Pomegranate and Constipation

Constipation is a condition that affects people and children of all ages. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 16 out of every 100 adults have this condition. Pomegranates can help with constipation relief.

Increasing your intake of high-fiber foods like pomegranates may help with constipation. Credit: Johner Images/Johner Images Royalty-Free/GettyImages

While a number of factors may cause constipation, a change in your eating habits is one of the most effective treatments. Increasing your intake of high-fiber foods like pomegranates may help.

Just be sure to drink plenty of fluids as you increase your fiber consumption to help avoid stomach cramping or excess gas — drink at least six to eight glasses of clear, caffeine-free liquid. Talk to your doctor if you have problems with recurrent constipation.

Read more: Can You Eat a Pomegranate Seed?

Boost Fiber Intake

If you're constipated, it's likely you're not consuming enough fiber. According to the National Academies of Sciences, men need 38 grams of fiber per day and women need 25 grams per day.

According to the USDA, a 1/2-cup serving of pomegranate seeds, or arils, contains 2.98 grams of fiber, or 8 to 12 percent of your daily needs.

Constipation and Pomegranates

Dietary fiber occurs naturally in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water in your digestive tract and slows the passage of stool, but insoluble fiber increases intestinal activity. A high intake of foods rich in insoluble fiber is linked to a decreased risk of constipation.

According to a study published by International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences in 2014, about 80 percent of the average pomegranate's total dietary fiber consists of insoluble fiber, or approximately 2.8 grams in every 1/2-cup serving of arils — more than you'd obtain from most fruits and vegetables.

Consider Pomegranate Juice

Eating raw pomegranate seeds isn't the only way pomegranates can help ease or prevent constipation. The American Cancer Society says drinking plenty of clear fluids, including fruit juices like pomegranate juice, can also help maintain healthy bowel function.

Choose unsweetened, 100 percent pomegranate juice, and limit your intake to 8 to 12 ounces per day for adults. Juice has more calories and sugar per serving than fresh fruit and offers none of the fiber. According to the USDA, 1 cup of pomegranate juice contains:

  • 150 calories
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 37 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of fiber
  • 34 grams of sugar

Read more: 5 Health Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds That Pack a Powerful Punch

Consult Your Doctor

For some people, eating more high-fiber foods like pomegranates doesn't relieve constipation. A small study of 63 individuals with constipation, published in September 2012 by World Journal of Gastroenterology, found that some subjects with unexplained, chronic constipation who were asked to temporarily reduce or eliminate dietary fiber from their diets experienced a decrease, not an increase, in their symptoms.

The scientists concluded that more research is needed to determine why a fiber-rich diet prevents constipation in some instances but seems to exacerbate it in others. If you're eating plenty of insoluble fiber from sources like pomegranates but are still frequently constipated, consult your doctor.

references
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.