Los Angeles, CA – A viral video on Instagram claims that eating an entire orange, including the peel, can cure constipation within minutes. This video, originally posted in 2022 and reposted in 2023, has received a collective 23.6 million views. The Instagrammer, known as @lilsipper, shared her step-by-step process for using an orange to relieve constipation, emphasizing the inclusion of the peel and specific seasonings.
In the video caption, Bethany, the woman behind the account, explained that oranges contain naringenin, a flavonoid that has been shown to help with constipation, with studies indicating a potential laxative effect. She also highlighted that cayenne pepper and cinnamon, when ingested, can stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and promote faster movement.
However, health experts caution that while whole oranges contain fiber and water, which can help relieve constipation, there is nothing particularly special about oranges that would make them a quick fix for constipation. Registered dietitians emphasized that the fiber in orange peels is not significantly different from other sources of fiber and that potential harmful substances on the peel should be considered when consuming them.
They also noted that for some individuals, consuming orange peels might lead to negative side effects, such as an upset stomach, and may be challenging to tolerate due to texture or flavor. Additionally, the immediate effects of high-fiber foods like oranges are unlikely, especially for individuals prone to constipation, as fiber takes time to reach the colon and alleviate constipation.
In regards to the claim that oranges contain naringenin with a laxative effect, experts pointed out that current studies on the antioxidant’s impact have only been conducted on animals, with no evidence to support its effectiveness in humans. Similarly, the claim that cayenne pepper and cinnamon can trigger receptors to stimulate the intestines was noted to have potentially negative effects, such as greater gastrointestinal pain and discomfort.
Ultimately, the idea that consuming an entire orange, including the peel, can rapidly alleviate constipation may be unfounded, and individuals should approach such remedies with caution and seek guidance from healthcare professionals. While incorporating fiber-rich foods and certain elements found in oranges into a balanced diet may promote regularity, a quick solution to constipation remains unlikely.