Constipation is no laughing matter. If you have ever suffered from constipation, like most people, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Constipation can lead to excessive straining when trying to have a bowel movement and hemorrhoids can develop. You might feel pain or cramping in your abdomen as the waste steadily builds up and causes you to feel “full” inside all the time. Constipation can also result in a lack of bowel movements or may simply cause your bowel movements to be infrequent.
If you are trying to stay away from laxatives as well, because of their negative side effects, you might want to try prunes to help you get things moving again. Although you could damage your colon if you ate an excessive amount every day, they are a significantly healthier option than laxatives.
A Look at Stimulant Laxatives
As the name states, stimulant laxatives work by stimulating the colon. Through this stimulation, laxatives encourage the bowels to move waste through the digestive system. This may seem great because the waste is being eliminated. On the other hand, your digestive system can become dependent upon the chemical properties of the laxative. You may soon discover your body is unable to expel waste without the help of the laxative and this can lead to constipation. That’s right, using laxatives can actually cause constipation!
Prune offers a slight colonic stimulation effect as well. This means they also encourage bowel movements by stimulating the colon, but they are not nearly as powerful as commercial laxatives.
Eating excessive amounts can lead to the same addiction as taking stimulant laxatives regularly; but consuming larger amounts every now and then is perfectly safe. It’s healthy to eat a smaller amount on a regular basis to keep your colon functioning a little more efficiently. As an added bonus, they are chock full of vitamins, which makes them great for the overall health of your digestive system.
Other Digestive Benefits of Prunes
In addition to aiding in digestion, prune is also high in fiber. This helps add bulk and additional water to waste matter which helps it move through the body easily.
The insoluble fiber also provides nourishment for beneficial bacterial living in the large intestine. When the bacteria ferment the fiber, it creates butyric acid. This serves as a “fuel” for the cells in the large intestine and helps maintain their replenishment.
Resisting Constipation with Special Recipes
If you are suffering from constipation, there are a couple of great recipes you might want to consider trying. Of course, you can just eat them plain. And, if plain prunes are a little too dry for your taste, you can soak them in hot water for a little while and they will plump right up.
If you don’t want to eat them plain, you can try a tasty fruit spread instead. And it’s easy to make. First, you need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound of pitted stewed prunes
- 1 pound of raisins
- 3 four ounce packages of natural tea leaves
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of lemon juice
Start the recipe by steeping the tea for five minutes in 3 ½ cups of boiling water. Then, strain the water to remove the leaves and set aside two cups of tea in a large pot.
Next, add the raisins and stewed prune to your tea and boil it for another five minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the sugar and lemon juice. Place it all in a blender and mix until it’s a smooth paste.
Now that your spread is made, place it within a glass or plastic container and put it in the freezer. It will not freeze, but putting it in the freezer will help keep it around for a long time. That way, you can use it whenever the need arises or you can spread it on crackers or toast in the morning or whenever you want a snack to help prevent constipation.
Stewed prunes offer many great benefits. So add them to your regular diet and you should discover your bowel movements becoming more regular. Thereafter, your bouts of constipation occur with less frequency . . . or they may not occur at all!