Can Strawberries Cause Diarrhea? – 4 Reasons They Can!

Have you ever heard that strawberries can cause diarrhea? Well the truth is that they can, in several different ways. Maybe you read this somewhere or heard it from someone you know, or maybe you have had your own experiences with strawberries and have come to this conclusion independently.

It may be hard to believe at first. How can something so sweet and innocent, a delicious little strawberry cause such unwanted side effects? And does this mean you are going to have to cut them out of your diet, which would then mean you're going to miss out on all of the good nutrients they provide…

  • Vitamin C (According to the USDA, about 11% of the RDA (7.1mg) in just one strawberry!)
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B9
  • Potassium and more

The answer is no... at least not yet. While strawberries "may" cause diarrhea and "can", for the majority of people out there they do not pose a threat. A healthy individual more than likely isn't going to have any problem with such. The same goes for orange juice, which we recently published an article about.

Let's First Take a Look at Diarrhea..

Diarrhea is something that nobody wants to have to deal with. It's messy, gross, and can really screw up your whole day. The staple characteristics include frequent and very liquidy bowel movements, and other symptoms that come along with it are…

  • Stomach cramps & pain
  • Fever
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

Strawberries are delicious and all but they aren't worth having diarrhea over… Unless maybe if you have been suffering from constipation and are looking for some relief, then I could see as being desirable. But most people out there definitely do not want to deal with running to the bathroom every 10 minutes, and unfortunately strawberries very well could be the cause of such an unwanted condition...

4 Ways They Can Be a Cause of Your Frequent Bathroom Visits

1) They are high in salicylates

Salicylates are organic chemicals that strawberries have a lot of, and that our bodies have to detoxify when ingested. Some people can handle more than others and this all depends on how active a certain enzyme is in the body that is responsible for handling such tasks.

If you eat too much salicylates, going near or above the threshold in which your body can handle, you may experience allergy-like symptoms, some of which include bloating and diarrhea.

Other foods that are high in this compound include fruits like blackberries, blueberries, dates, and cherries. So you may experience similar problems while eating these, although it all depends on how much you are eating.

2) Food poisoning maybe?

Something else that you may have to consider is food poisoning. Did you know that some of the most common causes of diarrhea include infections from viruses, bacteria, and fungi?

When we think of food poisoning we normally think of animal products (like meats) spoiling and picking up some sort of bacteria like E. coli or salmonella. Then, if not cooked well enough the bacteria is transferred into the person consuming such spoiled meats, who then might get a variety of different symptoms including the common but unwanted diarrhea. But fruits like strawberries can also be the carrier of bacteria, fungi, etc.

If you want to do your best to avoid getting food poisoning from strawberries then simply wash them before eating. The same goes for eating any type of fruits or vegetables. You never know if they may have came in contact with other spoiled foods, feces, etc. It would also be highly recommended, and common sense, to not eat any that are moldy.

3) Maybe you're allergic

Allergies are another potential culprit. And again, this is something else that you wouldn't really think of when it comes to strawberries. Allergies are common for peanuts, shellfish, milk… But strawberries? Yes, unfortunately it is possible although very rare.

An allergic reaction to a food like this is, in a nutshell, usually your body overreacting to the proteins of the strawberries. It perceives them as a threat and starts to produce antibodies to attack and destroy the threat, which decreases your overall health and gives you symptoms like swelling around the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, irritation in that area and/or a rash, cough, and possibly diarrhea… Although a lesser common symptom.

You may also be wondering what the heck I am talking about… Protein in strawberries? Well… There are actually thousands of proteins in a strawberry. Although not "protein packed", they do have protein. And plenty enough to cause an allergy.

4) Fructose complications

Fructose is a type of sugar and is actually the most commonly used type included in processed foods, due to it being much more sweet than glucose. However, this is a natural sugar and you can find it in things like honey and fruits… Including strawberries.

Eating a diet high in this natural sugar is often associated with increased gas. If you eat too much it may be 'malabsorbed', or not absorbed efficiently. This isn't that uncommon. Some people have higher tolerances for fructose absorption than others.

If you are getting too much of this sugar then bloating, gas and diarrhea may be the side effects. If this is a problem that you suffer from then you probably also experience similar symptoms when eating apples, cherries, mangoes and pears, which are also very high in fructose.

A Healthy Food With Potential Unwanted Side Effects

I write 'potential' unwanted side effects because more likely than not you are going to have no problem eating strawberries. More likely than not, they will not cause diarrhea… Although it is possible.

