Eating both fresh and dried fruits can help promote regular bowel movements. However, since dried fruits typically contain more fiber than fresh fruits do, you might consider eating more dried fruit if you are experiencing constipation. Talk to your doctor about your digestive concerns and discuss what types and amounts of dried fruit to consume. Also ask what other dietary alterations you can make to relieve and prevent constipation.
Dried Fruits and Fiber
Many types of dried fruit contain large amounts of fiber and are therefore good for constipation. But according to the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging, dried apricots, prunes and figs are particularly helpful for encouraging bowel movements. While 1 cup of fresh apricot halves contains 3.1 g of fiber, the same amount of dried, sulfured and uncooked apricots contains 9.5 g of fiber. Fiber helps your digestive system move waste through your body more smoothly, and it adds bulk to your stools, all of which can help relieve constipation.
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Other Fruits Good for Constipation
If you have difficulty chewing, dried fruit may be hard for you to eat. In this case, try eating dried fruits like prunes and raisins that have been soaked and cooked, which makes them softer. If you choose fresh fruits, do not peel them, since the majority of the fiber is often in the fruit's skin. Berries, peaches, plums and rhubarb are particularly helpful for relieving constipation, and you can often find them in dried form.
Diet for Constipation Prevention
Once you have relieved your constipation, do not stop eating dried fruit. Rather, continue to consume it daily to keep your fiber intake high and prevent constipation in the future. According to MayoClinic.com, most adults should aim to get between 20 and 35 g of fiber each day, and the high-fiber content of dried fruits like apricots can put you well on your way to achieving this goal. Also be sure to drink a sufficient amount of water, which will help your body use the fiber in dried fruits and other foods. Your doctor can help you determine how much fiber and water are necessary for you.
Constipation is fairly common and not typically a cause for concern. More often than not, it can be relieved with home remedies like eating dried fruit and prevented by continuing to consume a high-fiber diet. However, if you experience bloating or stomach pain along with your constipation or do not get relief after three days of trying at-home methods, see your doctor. Also avoid introducing too much fiber into your system too quickly, since this can cause adverse effects like gas and bloating.