Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does fruit juice help ease constipation?"
Is fruit juice good for keeping regular bowel movements or not? It seems like some kind have good fiber, plus it's extra fluid. But then, I thought extra sugar was bad for regularity, and juice has a bunch of sugar. Does it just depend on the kind of juice?
Questions about constipation and how to treat it are best answered by a physician. This issue can be raised during an appointment with your primary care physician. Regular bowel habits can vary widely even among healthy people. What is normal for you may not be normal for someone else. In general, most people will have at least 3 bowel movements/week. However, there are several dietary habits that can help promote regular bowel movements and prevent the discomfort associated with constipation. First, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, juice, or milk helps keep your bowels moving. And, remember that coffee or other caffeinated beverages can cause dehydration from the diuretic effects of caffeine. Next, it is important to eat enough fiber. Foods that are high in fiber include fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods. Some juices may contain fiber if they are prepared from blending whole fruits One particular type of juice that has long been used as a 'natural' aid for constipation is prune juice. Prune juice typically does contain some fiber, and prunes themselves contain a compound that can act as a natural laxative. Overall, promoting regular bowel movements and GI health is best done by eating a well-balanced diet that is low in fat, processed foods, and artificial sugars and ingredients. A diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole-grains--including non-sweetened, fresh juices in moderation--can help promote overall good health, including regular bowel movements.
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