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People Swear By the Viral Orange Peel Hack to Relieve Constipation

When you're feeling backed up, this orange peel hack may do the trick.

If you wish your system was more regular, we have a great new hack you may want to try that's pretty natural to its core. It's called the orange peel hack, and it's gone completely viral on social media. The video comes from cookbook author Bethany (@lilsipper on Instagram), who shares low-sugar recipes for IBS. She claims that consuming an entire orange—along with its peel and two crucial spices—can help relieve constipation.

We spoke with Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, a nutritionist in private practice, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, who breaks down the hack, how it works, and its benefits. Let's get moving, so to speak, and read all about this new form of relief. When you're finished, be sure to check out The #1 Best Type of Exercise for Weight Loss.

What is the orange peel hack?

Young breaks down exactly how you can try the orange peel hack at home. "[It] involves consuming the whole orange both the flesh and peel to relieve constipation and promote bowel movements," she explains. "Orange peels are rich in fiber which can add bulk to stool. It also contains the compound flavonoid which may support digestive health and potentially relieve constipation."

If you're ready to check out the hack for yourself, this is how it's done:

  1. Wash a navel orange thoroughly.
  2. Keep the peel on, and slice the fruit into wedges.
  3. Generously cover each piece with cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
  4. Eat each wedge—orange, peel, and all!
  5. After five to 10 minutes, it should take effect.

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In the video caption, Bethany explains, "Oranges contain naringenin, a flavonoid shown to help with constipation in general, and studies show that naringenin can also have a laxative effect."

People were quick to comment about the trend on Bethany's video. Dr. Tara O'Desky / Rosacea wrote, "Love this," while another user commented, "Love love love this! I prescribe this to my acupuncture patients for the release of their constipation!" However, some people were a bit more skeptical about the hack, with one noting, "You gotta eat the peel?!" and another, "Would rather eat salad for a week."

orange slices

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Everybody's body is different, and it's also always a wise idea to check in with your healthcare provider—especially if you have any preexisting health conditions and inconsistent bowel movements.

Keep in mind that along with oranges, there are additional fruits that can be worked into your diet to boost your digestive health and promote more regular bowel movements. They include pears, apples, and plums. "These fruits have edible peels and provide similar benefits due to their high fiber content," Young explains.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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