Can You Really Cure Constipation in 5 Minutes by Eating a Whole Orange, Including the Peel?

If nothing else, social media is a hotbed of hacks and advice. That doesn’t mean you should believe everything you read. A viral video is making the rounds, claiming that eating an entire orange — including the peel — can cure constipation in about 5 minutes. The video goes on to explain that you should coat naval orange slices with cinnamon and cayenne pepper and then eat the entire thing, including the well-washed peel. As for the spices, the video explains that cayenne pepper and cinnamon contain capsaicin, which trigger your TRVP1 receptors and stimulate your GI tract, making things move through quite fast. So, is this true, or is it “pulp” fiction? Registered dietician Amy Brownstein, owner of Nutrition Digested, warned that while cinnamon and cayenne pepper may get things moving, they could also cause more discomfort than relief. When it comes to eating the orange peel, it’s generally safe — although bitter — but experts caution about potential chemicals on the surface of the fruit. Brownstein, along with the Mayo Clinic, recommends prunes to address constipation. In addition, always stay hydrated and avoid caffeinated beverages. If you find blood in your stool, have stomach pain, or remain constipated for longer than 3 weeks, it’s recommended that you reach out to your doctor for further testing.