Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It occurs when stool passes through the large intestine too slowly, causing it to become hard, dry and difficult to pass. Chronic constipation can negatively impact quality of life and lead to uncomfortable symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort. Luckily, there are many natural remedies that can help relieve constipation, including certain fruits like grapes.
Grapes as a Natural Laxative
Grapes contain high amounts of water and fiber, which can help add bulk and moisture to stool. This helps stimulate bowel movements and alleviate constipation. In one study, eating 200 grams of seedless grapes per day significantly increased stool frequency and improved consistency in participants with chronic constipation.
Grapes also contain organic acids like tartaric, malic and succinic acid. These compounds act as natural laxatives by drawing water into the intestines to soften stool. Additionally, grapes contain resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant that’s been shown to have laxative effects by promoting contractions in the intestines.
Nutrition Facts for Grapes
|Nutrient||Amount in 1 Cup (151g)|
As you can see, one cup of grapes provides a good amount of dietary fiber and water to help promote regularity.
Other Benefits of Grapes
In addition to relieving constipation, grapes offer many other health benefits:
- High in antioxidants like resveratrol, anthocyanins and catechins
- May protect against cancer, diabetes, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases
- Rich in vitamin C, K and manganese
- Contain chlorogenic acids that may lower blood pressure
Grapes are also very versatile and easy to incorporate into a balanced diet. Here are some simple ways to add more grapes to your daily routine:
Ways to Eat More Grapes
- Enjoy a bowl of grapes as a snack or dessert
- Add grapes to salads, oatmeal or yogurt
- Make frozen grapes for a sweet summer treat
- Drink 100% grape juice with no added sugar
- Pair grapes with cheese, nuts and crackers
- Freeze grapes and blend into smoothies
There are many different types of grapes to choose from, including:
- Thompson: Firm, crunchy and mildly sweet
- Green Globe: Large, juicy and sweet with a crisp texture
- Honeycrisp: Sweet, juicy and bursting with flavor
- Red Globe: Firm, juicy and sweet with notes of strawberry
- Flame: Crunchy and sweet with a bold, fruity flavor
- Crimson: Juicy berries with a rich, bold taste
- Concord: Bold, fruit-forward flavor with thick skins
- Black Beauty: Bold, earthy flavor with hints of blackberry
- Ribier: Small berries with a sweet, herbaceous taste
Try mixing up the types of grapes you eat to take advantage of their unique flavors and textures.
Eating 1-2 servings of grapes per day can help relieve constipation for most healthy adults. One serving equals:
- 1 cup of whole grapes (about 126g)
- 1⁄2 cup of grape juice (about 122g)
Children can also eat grapes to help with constipation. The recommended intake is:
- 1⁄2 cup of grapes per day for 1-3 year olds
- 1 cup of grapes per day for 4-8 year olds
For best results, make sure to drink plenty of fluids when increasing grape intake to stay hydrated.
Grapes for Constipation in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Grapes are generally considered safe to eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Their fiber, water and organic acids can help relieve pregnancy-related constipation. Aim for 1-1.5 cups per day as part of a healthy prenatal diet.
However, you should avoid grape juice or eating large amounts of grapes. Too much fructose from grapes may cause loose stools or diarrhea in sensitive individuals.
Risks and Precautions
Grapes are safe for most people, but there are some precautions to be aware of:
- Allergic reactions may occur in those allergic to grapes.
- Grapes contain oxalates, so individuals with kidney stones should moderate intake.
- Overconsumption may cause diarrhea, gas or abdominal pain.
- Grapes may interact with certain medications like blood thinners.
Introduce grapes slowly and stop eating them if you experience any negative symptoms. Additionally, consult your healthcare provider before increasing intake if you have an underlying health condition.
The Bottom Line
Grapes are an easy, tasty way to help stimulate bowel movements and relieve constipation. Their high water and fiber content help add bulk and moisture to stool. Grapes also contain organic acids and antioxidants that promote contractions in the intestines.
Aim for 1-2 servings per day. Combine grapes with other high fiber foods and stay hydrated for best results. Additionally, get plenty of exercise and consider probiotic supplements if constipation persists.
So in summary, yes – grapes can be an effective natural remedy to help you open your bowels and relieve constipation. Their unique combination of water, fiber, antioxidants and organic acids help stimulate bowel movements. Just be mindful of portions and enjoy grapes as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.