How Many Prunes Should I Eat Daily


To find out how many prunes should i eat daily, we must first understand what prunes are. Prunes are dried plums that have a laxative effect on people. In other words, they help clear constipation. Prunes can be eaten fresh or in powder form. It is also possible to substitute them for instant cereal in order to improve digestion and reduce constipation.

Is it safe to eat prunes every day? I get this question a lot. Is it safe to eat prunes every day? This can be an important question if you are eating prunes and are suffering from a medical condition where you need to stay on a uniform diet. This is typically the case with medical conditions related to constipation, colon cleansing, or something related.

Prunes have been around for quite a while, and are most well-known for their laxative properties. They help with constipation by lubricating the intestines and removing excess water from them. The reason prunes have this effect is because of their high fiber content. While they do have this side effect, you can also delight in their other benefits (like speeding up your digestive system). In this article, we will talk about the health benefits of prunes but first what are prunes?

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What are Prunes?

Prunes are one of the most amazing fruits out there. They’re cheap to buy, they’re healthy, they can help you lose water weight, they keep you regular and they’re super delicious. But how many cups of prunes should you eat a day? We’ll answer that question and more in this article.

Prunes are plums that have been dehydrated for preservation purposes. Sometimes called dried plums, prunes are deep red-brown with a chewy texture and a savory-sweet flavor. 

Unlike fresh plums, prunes can last in your pantry for about six months. When stored in the fridge in a sealed container, they remain edible for up to a year.

The many plum varieties originate from two main types: the Japanese plum and the European plum. Fresh Japanese plums are larger and juicier, ranging from yellow to medium red. Fresh European plums are smaller and denser with dark blue or purple-red colorations.

When brought to North America by settlers, both types of plums were used to cultivate the popular varieties we enjoy today. Research now supports the varied health benefits of eating these dried plums.

Prunes for Constipated Infants

prune puree as baby food

Infants are children that are less than 1 year old. While they are most commonly reliant on the mother’s milk, they tend to be constipated once introduced to solid food. High-fiber food helps prevent mild constipation, and eating prunes is a great fruit to incorporate into their diet. In addition, its naturally sweet taste makes it palatable even to infants. 

For infants, you can puree the prunes for easier ingestion. Simply soak a pack of pitted prunes with ½ cup of warm water and let it sit for 30 minutes to allow the prunes to soften. Then, blend the prunes with water. You can store the prune puree in the fridge for up to 3 days.

When the baby starts eating solid food at six months, slowly incorporate the puree into their diet. Two to three tablespoons of prune puree are enough to prevent constipation in babies and relieve mild constipation. You can puree as many as 6 dried plums per day. Note that too many prunes may cause diarrhea, so a physician’s prescription is recommended.

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Prunes for Constipated Toddlers

Your child is termed a toddler after becoming one year old. Constipation in toddlers is frequent, especially when undergoing toilet training. Although you can encourage eating prunes as is, we still recommend you puree the prunes for easier ingestion and digestion. 

Constipated toddlers can be given up to half a cup of prune puree to relieve straining during bowel movements, but if you decide to feed them prunes, give them no more than 7 dried plums per day.

To make the prunes or dried plum more palatable, you can mix the prune puree with yogurt, fresh fruit, and chia seeds. These additions enhance flavor, aid digestion, and fulfill your kid’s daily protein needs.

Prunes for Constipated Adults

Among adults, prunes appear superior to Psyllium husk, a commercial laxative, for improving stool frequency and consistency among constipated people. Intaking 100 grams of prunes for three weeks massively alleviates constipation and regulates bowel movements. But if you’re not constipated but want to hasten digestion, taking 100 grams of prunes per day will increase your stool weight, proof that better digestion is taking place in the stomach.

In adults, prunes can be taken as is or incorporated into your granolas or with a fiber smoothie. Mixing prunes with fiber-rich fruits enhances its effects on relieving constipation, as fiber bulks up the stool while softening it for easier passage.

