Dried plums, known as prunes, are widely used as a natural remedy for constipation.
They contain high amounts of fiber, with 2 grams of fiber per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, or about three prunes. This is 8% of the American Heart Association’s recommended daily intake of fiber (2, 3).
The insoluble fiber in prunes, known as cellulose, increases the amount of water in the stool, which adds bulk. Meanwhile, the soluble fiber in prunes is fermented in the colon to produce short-chain fatty acids, which also increase stool weight (
In addition, prunes contain sorbitol. This sugar alcohol is not absorbed well by the body, causing water to be pulled into the colon and leading to a laxative effect in a small number of people (
One study in 40 people with constipation found that eating 100 grams of prunes per day significantly improved stool frequency and consistency, compared to treatment with psyllium, a type of dietary fiber (
You can enjoy prunes on their own or in salads, cereals, oatmeal, baked goods, smoothies and savory stews.