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Have you ever wondered why apricots, be it fresh or dried, make you want to go to the bathroom each time after eating them? I have wondered the same thing so I researched this matter and here is what I’ve found.
Why do apricots make you poop? Fresh or dried apricots are rich in dietary fibers that cannot be digested by your stomach and needed to be flushed out of your body, hence the need to go to the bathroom after eating them.
However, fresh apricots can only be qualified as a good source of fiber if sliced and consumed by the cup.
What is fiber and why does it make you want to poop?
In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C, copper, and potassium, apricots are rich in dietary fibers.
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, is a type of carbohydrate that can be found in all edible plant foods including common vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Unlike other types of carbohydrates such as starch, fibers cannot be readily digested by your stomach and will be flushed out as feces.
Fibers come in two types, soluble and insoluble.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber makes you feel full, which may help you eat less and stay satisfied longer.
Below are some of the key differences between soluble and insoluble fibers.
- Soluble fibers are fibers that can be dissolved in water which helps your body in the absorption of nutrients and helps control blood sugar and cholesterol level. They also allow more water to be retained in your feces making them softer and larger so they can have an easier time passing through your intestines.
- Insoluble fibers are those that cannot be dissolved in water and mainly helps in your digestive system and bowel regularity. They add bulk to your feces and speed up foods’ and wastes’ movement in your gut which can help prevent constipation.
Fibers will pass through your stomach while adding bulk by absorbing fluid as they pass the intestine and be excreted as feces (poop).
So the more water you drink, the softer and bulkier your feces gets as they will absorb much more water.
And the more fibers you eat, the more frequent you will visit your bathroom (and poop).
How much fiber is in apricots?
Apricots contain a sufficiently great amount of both kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. But they are especially high in the soluble type.
The book “Healing Foods” by DK Publishing House stated that apricots have a high content of fiber that helps in bowel regularity which can help prevent constipation and even bowel cancer.
An average-sized fresh apricot that weighs about 35 grams contains roughly about 0.69 grams of dietary fibers.
This amount of fibers will not provide a substantial amount for your daily dietary fibers needs.
You need to slice and eat apricots by cup for easier measurement of fiber.
A one-cup serving of sliced apricots (about 4 and ½ apricots) will provide roughly around 3.3g, which provides about 13 percent daily value (%DV) for fiber.
Fresh apricots have a higher amount of fibers as compared to other commonly eaten stone fruits such as peaches and plums.
Dried apricots, having deprived of water, have a more concentrated amount of dietary fiber.
Just a half-cup serving of dried apricot halves provides around 4.8 grams of fiber, which is around 19 percent daily value (%DV) for fiber!
Tips: You need to get 100% of the daily value for dietary fibers to have a healthy gut and prevent constipation.
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How many apricots you should eat to prevent constipation?
Eating a high-fiber diet with plenty of waters can help to hold water in the stools, keeping them soft and prevent constipation.
The goal here is to get your recommended daily intake of fibers from apricots.
So your first step in knowing how much apricots you should have is to know how much fiber you should take in a day.
Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, the Daily Value for fiber would be 25 grams per day.
Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
According to the Institute of Medicine, men aged fifty (50) or younger are recommended to eat 38 grams of fibers daily, while men aged fifty-one (51) or older are recommended to eat 30 grams of fibers daily.
The daily recommendation of fibers for women aged fifty (50) or younger is 25 grams, while women aged fifty-one (51) or older is 21 grams.
Your goal is to eat enough fibers each day or most days that will satisfy your daily value.
Now let’s take a look at the number or amount of apricots you should eat.
As mentioned before, a one-cup serving of sliced fresh apricots provides about 3.3 grams of fibers, which is about 13 percent daily value (13% DV) for fibers.
So for the aim of 25-35 g of daily fibers intake, you need to consume around 8 to 11 cups of sliced fresh apricots each day.
Remember to also drink plenty of fluid for a softer stool. Drink around 6 – 9 cups of fluid each day.
A word of warning though, if you are not used to eating fibers, you need to gradually increase your fibers intake as doing so too quickly may leads to flatulence (gas) or bloating.
Other than apricots, you can also benefit from other high-fiber diets to prevent constipation.
The following are some examples of foods that are high in fiber:
- Whole fruits and vegetables with their skin
- Dried fruits such as dried dates and prunes
- Prune juice or vegetable juices
- Whole wheat crackers
- Whole wheat or multigrain bread
- Brown rice
Tips: Gradually change your usual food for a high-fiber diet over the next two (2) to three (3) weeks with increasing fluid intake to reduce any discomfort of sudden fiber diet change. Exercising regularly such as brief walking or stretching may also help your bowel muscles and reduce the risk of constipation.
How many dried apricots should you eat for constipation? An average adult with the recommended intake of 25-35 g of fibers each day will need to eat around 2-4 cups serving of dried apricot halves. However, the increase in fiber intake needs to be gradual to avoid gas, bloating, and stomach upset.
Can you eat too many fresh apricots? Eating too many apricots a day, that is around 21 cups of sliced fresh apricots or approximately 94 and a half apricots, will result in too much fibers (more than 70 g). This may lead to side effects such as nutrient deficiency, constipation, or diarrhea.
Are apricots good for weight loss? Apricots are an excellent fruit to be included in your diet if you consider losing weight. They are low in calorie and provide a good source of fiber for a healthy digestive tract, helps control your blood sugar and cholesterol level, and makes you feel full for much longer.
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