But Do They Really Make You Poop?

Prunes, in case you didn’t already know, are a specific type of plum that has been dried. They’re sticky and sort of taste like a giant raisin.

Although it’s common knowledge that prunes can make you poop, this wasn’t verified by scientific literature until recently. Research into food and nutrition doesn’t always attract vast sums of research funding, says Roger A. Clemens, a professor at the USC School of Pharmacy. No studies mean no data, and without data, scientists couldn’t say with any certainty that the laxative effect wasn’t just happenstance or placebo — they needed to be sure it was happening, and then they could figure out why. As the famous engineer and statistician W. Edwards Deming once said, “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” Food science is no different.

During the past few years, the California Dried Plum Board (yes, there was a conscious rebranding effort to call them dried plums instead of prunes) has invested in more research. This has revealed some of the ways that prunes might alleviate constipation.

See, prunes contain a lot of fiber — about six grams of it per 100-gram serving of prunes (an apple only has 2.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams). But just the amount of fiber doesn’t explain prunes’ dramatic effect on the digestive system. They’ve also got lots of natural sugars in them, different than other types of dried fruits, which may stimulate friendly gut bacteria to produce compounds that act as lubricants, allowing stool to pass easier, Clemens says. Because prunes are fruits, they

Let’s be honest: Prunes might not seem like the most exciting addition to your diet. In fact, dried plums have a reputation for being, well, your grandma’s favorite purple fruit. However, perhaps we should take a cue from Granny and the rest of our elders. After all, these shriveled, wrinkled, puckered purple pieces of subjective deliciousness have a plethora of health benefits

Other than the commonly known positive health benefit of relieving constipation, prunes can also reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help encourage weight loss, and even prevent some diseases (via Healthline). Of course, as with all foods, moderation is key; too many prunes could have you racing to the toilet, or may even cause you to gain some unwanted extra pounds.

Are you inspired to start adding a handful of these antioxidant-rich fruits to your snack routine? For the majority of people, prunes make great everyday snacks — for more than one reason! If you aren’t eating prunes, you should be. However, before you start, here’s a look at what happens to your body when you eat prunes every day.

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Eating prunes every day can help aid in digestion

Eating prunes every day should be considered if you’re looking to regulate your digestive system and get things moving and grooving without resorting to medication. 

These dried fruits might not look like much, but they are chock full of fiber. In fact, a one-cup serving has a whopping 12.4 grams of fiber, per LiveStrong. As explained by the website, insoluble fiber “binds water inside your intestines,” resulting in “larger, softer stools” that have an easier time moving through your bowels. In other words, prunes help you poop with ease and comfort.

Adding fuel to the cleansing fire, prunes also boast the sugar-based alcohol, sorbitol — an ingredient known to have a laxative effect. New York City dietitian Amy Gorin told Well + Good, “[Sorbitol] helps stimulate digestion by helping to move water into the large intestine.” So, if you’re feeling a bit constipated or more blocked up than usual, turn to prunes before you head to the drugstore. Chances are you’ll be feeling relieved and back on track in no time.

Eating prunes every day could cause diarrhea

Prunes have plenty of health benefits. However, eating a handful of these dried plums every day could have you running to the bathroom more than you’d probably like.

If you’ve ever tried to naturally relieve an infant’s constipation with a baby food pouch full of pureed prunes, then you know this fruit is effective — perhaps even too effective. When consumed in excess, the sorbitol in prunes — which has a natural laxative effect — can backfire, causing diarrhea and possibly even dehydration, as noted by LiveStrong

Even if this sugar alcohol ingredient doesn’t result in loose stools, you may still find yourself experiencing other awkward tummy troubles if you chow down on too many prunes. While fiber is good for your digestive tract, it can sometimes lead to gas, bloating, and discomfort (via Mayo Clinic). This is especially true for those people who are not accustomed to eating high-fiber foods, per LiveStrong. With that in mind, consider gradually introducing prunes into your daily diet. Pace yourself, and your digestive system will thank you.

