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The plum is a sweet and juicy fruit that can be eaten fresh or used to make jam and jellies or as an ingredient in many recipes. Plum juice can be fermented into wine that produces a brandy known as Slivovitz when distilled. The humble prune is essentially a dried plum and they are sweet and juicy and contain multiple antioxidants. Because of the negative connotations however, such that they are moreso for the elderly, prune marketers have begun advertising them as dried plums rather than prunes.

Both plums and prunes are known for their laxative effects. It is believed various components of the fruits (such as dietary fiber, sorbitol, and isatin) work together to promote bowel regularity. Both prunes and prune juice demonstrate the potential for regulating the normal functions of the digestive system.

Several different types of prunes or plums exist today:

  • Damson or Damask Plum
  • Greengage or greengage plum
  • Mirabelle (Northeast France)
  • Satsuma Plumb
  • Golden or Yellowgage plum

Preventing Constipation with Potassium and Prunes

For a quick and natural constipation remedy, the combination of potassium and prunes is a good choice. Potassium is needed in your colon walls to keep them strong and able to respond and contract properly during the process of elimination.

If potassium is present in the tissues of your colon wall, more oxygen can be assimilated as well. This “uptake factor” is of great importance for healthy cell function as well as the elimination of toxins. Potassium also creates an alkaline environment both inside and outside the cell to protect the cell walls from bacteria, fungus, and other harmful pathogens.

Potassium is a powerful source when it comes to cleaning, feeding, and building the walls of the colon. Eating foods high in potassium can help remove thin layers of waste that form along your colon walls. A buildup of fecal matter and toxins on the walls of your colon is a major cause of both acute and chronic constipation because this buildup prevents normal operation of the colon.

Potassium is also very important for reducing anxiety and depression. Both of these conditions hinder digestive function and retard bowel movements. Lack of potassium causes muscles and organs to sag and lose their tone. Potassium also draws water out of the body, so when it is in your colon, it helps attract ambient moisture and pull it into the stool so it becomes softer and easier to eliminate.

How Can You Obtain More Potassium?

Now that you know how potassium can help prevent constipation, the next step is to learn how to get more of it. To receive more potassium from your diet, you can try mixing your own constipation remedy drink by pouring hot water over dried prunes, waiting ten minutes, and then eating the prunes and drinking the juice. Do this on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

How does potassium relate to eating a prune anyway? Prunes have a very high concentration of both potassium and vitamin A, and this healthy combination stimulates enzymatic processes. These processes melt down the waste stored on the colon wall and also work to dissolve blockages. In addition, the enzymes activate the peristaltic action pushing the waste out through the rectum.

The Prune as a Health Food for the Colon

The prune is well known as a constipation remedy. The prune’s ability to provide bulk and decrease the amount of time it takes waste to leave the body makes it quite beneficial for the digestive system. Bowel regularity also decreases the risk of developing both colon cancer and hemorrhoids.

The insoluble fiber of a prune also provides sustenance for the Probiotic bacteria residing in the large intestine. The fermentation of insoluble fiber by the helpful bacteria produces butyric acid—a short-chain fatty acid that provides the primary fuel for cells of the large intestine. Besides producing short-chain fatty acids, beneficial bacteria also help resist the influx of disease-causing bacteria.

As you can see, the prune or dried plum has a very important role in helping you avoid constipation. Therefore, a diet high in insoluble fiber and potassium can help you maintain a healthy colon by lowering your risk for constipation. In summary, eat more prunes and you may spend less time in the bathroom wishing you had!

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