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Does Cranberry Juice Help With Constipation? The Team Answers
Gut Health

Does Cranberry Juice Help With Constipation? The Team Answers

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 14
234 Views
4 min

Are you looking for ways to relieve the discomfort of constipation? Here we take a closer look at the health benefits of cranberries as we determine whether you can alleviate digestive distress by drinking cranberry juice.

does cranberry juice help with constipation

Cranberry juice is a firm favorite among those who enjoy fruit juice as a refreshing drink. It has a distinctive taste with a combination of sweet and bitter, making it a great addition to cocktails, jams, and sauces.  

But besides its zingy, tart flavor, cranberry juice also packs several health benefits. From preventing urinary tract infections (UTI) to improving heart health, there are lots of reasons people love cranberry juice. 

You may have heard that drinking cranberry juice aids gut health. In this article, we discuss the role of cranberry juice on the digestive system to determine its effects on those seeking constipation relief.   

Does Cranberry Juice Make You Poop?

Generally, yes, drinking cranberry juice can help with bathroom troubles.

Many factors can cause constipation, but often it comes down to inadequate water intake and a lack of dietary fiber.

Your body needs a sufficient amount of water to soften stool and make it easier to pass through the gut. Let’s look at what cranberry juice contains to determine how it can aid bowel function.

What Does Cranberry Juice Contain? 

Although cranberry juice no longer contains the original dose of fiber from the cranberries, the fruit juice does contain water. So, adding fruit juice to your diet will increase your overall fluid intake, relieve dehydration, and promote regular bowel movements. 

Cranberry juice also contains magnesium. Magnesium can stimulate the bowel muscles, drawing more water into the intestines and causing mild laxative effects. 

Cranberries also have salicylic acid, which may increase the growth of Bacteroidaceae, the healthy gut bacteria supporting the digestive system.  

So, adding more cranberry juice to your diet may help relieve constipation. But keep in mind that too much cranberry juice may cause an upset stomach and diarrhea, which we’ll get into later.

You can mix cranberry juice with other fruit drinks for a more significant laxative effect. Apple juice, pear juice, and prune juice are other good options to help relieve constipation. 

Benefits of Cranberries 

Cranberries are a superfood that boasts many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, E, and K. The berries are also high in dietary fiber, vital for healthy bowel movements. 

Cranberries are also rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. Let’s look at the 5 top reasons to eat cranberries. 

#1 Improves heart health 

The cranberry supports cardiovascular health, with potential cholesterol-lowering abilities while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).  

The high level of antioxidants gives cranberries anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease. 

#2 Strengthens digestive health 

Although more research is needed, cranberries may help maintain the digestive system by benefiting the gut bacteria. Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins that can potentially protect against harmful gut bacteria.

Cranberry juice increases the amount of vitamin B12 the body absorbs. This increases stomach acid levels, which is helpful as constipation can result from low stomach acid.

#3 Boosts the immune system 

Again, the antioxidants in cranberries support a strong immune system. They are rich in vitamin C, one of the most powerful antioxidants that prevent free radicals from damaging the body’s healthy cells.

The accumulation of vitamins A, C, and K boosts the immune system and fights inflammation.

#4 Prevents infections 

Cranberry juice is notorious for treating and preventing UTIs. It comes down to the A-type proanthocyanidins that prevent the growth of E. coli in the bladder that triggers the infection.

Many women add cranberries to their diet as a proactive measure in fighting off bladder discomfort.

#5 Aids weight loss

In stimulating digestion, cranberries and the juice cleanse the digestive tract and remove toxins, acting as a detox to alleviate bloating and promote a flatter stomach

Plus, cranberries are low in calories and a good source of fiber, which makes them a great addition to a weight loss plan.

Can Cranberry Juice Cause Diarrhea? 

Cranberry juice helps with various issues, but drinking too much can backfire. 

Cranberry juice and cranberry extracts are perfectly harmless in moderation for most people. However, excessive consumption of cranberry juice and other juices can trigger diarrhea and other digestive discomforts, such as abdominal pain.

Fruit juices contain various sugars. Fructose, a natural sugar found in fruit, is one of the biggest culprits for causing diarrhea. You find it in fruit juices and other food and beverages. 

Most people who ingest too much fructose will develop diarrhea.   

Monitor your cranberry juice intake

While cranberry juice can prevent urinary tract infections, it can increase the risk of kidney stones at high doses due to a chemical called oxalate. 

If you want to facilitate the benefits of cranberry juice, it’s helpful to monitor how much juice you consume daily to prevent any adverse effects. 

To alleviate both chronic constipation and occasional constipation, you can try other remedies that may provide a better solution, such as fiber supplements.

ColonBroom is an organic, sugar-free fiber supplement that facilitates a bowel movement within 24–72 hours, thanks to psyllium husk, a type of natural fiber. It fights constipation and bloating while cleansing the gut and detoxing the body.

ColonBroom works by providing your digestive system with the essential fiber and probiotics it needs to function at its best. It essentially sweeps the colon, flushing out toxins and freeing you from the nasty buildup of waste. 

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A Word From Our Nutritionist

There’s a lot of research to suggest cranberry juice accomplishes constipation relief.

It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, notably magnesium, which is known to stimulate the bowel muscles, and vitamin B12, which increases the level of stomach acid.

As cranberry juice is high in sugar, it’s best to consume it in moderation to avoid ingesting too much. Consider limiting yourself to one or two glasses per day to enjoy the perks without the sugar overload.

If you want to mix things up, you can try apple juice, cucumber juice, and pear juices. However, you shouldn’t rely on cranberry juice or any other juice alone to treat constipation.

It’s essential to drink plenty of water, eat enough fiber, and exercise regularly to optimize your digestive well-being.

Speak to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications and other treatments for bowel issues, as some remedies may worsen constipation. This is especially important if you suffer from gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Conclusion

Many fruit and vegetable juices can help reduce constipation and improve bowel function by increasing fluid intake and adding fiber to your diet.

While cranberry juice has most of its fiber removed, it does have an adequate magnesium content that benefits the digestive tract. 

If you’re not a fan of the tart flavor, increase the amount of plain water you drink. Eating dried plums and fresh fruits can also help. For example, pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain that assists digestion. 

For an extra kick, add lemon juice to warm water first thing in the morning to get things moving.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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