Which Fruit is Good for Constipation?

Sooner or later, it happens to most everyone — constipation. If you're looking for a natural alternative to taking a medicinal laxative, certain kinds of fruit can often relieve constipation by virtue of their fiber and sugar content. Eating fruit with laxative effects, along with drinking plenty of fluids and participating in regular physical activity, can usually get things moving again in short order.

Prunes and plums are the best fruit choices to relieve constipation. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Prunes and Plums

Prunes are dried plums. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Prunes are the "superfruit" when it comes to relieving constipation. The laxative effect of prunes is due to high concentrations of the naturally occurring sugar sorbitol and plant fiber. Your intestines cannot break down sorbitol. When you eat sorbitol-rich fruit, the undigested sugar pulls large amounts of water into your intestines, which helps push the stool through and promotes bowel movements. This effect is so predictable that manufactured sorbitol is sometimes used as a medicinal laxative. The high fiber content of prunes adds stool bulk, which also promotes movement of fecal material through your bowels.

Prunes, which are dried plums, provide you with more concentrated sorbitol and fiber than their fresh counterparts. If you prefer fresh plums, they provide the same benefits if you eat enough of them. Prune juice is another option. Everyone's digestive system responds differently, so you may need to experiment to find out how many prunes or plums will relieve your constipation. In an April 2011 article published in "Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics," Dr. Ashok Attaluri and colleagues found that 50 g of prunes — roughly four or five prunes — twice daily, were more effective than psyllium for the treatment of mild to moderate constipation.

Pears

Pears are also high in sorbitol and fiber. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

If you don't like prunes and plums, not a problem. Pears are also high in sorbitol and fiber. To get the most fiber, eat fresh pears with the peel. When eating fruit specifically to relieve constipation, it is helpful to eat it on an empty stomach, typically first thing in the morning. Follow up with one or two 8-oz. glasses of water to get maximum benefit. Pear juice is also a good option for a concentrated source of sorbitol. Be aware that sorbitol may cause you to have increased intestinal gas.

Apples

Whole apples with the peel provide you with more fiber. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," and may help alleviate your constipation. Like plums, prunes and pears, apples contain sorbitol and natural fiber. Whole apples with the peel provide you with more fiber than peeled apples or applesauce. Drinking apple juice with meals may also help alleviate constipation.

Cherries

Cherries are a good natural remedy for constipation because of their high concentration of sorbitol. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Sweet cherries are a delicious treat and a good natural remedy for constipation because of their high concentration of sorbitol. Frozen cherries are a good substitute when fresh cherries are out of season. Although you may be understandably anxious to cure your constipation, don't eat too much fruit all at one sitting or you may end up with diarrhea.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.