Originally published February 19 2010
How to Really Get Moving with Prunes
by Heidi Fagley
(NaturalNews) Constipation can be downright irritating to the body, mind and spirit! Anyone at any age can experience irregularity. The discomfort of constipation can have several causes, and when seeking relief, the diet is always a good place to begin. The little dried plum we all know and love is one of the most gentle and smooth ways to ease our systems back into balance.
Prunes assist regularity by providing simple sugars that draw fluid into the intestines. Another reason prunes are beneficial to the digestive system is that they contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber - over 3 grams per one-quarter cup.
Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid and helps to loosen stools because of its ability to rapidly absorb water, so we need moisture to help this process. Insoluble fiber passes through our systems largely intact; its job is to move bulk through the intestines. Again, water is crucial for this very important job because when the system is already moving in slow motion, adding the fiber without enough liquid can indeed make the problem worse, and can cause gas and bloating.
But there is a simple solution. The most effective way of handling constipation with prunes is by rehydrating them, which will transform their texture and make them juicy. The additional fluid will assist in pushing the bulk of the fiber through the hairpin turns of our rather lengthy intestines, making stools softer and easier to expel.
Prunes also pack a healthy punch of antioxidants. They're full of vitamin A, iron and potassium. These chewy fruit wonders can satisfy a sweet tooth without causing a spike in blood sugar because their natural sweetening agents are fructose and sorbitol rather than sucrose, which is white sugar. They're a great snack that can even help prevent the pesky irritations of irregularity in the first place.
So to really "get things moving," rehydrate these power-packed wonders of fiber and most likely you'll be feeling like new again. Generally, all it takes is a small amount to do the trick!
SUGGESTIONS FOR STEWING PRUNES
In a small saucepan add enough water to cover your prunes. Simmer until the water becomes thick - like a syrup - and the prunes have expanded and become soft. Eat a few each day and include the juice. Warm or room temperature seems to work the best. They will need to be refrigerated.
For a quick soak, pour boiling water over prunes for 10 minutes.
About the authorHeidi Fagley is a Holistic Nutritionist and has two culinary arts degrees - one in Raw, Living Foods and another in Natural Foods. Educating others about nutrition and the benefits of using whole foods to heal and prevent disease is her passion.
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