Apricot is a fruit found in both fresh and dried forms. Apricots are enriched in fiber and the best source of vitamin a, as well as vitamin c and several minerals such as copper and potassium. Using apricots to relieve constipation is pretty common. Yet, few understand the science and logic behind it. So, why do apricots make you poop?
Apricots relieve constipation and make you poop because they are enriched with fibers. The human stomach is unable to digest fiber since the enzymes required for its digestion are absent in the human intestines. Therefore, your body tries to flush the fibers instantly, making you poop and relieving constipation.
Sounds confusing? How often can you use apricots to get rid of constipation? And can it really be trusted to provide much-needed relief all the time? There’s a lot you need to know about apricots to determine their role in relieving constipation.
Table of Contents
What Is Fiber, And Why Does It Make You Poop?
There’s a lot that makes apricots beneficial for health. The fruit is an excellent source of many vitamins like vitamin A and C. It also contains copper and potassium. However, what contributes to its role in relieving constipation is the presence of dietary fibers in it.
In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin C, copper, and potassium, apricots are rich in dietary fibers.
First things first, you must understand how fiber triggers your body to commence the flushing process.
Dietary fiber is also known as roughage, and for a good reason. Dietary fiber refers to the part of plant food that cannot be digested. It is a type of hydrocarbon that is found in all edible plant foods, including vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Although fiber is a type of carbohydrate, unlike starch, it cannot be digested by the stomach and has to be eliminated from the body via feces.
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Irrespective of which type of fiber you consume, it’s bound to make you feel full, thereby decreasing your appetite significantly.
When you take soluble fiber, it dissolves in water and digestive fluid. Then, it is converted into a gelatinous substance, which is hydrolyzed by bacteria in the large intestine.
Soluble fiber reduces constipation and supports bowl movement. But more than the required amount can have a negative effect as it will further slow down your digestion process.
Foods with soluble fiber make you feel full for longer and help decrease belly fat. It also lowers your risk of heart disease and helps you balance your blood sugar levels.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, foods high in soluble fiber are oat bran, barley, black beans, lima beans, Kidney beans, peas, avocados, and sweet potatoes. Citrus fruits also contain a high level of soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber is not soluble in water and is left unchanged as food moves through the gastrointestinal tract. It adds bulk to your feces and speeds up the bowel movement and makes you poop. Like soluble fiber, insoluble fiber also helps in controlling weight.
The primary function of insoluble fiber is to improve bowel-related health problems. It also helps good gut bacteria to grow.
Foods high in insoluble fiber are good for constipation but it is important to drink the recommended intake of fluids.
The newest report of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends daily fluids intake;
11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day for women
15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day for men
Foods high in insoluble fiber are root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. Other good sources include dark green plants, whole wheat products, nuts, and dried apricots.
Difference Between Soluble Fiber And Insoluble Fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs water and dissolves in gastrointestinal fluids. While the insoluble water does not absorb water and is left intact as food moves through the gastrointestinal tract.
Soluble fiber delays the digestion process, which can help to treat diarrhea. In contrast, insoluble fiber helps to make you poop and relieve constipation.
Both soluble and insoluble are essential for a healthy diet. They help in weight management, lower cholesterol levels, and normalize bowel movements.
How Much Fiber Is In Apricots?
A regular apricot weighs 36 grams and contains 0.69 grams of dietary fibers in it. A cup (4-5 fresh apricots) should be enough for an average uptake of a day. Each cup of sliced apricots is a source of about 3.5g of fiber which fulfills 14% of the daily need.
But as you know, fresh apricots contain more water content than dried apricots. But their fiber content is equal when equally weighted. So a half-cup of dried apricots can provide 4.9 grams of fiber, and it concludes around 19.5% percent of the daily need.
Why Do Apricots Help With Constipation?
According to the book, Healing Foods by DK publishing house, apricots are packed with fiber, and “high fiber content aids bowel regularity, which can help prevent constipation and even bowel cancer.”
Food rich in fiber plays a significant role in getting rid of constipation problems. Apricots contain a high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. This helps in bowel movement and plays a significant role in the prevention of constipation.
