Treating Constipation Naturally with Dried Plums
Some people use psyllium to treat constipation. Psyllium consists of husks from the Plantango ovate plant and is the active ingredient in such products as Metamucil and Colon Cleanse. Psyllium is effective for treating constipation, because it's a rich source of fiber - but there's an even better solution.
According to a study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, dried plums are better than psyllium for perking up sluggish bowels. When they gave 40 volunteers either 11 grams of psyllium or 50 grams of dried plums (prunes) daily for 3 weeks, those who munched on prunes had more bowel movements. In fact, the group who ate the dried plums had 3.5 additional bowel movements each week compared to only 2.8 in the psyllium group. They also had a healthier stool consistency.
Treating Constipation with Dried Plums: Why Does It Work?
Prunes are not only a good source of fiber, they also contain sorbitol, a natural sugar alcohol that draws water into the intestines and helps soften the stool - which is a good thing if you're constipated. Researchers believe it's the sorbitol and components in dried plums other than fiber that make it superior to psyllium for treating constipation.
Other Health Benefits of Plums
There are good reasons to eat dried plums - other than to treat constipation. They have as much antioxidant power as the blueberry, and they're a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. Plus, most people enjoy eating dried plums more than drinking a glassful of psyllium in water or juice.
Treating Constipation with Dried Plums: The Bottom Line?
Next time you're constipated, skip the drugstore and head to your local supermarket instead. Pick up some dried plums and eat them once a day. If it doesn't relieve your constipation in a few days, see your doctor. Constipation can sometimes be a symptom of more serious medical problems.