You’ll get lots of vitamins and antioxidants when you eat a daily serving of prunes

Prunes are chock full of good-for-you, immune system-boosting vitamins, and antioxidants that promote all sorts of healthy cellular activity in your body. And, as it turns out, prunes just might be one of the foods that make you beautiful!

Dried plums (which are, of course, prunes) are high in vitamin A — a mineral that helps foster healthy vision, boost immunity, and promote the function of your cardiovascular system, lungs, kidneys, and other major organs (via the National Institute of Health). The fruit also offers a significant amount of calcium, potassium, and vitamin K, per VeryWell Fit.

What’s more, prunes are also rich in antioxidants that work to fight against cell damage that could cause signs of early aging. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals, subsequently preventing wrinkles and fine lines. So, in other words, eating prunes will help you feel and look your absolute best. Who would have thought that eating a dried, wrinkly fruit could actually be the key to keeping you looking and feeling youthful?

You’ll get a hearty dose of potassium when you eat prunes every day

Prunes could be a lifesaver for people who can’t stand the thought of eating a banana every day.

Bananas are a good source of potassium — a mineral your body desperately needs. However, if the thought of eating yellow fruit to get your daily dose of potassium makes your stomach churn, we have good news: You can still get your daily dose of potassium by eating a handful of dried prunes every day.

Per Medical News Today, a half-cup of prunes has 669 mg of potassium, which certainly puts a significant dent in the daily recommended intake for adults. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, women need 2,600 mg of potassium each day, while men need 3,400 mg.

But what does potassium actually do for your body? On a basic level, the mineral helps your cells to function properly, as noted by Harvard Health Publishing. Specifically, the nutrient “regulates the heartbeat, ensures proper function of the muscles and nerves, and is vital for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbohydrates.” Those prunes may be small, but they sure pack a mighty (and healthy) punch!

Eating prunes every day may help to prevent anemia

Eating prunes every day should be considered by people who have an iron deficiency, such as anemia. As it turns out, a daily serving of dried fruit could make all the difference when it comes to having healthy blood

While small, prunes are loaded with a ton of naturally occurring iron. As explained by the Cleveland Clinic, when digested, iron fuses with protein in your body to make hemoglobin — which transports necessary oxygen to cells throughout your body. Therefore, taking iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods can help to prevent anemia, which is a disease characterized by the blood having an insufficient supply of these healthy red blood cells. According to Mayo Clinic, anemia can cause extreme fatigue, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and other unpleasant symptoms. 

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How Many Prunes Should I Eat Daily

How many prunes should I eat daily? This is an article that talks about the recommended daily amount of prunes you should include in your diet – while still remaining within a healthy caloric allowance. Prunes are dried fruits that have a rather simple and plain taste that can be utilized as a part of almost any recipe or meal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you eat two servings of dried fruit per day for a healthy diet, which can include fruit juice. A serving of prunes is half a cup, or 10 to 12 prunes, while a serving of prune juice is one cup. California Dried Plums recommends if you are not used to a diet high in fiber, start with a smaller serving of four to five prunes and gradually increase your consumption to avoid digestive side effects.

What Are The Side Effects Of Prunes?

Prunes do make your bowel movements smoother and offer some other benefits too. But like everything else in nature, prunes too can cause a few side effects. Here are a few side effects of eating prunes:

1. Dangers of Acrylamide

Prunes contain a high concentration of acrylamide, which is considered a carcinogen and a neurotoxin. Acrylamide is not naturally found in normal food, except when it is cooked at temperatures above 100° C.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization, the amount of acrylamide required to cause neuropathic harm is about 500 times the daily dietary intake. So, consuming prunes is relatively safe. However, carcinogenicity is a concern as prunes were found to be highly carcinogenic to the animals that were tested in labs.

