The thought of drinking prune juice makes some people cringe. However, prune juice provides much needed relief to those who suffer from constipation. We all know that prunes contain fiber. Actually, one cup of uncooked prunes contains 12 grams of dietary fiber and three dried prunes contain 3.9 grams of fiber. However, prune juice contains only 3 grams per serving due to filtration in processing.
So, how is prune juice a laxative? Prunes and prune juice contain sorbitol. Sorbitol is a naturally occurring sugar, or carbohydrate, that works as a laxative. However, prune juice sorbitol cannot be digested by the body which may cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Since sorbitol cannot be digested, the body wants to rid itself of these sugars, thus creating a natural laxative. So, use caution and start slowly when drinking prune juice due to the possible side effects of sorbitol.
The stigma surrounding prunes (now called “Dried Plums” by the FDA) has been that they are only eaten by the “older” generation. Aside from being a laxative, prunes and prune juice actually have many health benefits. Prunes:
- Have antioxidant properties
- Are a great source of Vitamin A
- Are a great source of potassium
- Help regulate blood sugar levels (through the prune’s soluble fiber)
- Helps with weight loss by creating a sense of fullness
- Prevents constipation
- Lower cholesterol
- Increases “good” bacteria in the digestive system
Although the appearance and taste of prunes may not be appealing (according to your tastes), give them a try! You may thank yourself one day.
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