Grapes and Constipation – A Cause or Cure?
You may be tuned in here because you heard that grapes could help with the problem, or maybe you are on the opposite side and have come to conclusion that they may be a cause… But what is the truth of the matter? What is the connection between grapes and constipation? Are they a cause of this unwanted condition, or a possible cure?
The domestication of grapes began around 6000 to 8000 years ago it is estimated. This delicious health food has made its way into many cultures, and is often consumed for both its nutritious value and delicious taste… Providing a nice sugary taste while also delivering lots of vitamins and antioxidants among other things.
Of all grapes' contents, a compound called resveratrol is one of the most highly esteemed. This compound, found in large amounts in red grapes, is thought to behave very much like an antioxidant and is likely behind many of the benefits of great consumption, some of which include…
- Decreased chances of heart disease and may even decrease cancer risk
- Lowered risk of weight gain
- Fights early aging
- Helps immune system health
- And so on...
But although grapes have one heck of a history and are well known to be a very healthy snack, they are not worth popping a vein in your forehead over when trying to take a crap.
What exactly is constipation?
Constipation is a very broad term and can have 1001 different causes. It is typically characterized by…
- Going to the bathroom less frequently
- Having hard, lumpy stools
- Straining to get it out
While this post may be written in a lighthearted manner, this is no laughing matter. When left untreated constipation can lead to other much more serious problems than just straining a little bit more than normal to use the restroom.
But don't go throwing out those grapes just yet… Luckily, grapes are much more likely to help with this condition rather than cause it.
3 ways grapes can help..
#1 - Lots of water
Did you know that constipation and dehydration of the colon go hand in hand? According to an article published on WebMD, dehydration is one of the leading causes of constipation. If you think about it this seems like common sense… If you want more liquidy and less hard turds, then just drink more water.
They say that 8 cups of water a day should be everyone's goal… But if you don't like drinking water all that much you can always just eat foods that contain high amounts of water, like grapes. Grapes happen to be extremely hydrating with around 70% of their weight being water.
#2 - High in insoluble fiber
Consuming a good amount of fiber regularly can have major positive effects when it comes to normal bowel movements. People that get good amounts on a daily basis are much less likely to suffer from constipation… And luckily eating grapes can be a good source of such fiber.
Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber is not broken down in the digestive process. It remains intact and helps aid in digestion… Helping things flow smoothly throughout.
If you want to get the most out of your grapes, eat them raw with the skin on. In general, 10 grapes can provide you with around 2.5 g of fiber. And forget about the juice… Grape juice is not going to be nearly as effective as grapes in their raw form.
#3 - Helps support gut bacteria
Grapes have also been found to improve gut flora, which is also very important when it comes to healthy bowel movements.
What the heck is gut flora and why is this important? Well… It is the community of microorganisms that live in everyone's digestive tract, playing very important roles in the digestion of everything we eat. An article published in the SpringerPlus journal states that alterations of intestinal microbiota may contribute to constipation, which is the reason that probiotics are becoming more popular when dealing with such conditions.
As a general rule of thumb, eating less processed and more natural foods is usually a good thing for such, and thus consuming grapes for such a purpose makes sense. Not only might they be beneficial for good gut flora, but they also may help fight off bad gut flora.
Can they cause constipation?
While there is almost bound to be a select few people that exist in which grapes cause them constipation, there is no information on this. All the information out there and studies that have been performed point to grapes lending a helping hand in relief of this ailment.
However... they could cause diarrhea
Grapes can however cause the opposite of constipation, which is diarrhea. That said, many people reading this may look forward to flipping the table and experiencing such.
The reason they could be the cause of such is because of their high water content, insoluble fiber and sometimes their high amount of fructose.
Grapes don't contain much soluble fiber to soak up excess water (although some), most of it being insoluble. This coupled with the fact that this fruit contains very high water content could mean watery and frequent bathroom visits. And, although less likely to be a problem, grapes are high in fructose which some people can't handle too much of due to fructose malabsorption. This can increase the water inside the intestines and lead to diarrhea.
But they are unlikely to really cause it (which is why we listed them on our fruits that help with diarrhea post)... and even if they do, as stated earlier, it may be well worth it. If eaten in moderation they are much more likely to help you return to normal bathroom visits.
Give them a try
There is nothing better than natural foods when it comes to constipation relief and grapes are a promising fruit that bring about a wide array of benefits far from just helping with your ability to defecate.
Next time you are constipated pick up some raw grapes at the store and eat them by the handful. This isn't going to be a fix for everyone but is well worth the try and very well could be an effective treatment, or at least help.