We don’t often think of prunes as a glamorous fruit. Even the name isn’t overly appealing. Prunes have a long standing relationship with the stomach, specifically because it is one of the best natural aids for regularity. In actuality a prune is just a dried plum, but nobody goes around calling them that. About 80 percent of the US population suffers from some form of irregularity or constipation at some point in their lives, the wonderful nutrients within this wonder fruit can work wonders at keeping bowel movements soft and regular.
Prunes are so popular with those that have gastrointestinal issues, as well as those trying to prevent any, simply because of their high fiber content. The best way to get all of the fiber possible is to eat the actual prune itself, as prune juice contains less fiber, thanks to dilution. Fiber, the indigestible part of plants including fruits and vegetables, passes through the digestive tract without breaking down or being absorbed through the intestines. Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble, each with its own health benefits. Prunes actually contain both types of this healthy fiber. Fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, draws water into the stool, making it both softer and bulkier. A softer, bulkier stool passes through the intestine more easily as well as more quickly, putting less pressure on the intestinal walls, in turn, making bowel movements pain free and regularity a consistent occurrence.
Prune juice is also helpful to the stomach, in that it contains added extras that increase gut health. Sorbitol (a form of sugar), which is found in prune juice, is an incompletely digested sugar that absorbs into the bloodstream slower than glucose. Because it does this, it gives more time to absorb water from the intestines, almost creating a laxative effect. Preventing gas and bloating is easy with just a glass of prune juice in your diet. The recommended amount is 4 ounces per day according to The American Society of Colon and Rectal surgeons.
So the next time you feel backed up, or if you just want to prevent the strain that comes with irregular bowel movements, prune juice is the way to go. With so many good health qualities for the stomach, its an easy remedy to ensure healthy bowels.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
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