There is a common concern in the health community that apples are constipating. However, apples also treat diarrhea. The way they are consumed makes the difference. Apples eaten raw are good for easing constipation, as long as you eat the peels for the fiber. Cooked or baked apples are good for diarrhea. The cooking process softens the cellulose and provides bulk to the stool. So, are apples constipating? Generally speaking, for the typical, healthy diet, apples are not constipating.
A diet high in fiber will keep your digestive system regulated. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and makes it softer and easier to pass. Fiber also speeds up the digestive process so that the food waste isn’t dawdling and hardening in the body. A high-fiber diet requires that you drink at least 8 cups of water a day because the fiber needs the extra water to work effectively. It is recommended that women consume 30 grams of dietary fiber per day, while men should consume 38 grams a day. Children need 10 grams of dietary fiber a day. As we age over 50, our daily requirements for dietary fiber for both men and women drop approximately 9 grams a day.
Apples are high in fiber. One large apple with skin intact contains 5.4 grams of fiber. However, if you remove the skin, you lose much of the natural fiber from the fruit. Apples also have pectin in them, which adds bulk to the stool. They have a natural laxative effect on the colon and they actually encourage bowel movements, rather than preventing them.