermore, apples improve digestive health by increasing the number of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Consume apples with skin as it contains more fibre; you can add apples in your porridge or breakfast cereal.
Pears are rich in fibre. A medium-sized pear contains 5.5 g of fibre which is 22 per cent of the recommended daily value.
Pears can help ease constipation because they have an abundant amount of fructose and sorbitol. Fructose ends up in the colon where it pulls in water by osmosis, thus stimulating the bowel movement.
On the other hand, sorbitol isn't well absorbed and acts as a laxative by drawing water into the colon, stimulating bowel movements.
Try drinking pear juice to relieve constipation faster.
Oranges are loaded with vitamin C and fibre which aid in increasing the bulk in your stool. One orange is known to have 3.1 g of fibre which is 13 per cent of the recommended daily value.
Some noted studies revealed that oranges are a good source of naringenin, a flavonoid that acts as a laxative. According to the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, eating the stringy white stuff between the orange flesh gives you most of the fibre from orange.
It is advisable to eat the whole orange rather than having it as juice.
Fig is another fruit that can cure constipation. 1 medium sized fig contains 1.6 g of fibre which is enough to promote healthy bowel movement. Researchers found that figs nourish and tone the intestines and act as a natural laxative due to their high fibre content.
Add dried figs to your breakfast cereal as they have fibre in large quantities.
Prunes are widely consumed as a natural remedy to treat constipation. Prunes, also known as dried plums, contain a high amount of fibre. The insoluble fibre in prunes such as cellulose escalates the amount of water in the stool, which adds bulk to stools. On the other hand, the soluble fibre is fermented in the colon to produce short-chain fatty acids which also helps in increasing the stool weight.
Ripe bananas are widely consumed and earn the reputation of being the fruit that eases constipation. They are high in fibre which helps in curing and preventing constipation. The fibre content in bananas absorbs the water from the large intestine, thereby making the stools soft. It further improves the movement of the stool through your digestive system.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), raspberries have 8 g of fibre in one cup. The fibre in them is great for relieving constipation by helping the stool pass smoothly through the digestive tract. Add a few raspberries in your yogurt or smoothies as a topping.
On the other hand, blueberries are also known to treat and prevent constipation. A serving of fresh blueberries has 3.6 g of dietary fibre. Blueberries also can treat digestive tract disorders like haemorrhoids and diverticulosis.
Other berries like strawberries and blackberries contain 3 g and 7.6 g of fibre respectively.
Include a variety of berries in your diet to make the most of their natural laxative properties.
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