08 July, 2011
Pineapple Juice and Constipation
More than 4 million Americans face routine constipation, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, which involves infrequent or difficult-to-pass stools. Common causes include a low-fiber diet, dehydration, certain medications, inactivity and ignoring bowel movement urges. Drinking pineapple juice is a potential natural remedy for constipation. If your symptoms are severe, long-lasting or unchanged by your own efforts, seek medical attention.
One cup of unsweetened pineapple juice provides 0.5 grams of fiber and 8 ounces of fluid. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking at least 8 cups, or 64 ounces, of fluid and 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day for constipation relief. The natural plant enzymes in pineapple juice are also believed to play a role in improved bowel function. Its rich vitamin C content supports your body's ability to resist and heal from infections and disease. Pineapple juice also provides a mild, natural alternative to stimulant laxatives, which can cause abdominal pain, loose stools and gas, and do not enhance nutritional wellness.
For children experiencing mild constipation, the University of Michigan Health System recommends drinking a half cup of pineapple juice each morning. For adults with mild constipation, PineappleJuice.com recommends drinking a glass of fresh pineapple juice followed by a glass of water. If your digestive symptoms fail to resolve, repeat the process.
Pineapple juice is considered nutritious and generally harmless. It can be dehydrating, however, according to PineappleJuice.com, which can lead to constipation. For this reason, consuming plentiful amounts of water with or following its consumption is important. Pineapple juice is also acidic, so if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is characterized by frequent acid reflux, it might trigger or worsen your symptoms.
For maximum fiber content, choose fresh or home-juiced pineapple juice rather than juice from concentrate. Other natural remedies for constipation include fiber-rich foods, such as bran cereal and whole grain breads, leafy green vegetables, beans, lentils and fruits, such as raspberries. The UMMC recommends limiting sugary and high-fat foods, so avoid pineapple juice with added sweeteners. Other common sources of sugar and excess fat include regular soft drinks, candy, red meat and fried foods. Aim for a diet and lifestyle that support routine bowel movements, which, depending on the person, range from three per week to three per day.
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Constipation
- HighFiberDiet.com: Grams of Fiber in Pineapple Juice
- University of Michigan Health System: Constipation
- PineappleJuice.com: Does Pineapple Juice Work as a Constipation Remedy?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images