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I Can’t Poop. How Many Prunes Should I House?

How many prunes to eat for constipation is a real, uh, crapshoot. Eat too few, and the shit-stirring fruit won’t work. Eat too many, and you’re in for a torturous dump

Updated 6/10/2022

We’ve all heard that prunes cause pooping. They’re high in insoluble fiber, which helps a deuce pass through your system faster, and they contain sorbitol, a sweetener that acts as a laxative. As if that weren’t enough, prunes, which are just dried plums, have neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids, the same chemicals that propel you into the bathroom after a cup of coffee

All of which begs a very vital question: How many prunes should you eat for constipation if you want all the crap in your body gone? 

Gastroenterologist Satish Rao studied the matter, and he’s here to share his findings. “In a clinical trial we performed, two packets of dried plums a day — each packet with five to six plums — was as effective as psyllium [a laxative] in improving constipation symptoms and restoring normal bowel habit in patients with mild to moderate constipation,” Rao explains. 

That means chowing down on anywhere from five to 10 prunes should result in a truly awesome bowel movement.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s possible to go overboard if you don’t put the prunes down eventually. “One may experience more gas, distension and possibly some cramps or loose stools,” Rao explains. 

You may even find yourself glued to the toilet, as one miserable redditor who ate 15 prunes in 10 minutes describes: “My bowels released an ungodly, sinful, blood-curdling noise one can only describe as a tuba-like scream. This was followed by an entire waterfall that never seemed to end as I groaned in pain.” 

Agonizing as that sounds, it’s not like you’ll die from eating too many prunes — you’ll just poop cursedly. In fact, if you can moderate your intake, prunes can be very good for you, and not just because they spur poops. They’re also high in antioxidants, have the potential to improve bone health and may even prevent high blood pressure, which could otherwise result in a heart attack.

So eat up — preferably in the morning, so you’re not dumping all night — and poop well. Just remember, five to 10 prunes a day keeps constipation away. More than that, and your ass may turn into a tuba.