Constipation is a common health condition of the digestive system. It involves difficult and irregular bowel movements that can cause discomfort and even pain. More than four million people in the U.S. suffer from this health problem.
There is no need to take pharmaceutical drugs for constipation when there are healthy foods that can greatly improve the symptoms or even prevent the condition from taking place. One of those foods is the apple, which can be eaten as it is or turned into a juice. (Related: 7 reasons to eat an apple a day.)
Drinking apple juice brings a number of health benefits to the body. Three of these benefits will immediately improve symptoms associated with constipation.
The most obvious use is to replenish lost fluids. A glass of apple juice goes a long way in hydrating the body. Since dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation, drinking juice and other liquids will ensure the body is properly hydrated.
Apple juice also improves bowel movement by providing large amounts of natural fiber in the form of pectin. The juice retains much of the pectin found in the unpressed fruit. Increasing the amount of such natural fibers in the digestive tract assists with the smoother movements of the bowel and increases the consistency of stools. It also reduces abdominal pain and flatulence.
Last but not least, apple juice contains a sugar alcohol called sorbitol that acts as a natural laxative. Sorbitol serves to further alleviate abdominal pain and improve bowel movement alongside pectin.
People suffering from constipation have two ways of remedying their bowel problem with apples. They can either consume pure apple juice or take the pressed juice alongside freshly sliced apples.
To make pure juice, take three apples, cut them open to remove their cores while keeping their skins, and blend them until the smoothness becomes consistent. Add as much water as desired, stir it well, and refrigerate it for one to two hours. Drink one glass of the pure juice every day to prevent constipation and get certain essential nutrients found in apples.
Apples can also be combined with the juice. Cut up a fresh apple with skin, add the slices to the juice, and enjoy an even healthier take on the daily dose of apple. Consuming the mixture of fruit and juice for at least two weeks will produce big improvements in bowel movement.
If given a choice between eating a whole apple and drinking apple juice, pick the whole fruit as it is the healthier option. Excessive consumption of the juice does have potential side effects.
Apple juice contains plenty of sugars. The fruit juice can be a potential cause of diarrhea, especially in children. Luckily, eating whole apples can reduce the chances of the intestinal disease. Still, if diarrhea results from remedying constipation with apple juice, considering cutting back on the intake of apples.
Food is only part of the equation for good health. Make apple juice and whole apples part of a balanced diet with high amounts of natural fibers. Furthermore, start exercising on a regular basis. The combination of better nutrition and increased physical activity will prove to be even more effective at preventing constipation than relying on apple juice alone.