You may have heard the rumor that grapes make you poop, or maybe you have even had a personal experience that has brought you to this conclusion.... but is it really true?
The simple answer is yes... However, all foods make you poop. What goes in must come out, right?
But of course that isn't the answer you are looking for. You already know that. You are wondering if they make you use the toilet more than normal... if they can increase your bowel movement frequency... if they have somewhat of a laxative effect...
The answer to this is yes as well, at least to some extent. Grapes don't just...
- Reduce risk of hearth disease
- Have lots of antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress
- Help prevent memory loss
- Boost the immune system
Now you know that they also help you poop. And I'll explain why.
Why They Help You Out On The Toilet
A post I wrote earlier on this site explains why grapes can be good for constipation. Three of the reasons given include that they...
- Have lots of water
- Contain a good amount of insoluble fiber
- Are good for gut bacteria
Grapes are about 70% water, generally speaking. And as you know, diarrhea is characterized by loose and watery stools and constipation the opposite... so you can see how these two go together.
When it comes to insoluble fiber, in this case much of it being cellulose because it is a fruit, you want to make sure you get enough when constipated. The insoluble fiber is what goes through your digestive system without being broken down and helps clean the pipes. Much of this fiber comes from the skin, which grapes have lot of due to their high skin to flesh ratio.
And of course gut bacteria is always important, which grapes help support. This is important for any sort of digestive issues and overall health in general.
Other Reasons that Make Grapes Somewhat of a 'Natural Laxative'
The fact that grapes are high in insoluble fiber is the big takeaway from what's mentioned above. This no doubt contributes much to their laxative-like effect. Its also worth mentioning that they are low in soluble fiber, which would work in the opposite direction, helping decrease the liquidity of stools and make for firmer bowel movements.
Another reason not mentioned includes lots of fructose.
Fructose, which is found in all fruits, is well known to make people poop, some more than others. The reason for this is because it helps bring excess fluid into the gut, which can lead to bloating and diarrhea.
Fructose is difficult for the body to digest and it isn't very uncommon for people to have trouble handling foods high in such. Fructose malabsorbance is a condition where your body only digests 50% or less of the fructose ingested. If you suffer from it then you are probably going to get some symptoms such as bloating, upset stomach and/or diarrhea.
SelfNutritionData lists 1 cup of grapes as having 23.4g of sugar (Your typical European style grapes), much of which is fructose.
What If You Aren't Constipated?
So you are probably wondering... what if you aren't constipated? Will grapes give you diarrhea and have you destroying the toilet multiple times a day?
The answer is... probably not. For most people they pose no real threat. It is only those that are very sensitive to insoluble fiber and fructose that are at risk. For most they are a healthy snack that is good for returning digestion to normal.
Diarrhea is possible, but not likely..
It's also worth mentioning that contamination could be a cause of diarrhea, although this doesn't have to do with the grapes themselves. This is much more likely to occur if you eat grapes without washing them.
Wash your grapes before eating and it goes without saying that you should avoid any that look old and moldy. Since you aren't going to be cooking grapes, and since you are probably going to be eating them whole, skin and all, this is extremely important.
So Should You Be Eating Them or Not?
The overwhelming majority of people are going to be able to eat grapes without catching a case of the runs. As mentioned, if you are extremely sensitive to insoluble fiber or suffer from fructose malabsorbance then they might not be a good choice, but most people don't.
For most people grapes are a healthy pick for returning your digestive system to regular bowl movements, which is why you may have heard them being recommended for those with constipation.
If you are experiencing diarrhea and that is your reason for looking further into this subject, I would suggest taking a look at this list of foods you can be eating to help stop it. And if you have blood in your stool or consider it to be severe, you may want to consult with a doctor because it could be serious.