There are a few things to keep in mind before drinking fruit juice for constipation. Constipation can affect your daily activities as well as your overall health.
According to Dr. Boxer, prune juice is the number one juice you should turn to if you are dealing with constipation. “Prunes are considered the most important juice for relieving constipation and supporting regular bowel movements,” he says.
Dr. Boxer explains that fruit juices, such as prunes, are good for constipation for two main reasons:
Fruit juice helps to moisturize and lubricate the small and large intestines, where water is absorbed and forms stool. Some juices contain fiber and other natural properties that can have a laxative effect.
Prune juice is the gold standard for constipation remedies because just 1 cup contains a whopping 2.6 grams of dietary fiber. All this fiber helps to increase the volume of the stool, which makes it easier to pass it out, helps along with a small dose of hydration from the fruit juice.
But there’s another reason prune juice is superior to all others: it contains a natural, non-absorbable sugar called sorbitol.
“This sugar draws fluid into the intestines, preventing stool from hardening,” says Scott David Lippe, a gastroenterologist at New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus.
If prune juice isn’t your drink of choice, Dr. Lippe recommends apple juice as another effective constipation remedy.
Like plum juice, apple juice contains high levels of natural sorbitol, which is a major constipation aid. Indeed, a small study conducted in April 2020 in the journal Food and Function found that apple juice can be beneficial for people with chronic constipation.
The taste of apple juice is also much more pleasant than prune juice, making it easier for many people, especially children, to swallow. However, don’t drink too much or you will get a stomachache,” warns Dr. Lippe.
Along with apple juice, Dr. Lippe recommends pear juice for constipation because it is another type of juice that naturally has a high level of sorbitol.
“Pear juice contains about four times as much sorbitol as apple juice, so it may be a better option for constipation,” he notes.
There are not many specific studies on pear juice for constipation, but one 2001 study published in the Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics found that pear juice was useful in regulating bowel function. However, it was most effective after regular intake for about a week.
Risks and warnings
There are a few things to keep in mind before drinking fruit juice for constipation:
- Fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar, so if you have diabetes or need to watch your sugar intake for other medical reasons, you need to be careful about how much juice you drink.
- Although juice helps to get rid of feces, it should not be used as a remedy for chronic constipation. If you regularly have difficulty having regular bowel movements, you should talk to your doctor.
- If constipation is accompanied by other symptoms, such as bleeding or unexplained weight loss, schedule a doctor’s examination as soon as possible.