If you suffer from sudden constipation, apricot grains are the best choice for you among the many. Because it helps to organize the excretion process and treats sudden constipation.
Constipation happens when the water content of the stool is low and making it hard in consistency and difficult to push out of the body. But apricot has laxative effects that help the body to empty the intestine.
Apricots should not be eaten more than required. And they should be gradually incorporated into the diet to help normalize your bowel function.
Should You Use Apricots To Treat Constipation?
Dried apricots are an excellent choice for treating constipation. Phytochemicals contained in dried fruit can also reduce intestinal inflammation caused by constipation.
But providing the body with adequate amounts of water is crucial in this regard to get rid of constipation problems.
But keep in mind, that excess use of apricots can actually be problematic. Therefore, if you intend to use apricots to get rid of constipation, you have to get the amount right.
If you consume 2000 calorie diet daily, the advisable amount of fiber will be 35grams per day. Don’t forget, that the daily value changes depending on your calorie requirements. You have to ensure you incorporate enough fibers in your diet to meet the required daily value.
The daily requirement of fiber for men
It depends on how much amount of fiber is required for a day. The experts say that the daily need for fiber for men who are aged 20-25 is 25.6 grams. The daily requirement of the men who are aged 45 or younger should take 37 grames of fiber. And fiber for men aged above 45 is 30 grams.
The daily requirement of fiber for women
According to the metabolism changes between men and women, the amount of fiber is also different. So, for women aged 45 or younger, the daily requirement of fiber is 26 grams, and for women aged above 45, the correct meal of fiber is 22 grams.
It can be a little higher or lower regarding your calories need. This amount of fiber is for all those who consume almost 2000 calories a day.
The Bottom line
Both soluble and insoluble fiber are good for constipation as they both improve bowel movement. But Foods with soluble fiber are good for diarrhea and constipation too. While foods high in insoluble fiber are best for constipation only.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Dried Apricots Should You Eat For Constipation?
Around 26-30 grams of fiber is enough for men of all ages to prevent constipation .16-20 dried apricots contain such an amount of fiber. Since constipation is related to dehydration in the colon, you need to drink enough water, and if the problem is not solved, you should contact your doctor.
Can You Eat Too Many Fresh Apricots?
Eating too many apricots can cause several intestinal problems, such as diarrhea. So the daily uptake of apricots should not exceed then (300-325 grams of apricots) per day.
Are Apricots Good For Weight Loss?
Apricots help in weight loss management because they are low in calories and contain a good amount of fiber in it. Apricots contain only 48 calories per 100 grams which is a good addition to your weight loss diet. They can also make you feel full for several hours.
How Are Dried Apricots A Laxative?
A laxative is a substance that increases intestinal movement. Apricots are considered laxatives because they are the best source of fiber.
They are almost 37% fiber of their whole weight. Once in the intestine, the fiber content of apricots will absorb and “swell” and then act on the principle of a brush.
Therefore, dried apricots, due to their high fiber content, have long been considered a mild natural laxative.
Do Fresh And Dried Apricots Cause Gas?
Fresh and dried apricots can cause gas in the case of overeating. They have a lot of inulin (a type of fiber) and fructose. This fiber, when ferments in someone’s colon, causes the production of gas.
This negative effect of apricots can be restored if you keep your fiber intake small and split your daily fiber meal into three portions.
For most people, intestinal issues are the primary cause of gas. The gas we have is primarily due to the undigested food in the colon. So if you are having some intestinal disease, you should see your doctor.
Do Dried Apricots Cause Diarrhea?
Dried apricots contain a molecule known as sorbitol. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves that sorbitol is safe for health. But when it’s eaten in excess quantities, it can cause diarrhea, especially in children.
If you feel any discomfort, you should divide your daily apricots intake into multiple portions.
Which Fiber Should Patients Choose For Constipation?
Soluble fiber absorbs water and makes the waste softer. It helps to treat constipation and diarrhea. But taking foods with soluble fiber without adequate water can worsen constipation.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and speeds up the digestion process, and helps prevent constipation.