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How Can Strawberries Affect Your Bowels?

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
How Can Strawberries Affect Your Bowels?
The fiber in strawberries can speed up your digestive system. Photo Credit: Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

If you've got a craving for something sweet, digging into a bowl of strawberries can often be just what you need. This juicy, sweet-tasting fruit might satisfy your taste buds, but for some people, it can also lead to bowel-related issues. As with any food, limit or cease your intake of strawberries if you find they don't agree with you, and contact your doctor if issues persist.

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Fiber and Your Bowels

Strawberries are a valuable source of dietary fiber. Although fiber is crucial for good health, when you eat a diet too high in fiber, you might experience loose stools, frequent bowel movements or even diarrhea. A 1-cup serving of sliced strawberries provides 3.3 grams of fiber. While this is a moderate amount unlikely to cause problems, eating a lot of strawberries or other fiber-rich foods can result in exceeding the recommended daily amount for adults; women should get 25 grams of fiber and men should get 38 grams of fiber.

Allergic Reaction

Although you might not consider strawberries to be a common allergen, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports that strawberry allergies are prevalent. If you have a strawberry allergy and eat the fruit, you might soon find yourself rushing for the toilet. Diarrhea is a typical symptom that you've eaten something to which you're allergic. UMMC says that only 2 percent of adults have diagnosed food allergies. If you think you might have an allergy to strawberries, see your doctor.

Fructose Digestion

People with irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders can develop an intolerance for fructose, which is a fruit sugar. Eating fructose-rich fruits can lead to issues such as cramping, gas and diarrhea. Although you should limit your intake of strawberries to one or two 1/2-cup servings daily, this fruit is typically safe to eat as part of a low-fructose diet. Provided you monitor your intake, strawberries are safer on a low-fructose diet than fruits such as apples, peaches and plums.

Dietary Benefits

If you're able to eat them without bowel issues, strawberries are an ideal food to include in your diet. In addition to their fiber, they're also a source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of sliced strawberries has more vitamin C than the recommended daily amount. This vitamin contributes to the strength of your immune system and improves your body's nonheme iron absorption. Per serving, strawberries are also lower in calories than fruits such as apples, bananas, grapes and oranges.

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