In fact, strawberries even contain some substances that work in the opposite direction, helping reduce the chances of frequent bathroom visits. One way that they can help lower your chances of diarrhea is through the small amount of soluble fiber that they have, called pectin, which helps soak up excess water in the bowel and bring about firmer stools.

Can strawberries cause diarrhea? Yes.
Will they? Probably not.

Everyone reacts differently to different things. Some may be more sensitive to salicylates, some highly allergic to the proteins in strawberries, and some with extreme fructose malabsorption... But not all. And better stated… not most.

If you are looking for some tasty fruits that can help put an end to your frequent bathroom visits, check out this article.

For those with chronic diarrhea

If you are someone who is experiencing chronic diarrhea and think that it may be related to your consumption of strawberries, please consult with a doctor. If your diary is to the point where it is overwhelming, and maybe even bloodied, it is better to be safe than sorry. This could be the result of a much more serious condition that needs to be looked at.

Does Licorice Cause Diarrhea or is this an Old Wives’ Tale?

You've probably heard the saying that licorice causes diarrhea, or maybe you even believe you have experienced such for yourself, but does it really? Can such a tasty sweet snack, or a healthy root extract (if you are into the natural stuff), be the cause of toilets exploding across the world?

Diarrhea is a condition that nobody wants to deal with… It can really mess with your plans and instead of working on that presentation for your next meeting or walking your dog, you are running to the bathroom constantly, which can be an absolutely exhausting and dreadful experience.

This unwanted condition is characterized by abdominal cramps, frequent bathroom trips, and of course.. watery stool.

It would be nice if there was just a handful of causes for this so that there wouldn't be so much guesswork, but unfortunately there are about 1001 different things that can be the reason for your diarrhea. While bacteria, viruses and parasites are some of the most common causes, it can also be due to allergies, lack of or too much nutrients, lack of fiber and so on.

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to whether or not licorice actually causes diarrhea, so of course that is the topic at hand here. But before we get into that let's first talk about what licorice is exactly… Which there is also a bit of confusion around.

What is Licorice Really?

There is a lot of "licorice" that isn't really licorice. You know those red Twizzler candies that you can buy in just about any store? Yeah… Those don't actually have any licorice in them at all. Those have what is called anise oil, which tastes and smells like licorice but isn't.

According to an article by the FDA, black licorice is what contains the real stuff, and you can verify this yourself by looking at the ingredients list on the back of a black licorice candy wrapper. Although in very small amounts, they do contain some. The popular Twizzler black licorice candy states that it contains less than 2% licorice extract, and this usually seems to be the case. Generally speaking the black licorice candies have 3% or less actual extract. But I guess this makes sense because it is the black licorice that is usually said to give people diarrhea, not the red.

Real Licorice:

The scientific name for the licorice plant is Glycyrrhiza glabra, and this is no modern discovery. In fact, it has been used in ancient Egypt as well as in Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years, for a number of different things such as treating eczema, asthma, low blood sugar, and of course soothing stomach problems.

And it's no wonder why extract from the root of this plant has become popular in candies… It is incredibly sweet, supposedly up to 50x more so than sugar.

Does It Really Cause Diarrhea?

It has been used as a digestive aid since ancient times, and it seems that just about everyone has heard stories about it being used as a laxative or something along those lines. Hearing all of this would make you think that there is at least some truth to it causing diarrhea, right?

Well… Unfortunately there really isn't any hard proof of it being true, other than the many stories from people who have tried it for themselves. I've heard stories about people taking licorice for constipation as well as people just eating it out of enjoyment and later experiencing unwanted diarrhea.

Lack of scientific proof? Yes..but this doesn't mean it isn't true..

Lack of evidence does not mean anything more than there being a lack of evidence. While there aren't any good scientific studies showing that it causes diarrhea, there also aren't any showing that it doesn't. In fact, I don't think there even have been any studies related to licorice and its effects on diarrhea.

All in all there is just a lack of research on this topic, so all we have to go with are the claims of traditional medicine as well as personal stories from those with their own experiences on the matter.

A Treatment for Constipation & Other Digestive Issues?

It is said to help with IBS as well as constipation, and has been used for such traditionally, but again there isn't much in the way of scientific evidence to back this up. However, there is some proof that it can help with digestive problems such as peptic ulcers and all of the symptoms that come along with them.

An article from the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences called The Healing Effect of Licorice claims that it has been shown to help heal peptic ulcers caused by the Helicobactor pylori bacteria, which is the most common cause of this problem.

So there is at least some proof that it can fulfill its said traditional benefits of soothing the stomach.

