Most of us would rather avoid using over-the-counter medicines to find relief from occasional constipation—especially if our kids are the ones struggling with it.
Maybe when you were young, your mom told you to drink some prune juice to help get things "moving." Guess what? Mom was right!
Did you know that high-fiber fruits that start with the letter "p" may help support regular bowel movements?
These fruits include:
Understanding the Power of P-Fruits
Before we dive into the benefits of p-fruits, let's first get a refresher course on Fiber 101.
Fiber is an essential nutrient—and a type of carbohydrate—that our bodies need to perform many important functions, one being going #2 with more ease.
Dietary fiber is often referred to as roughage, and it's naturally found in different types of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. There are two different types of fiber we get from plant foods:
- Soluble Fiber
- Insoluble Fiber
Our bodies can't naturally digest fiber, like it does with glucose. Instead, it either dissolves in water (soluble fiber) and is broken down into a gel-like substance in the colon, or it doesn't dissolve in water (insoluble fiber) and moves through our gastrointestinal tract completely intact.
"Soluble fiber attracts water, softening poops and making them easier to pass, while, non-soluble fiber adds “bulk” to poop, helping it move quickly and smoothly through the intestine," (Children's Hospital Colorado).
Types of food that contain soluble fiber
- Citrus fruits
Types of food that contain insoluble fiber
- Whole-wheat flour
- Wheat bran
Now, back to the benefits of P-fruits!
P-fruits contain both soluble and insoluble fiber to help aid in digestion, but they also offer key nutrients and compounds that support tummies and other bodily functions.
Prunes, for instance, contain high amounts of sorbitol and phenolic. These two compounds have natural laxative properties that may benefit your child's gastrointestinal system. The fiber in prunes is mostly insoluble to help in bulking up your stool and relieving occasional constipation.
Pears, in addition to being high in fiber (about a third of which is soluble), are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Potassium.
Peaches are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And because this p-fruit is traditionally sweeter in taste than prunes, it may be easier to give to picky eaters in order to ensure they're getting the fiber they need to reduce occasional constipation.
Plums, which are prunes before they've been dried, contain high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin C. As with prunes, plums contain a higher amount of insoluble fiber.
Other fruits for occasional constipation
In addition to p-fruits, here are a few other high-fiber fruit options that may help relieve occasional constipation:
In addition to getting enough p-fruits, it's equally important that your child stays hydrated, too! "..[t]oo little water and fiber leads to hard, painful poops. That makes kids want to hold it, which makes the problem worse. The result is harder and less frequent poops, plus lower abdominal pain," (Children's Hospital Colorado).
Be sure to check out our recent article for tips on keeping your kids hydrated throughout the day!
Need an Easier Way to Get Kids to Eat P-Fruits?
Did you know that nearly 35% of kids in the US experience occasional constipation? At Doolies, we aim to do something about it!
We offer delicious snack options that help you take the stress out of potty time, using real fruit ingredients like prunes, pears, and apples. This way your kids get more of the simple foods they need to stay regular, and you get to enjoy watching them be regular kids.
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