2. Prunes Can Cause Diarrhea

The insoluble fiber in prunes can cause or worsen diarrhea. This is why you need to avoid them when you have diarrhea. There have also been certain cases of people who had experienced diarrhea post the ingestion of prunes and prune juice. This can be attributed to the laxative property of prunes. They are natural laxatives as they contain a laxative compound called sorbitol. So, an unregulated dose or having too many of these fruits can easily lead to diarrhea.

Some sources also talk about the dietary fructose intolerance found in many individuals, which can also lead to abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Prunes contain high amounts of sugar, which might trigger such a problem.

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3. May Lead To Weight Gain

One serving of 6 uncooked prunes contains 137 calories and 22 grams of sugar. That sure is a little on the higher end. And a one-cup serving of prune juice contains about 185 calories. Though the fiber in the fruit can aid weight loss, taking them in excess can have the opposite effect.

Prunes also have a high glycemic load (how much any particular food will raise a person’s glucose levels post-consumption). This means consuming prunes can elevate your blood sugar levels more than most other fruits.

4. Can Cause Intestinal Gas And Bloating

Prunes contain complex carbohydrates and sugars that do not completely break down in the digestive tract. So, when the sugars reach the colon, the bacteria start feeding on these undigested carbohydrates.

These bacteria are responsible for intestinal gas and bloating. This can also lead to farting. You can take alpha-D-galactosidase before eating prunes as it reduces intestinal gas by breaking down the complex carbohydrates before they reach your gut.

5. May Lead to Laxative Dependency

Prunes are mostly used as irritant laxatives. However, those who suffer from frequent constipation should not rely on prunes completely to clear their digestive system. This can lead to laxative dependency after a certain period of usage, which can aggravate the condition and cause complications.

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Health Benefits of Prunes

Have you ever thought about the health benefits of prunes? There are a lot of reasons you might want to eat prunes, especially if you have been directed to do so by a medical professional. Prunes are a type of fruit that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. When eaten in moderation prunes can help improve the function of numerous areas throughout the body.

1. You may help to prevent bone loss.

holding a bowl of prunes

According to a recent study conducted out of Pennsylvania State University, eating prunes every day prevented bone loss at the hip and protected against increased fracture risk in postmenopausal women. Specifically, the women who ate 50 grams of prunes (5 to 6 prunes) daily for 12 months preserved hip bone mineral density at 6 and 12 months while total hip bone mineral density decreased among those who didn’t eat prunes every day at the same time points.

Prunes contain many bone health-supporting nutrients, including vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, and boron. Plus, they contain phenolic compounds, which may block bone resorption and support bone formation.

While these new results are promising, and the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available, they add to the body of research supporting prunes for bone health.

2. You may have digestive benefits.

bowl prunes

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, as prunes are many people’s go-to food when they need some natural constipation relief. Not only are they a source of fiber, but prunes also contain a natural laxative called sorbitol, which can offer some serious constipation relief for certain populations.

3. You may experience heart health benefits.

prunes on plate

Eating just 5 to 6 prunes daily may increase HDL “good” cholesterol, lower inflammation, and increase antioxidant activity—all positive outcomes when it comes to heart health support. Data also showed that consuming pectin, a soluble fiber found in foods like prunes, slowed the thickening of artery walls caused by plaque formation, another positive outcome when supporting heart health.

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4. You may feel full longer.


Although most fruits contain natural sugars, eating these nutritious foods is linked to weight reduction, in part due to the fiber that these foods provide which offers a satiating effect. Because prunes contain 3 grams of fiber per serving, eating them every day may help curb your appetite, thus supporting weight management goals.

5. You may have good blood sugar control.

holding bowl of prunes

Prunes are more likely to result in a more stable blood glucose response after they are enjoyed, thanks to their lower glycemic index and fiber content. As long as proper serving sizes are observed, including prunes in a diabetes-friendly diet can be a positive addition that will likely not result in any negative effects when it comes to blood sugar management.

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