According to WebMD, the chemicals that are present in licorice are "thought" to decrease swelling, thin out mucus, decrease coughing and of course help heal ulcers... but most of this is just "thought" to happen, not proven.

Don't eat too much!

If you like licorice, maybe for its health reasons or maybe just because you like the taste, do yourself a favor and don't eat too much of it. The compound that is famous for, glycyrrhizin, can lower potassium and raise sodium levels which can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.

Eating just 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks can lead to an irregular heart rhythm.

If you are looking to get the health benefits but avoid the possible side effects, you may want to look into buying DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) over the counter which is a much safer form that has the glycyrrhizinic acid removed but still provides much of the benefits.

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.

4 Reasons You Might Get Diarrhea from Orange Juice

Can you actually get diarrhea from orange juice? Could this highly coveted nutritional drink that is so well known for its abundance of the immune boosting vitamin C really be the cause of your frequent bathroom visits?

No one wants diarrhea… It can really throw a monkey wrench into your plans and mess up your entire day. Instead of walking the dog, going for run, or enjoying that new TV series you just got into, you are running to the toilet every hour to relieve yourself… And when you are not on the toilet you are focusing on squeezing your butt cheeks together which can be mentally and physically exhausting.

Maybe somebody told you that orange juice is the cause of this or maybe you just narrowed it down to this particular beverage on your own, and believe it or not, it does indeed have the potential to cause diarrhea.

4 reasons OJ might be to blame

Reason #1 - Too much vitamin C

As mentioned and as you probably already know, orange juice is loaded with vitamin C. In just one cup of OJ you get about 124 mg of vitamin C, which is already over 2x the RDA. Now most people can megadose on this vitamin without any adverse side effects, but some are more sensitive to it and could end up with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and other similar symptoms when taking too much.

The upper limit for the amount that you should not exceed taking per day is 2000 mg, but even this might be too much for some people.

Reason #2 - Digestion disorders

Another possible reason could be that you have a digestion disorder that has a problem with your orange juice consumption.

For example, you could have fructose malabsorption which is a condition where your body cannot adequately absorb fructose. Or you could have acid reflux, in which you definitely wouldn't want to have orange juice because of the very low ph of around 3.5, making it very acidic.

These are just two examples that could lead to diarrhea.

Reason #3 - You're allergic

Something else that you may want to consider is that you might be allergic to OJ. However, if this is the case then you probably notice similar undesirable symptoms from drinking similar fruit juices, such as grapefruit or lemon juice for example.

Allergic reactions are unnecessary reactions when your body gets confused and the immune system starts building a defense against a perceived threat that is not really a threat to begin with.

According to Healthline, having a citrus allergy can cause swelling around the mouth (where you ingest the OJ or other citrus beverages/foods), asthma, nausea, vomiting, and of course diarrhea.

Another allergy that could potentially be the culprit, although not as common, would be that of salicylate. If you are allergic to salicylic acid one of the symptoms is an upset stomach. If this is the case then you might experience similar symptoms when eating other foods high in salicylic acid such as being sprouts, peas, lettuce and asparagus. 

Reason #4 - Bacteria

Last but certainly not least is bacteria… Which would be more likely to be a cause of diarrhea if you are buying unpasteurized orange juices.

You see, most orange juices that you will find in the market are pasteurized, which means that they go through a process that helps to eliminate bacterial threats among other things. So obviously drinking orange juice that is unpasteurized would increase your chances of ingesting harmful bacteria.

That said, while possible, this is definitely nothing that you should be worried about due to the fact that, as stated, most orange juices are already pasteurized and orange juice itself is very acidic so most bacteria cannot survive in it to begin with.

Orange juice is great... but..

Orange juice very well "could" be the cause of the runs in which you have, but is it? Well… That is up to you and/or your doctor to find out.

If you are uncertain then you may want to perform an elimination diet to find out for certain. What you would do here is simply eliminate the foods potentially causing the problem from your diet, see if the diarrhea goes away, and then add them back into your diet one by one to further narrow it down and find out what is causing the diarrhea. Then proceed forward based on your results.

If it isn't the cause, you still may want to avoid drinking it at certain times. Why? Well… Because of the high acidity of this juice it can make diarrhea worse if you already have it.

For most people drinking such a nutritious juice is much more beneficial than not and provides a great source of immune boosting nutrients, which can in turn help you live a healthier life with less diarrhea, which is why it's included on our list of fruits that help with diarrhea...But you aren't most people and it very well could be the cause.

Whether it is or it isn't the cause, we hope that you get to the root of the problem and get rid of this very undesirable situation that you are currently experiencing.

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