Raisins have been used for constipation since ancient times. Constipation is a condition in which emptying the bowels becomes difficult due to hardening of faeces.
It means bowel movements will be tough and less frequent than the normal. Constipation usually is not a serious condition and you begin to feel better once the normalcy is restored. Most of the irregular bowel movements are caused by poor diet.
If you do not consume fiber rich foods then you are likely to suffer with constipation. Your body needs fiber and water to produce an ecosystem of right enzymes and digestive acids for proper digestion. Fiber rich foods such as raisins help relieve constipation.
What are Raisins?
Raisins are small, dark and wrinkled textured dried grapes. They taste similar to the grapes but with more sweetness as the sugar in grapes gets concentrated after water is evaporated from grapes during the drying process.
Sugar is the main ingredient of raisins, but they are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. 100 grams of raisins generally contains the following nutritional daily values (DV) given in % form.
- Total Carbohydrate 79 g 26%
- Dietary fiber 3.7 g 14%
- Sugar 59 g
- Protein 3.1 g 6%
- Vitamin C 3%
- Vitamin B-6 10%
- Potassium 749 mg 21%
- Calcium 5%
- Iron 10%
- Magnesium 8%
(Data source:USDA. )
You can make raisins at home by sun drying them for 2-3 days. 1 kg of fresh ripe blemishless grapes will produce about 250 grams of raisins.
Homemade sun dried grapes have low shelf life as they are not chemically processed. Commercially made raisins are bleached to improve color and proceed to increase shelf life. Home grown raisins are more nutritious.
Are Raisins Good for Constipation?
Following multiple capabilities of raisins make them suitable to relieve constipation:
- Raisins are natural laxatives
- High fiber content helps to soften the stools
- Maintains balance between good and bad bacteria
- Water and raisins together form soft bulk of stools so even diarrhea can be treated with it
- Tartaric acid helps elimination of toxic waste in the colon
- There are no side effects of raisins if not over consumed
7 Ways to Use Raisins for Constipation
Raisins alone and along with other constipation relieving food items can quickly treat the condition. Following are 7 effective ways to use raisins for constipation.
You can use raisins alone
- Handful of raisins
- Eat handful of raisins one hour after food
- Or add them to salad and eat
- Or eat them at snack times
- They will soften your stool and help in easy bowel movement
2. Soaked Raisins
- Handful of Raisins
- 1/2 cup water
- Keep a handful of raisins in a small bowl in the evening
- Add 1/2 cup of water or more to cover them completely
- Let it soak overnight
- Eat the soaked raisins in the morning empty stomach
- Drink the remaining water in the bowl
- Do it daily for 2-3 day or even a week until your constipation is relieved and you resume normal bowel movement
3. Raisins with Other Dried fruits
- Dried Figs
- Dates after removing seeds
- Cut 100 grams dried figs in to small size almost equal to raisin size
- Remove the seeds from 100 grams of dates and cut them also into the same size as raisins
- Take 100 grams of raisins and mix all of them well
- Keep them in a sealed jar
- Eat a handful daily. Within 2-7 days your constipation will go away.
4. Raisins and Yogurt
- 1 cup organic unsweetened yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons of raisins
- Toss 2 tablespoons of raisins in a blender
- Add one cup of organic unsweetened yogurt
- Blend well
- Enjoy the smoothie fresh.
- Do it daily. Your constipation would resolve within a week.
5. Raisins and Apple Juice
- 2 Tablespoons raisins
- 1 cup fresh apple juice
- Toss 2 tablespoons of raisins in a blender
- Add 1 cup of fresh apple juice
- Blend the ingredients well
- Drink the raisin apple juice
You can use apples in place of apple juice in the blender. But, you may not like the taste of the mix. Therefore extract the apple juice fist in a juicer, then use this juice from juicer to add to raisins in the blender.
6. Raisins and Oatmeal
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 cup water
- Cook 1/2 cup oatmeal in 1 cup of water for 5-10 minutes
- Remove it from heat
- Add 2 tablespoons of raisins and mix well
- Eat it in the breakfast daily for 2-3 days to relieve constipation
- You can continue this breakfast even after getting relieved of constipation.
Oats are also good for constipation. They are a very healthy breakfast. So continuing to use raisins oatmeal will give you multiple health benefits.
7. Raisins with Milk
- 1 Tablespoon raisins
- 1 Glass milk
- Add one tablespoon of raisins and 1 glass of milk in a saucepan on a burner
- Bring the milk to boil
- Remove the saucepan from fire
- Strain the milk
- Eat raisins
- Drink the milk
- Do it daily in the morning until your constipation is relieved. It might take 2-7 days to get back to normal routine.
Excess consumption of any good food can also be counterproductive. raisins are no exceptions. While raisins not only help relieve constipation they have many other health benefits, yet excess consumption can cause certain unwanted consequences as under.
- High calorie contents can lead to unwanted weight gains
- High sugar contents converts to high triglycerides in the blood which can cause diabetes and coronary heart diseases.
- Drink more water throughout the day. Raisins or any other fiber rich food will work better with water to relieve constipation. Water is an important factor in making your stools soft.
- Constipation relief can save you from many other discomforts such as bloating, gases and general uneasy feelings. So keep constipation in control.
- Use organic raisins as other commercially made use sulphur dioxide to increase shelf life and bleaching of colors. People with sulphur sensitives may get asthma attacks and other side effects.
- Make raisins at home by sun drying grapes. This way you will be completely assured of chemical less raisins.
If raisins and other natural methods do not solve your constipation then you must consult your doctor. There may be other underlying conditions that are causing constipation. It is important to treat those underlying conditions before they become dangerous or life threatening in some cases.