Prunes are rich in dietary fiber and sorbitol, both of which help to ease constipation. Its juice has been traditionally used as a natural laxative for smooth bowel movement.
Does Prune Juice Really Help with Constipation
In the journal, ‘Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics’(2011), a study was published about the possible effects of prunes on forty constipated patients. After eight weeks, patients who were given prunes reported improved bowel movements and stool consistency.
In another research article published in the same journal in 2014, it was revealed that after three weeks of administering prunes (100g per day), constipated subjects experienced better stool frequency and consistency.
How Does it Work
The exact mode of its working in the purgative process is medically unclear. Despite not containing as much dietary fiber as dried prunes (because of the filtration process), its high sorbitol content draws water into the colon, softening the stools. It also contains significant amounts of phenolic compounds like neo-chlorogenic and chlorogenic acids which may add to the laxative action.
How Much Prune Juice to Drink for Constipation
It is safe to use for infants more than six months old, who have started eating solid foods. Consult your pediatrician before using prune juice. For infants and toddlers, usually 2-3 ounces of juice diluted in water is advisable. The mixture should contain 25% of juice and 75% of water. Do not give over 6 ounces of prune juice to a baby as it may lead to malnutrition.
Adults can consume around 4-8 ounces daily. You can add it to smoothies and shakes, although, warm prune juice is believed to work better. It is a safe remedy for people having undergone a surgery, as well as women suffering from the problem post delivery. The juice is often recommended during pregnancy as a safe remedy.
Prune Juice vs. Plum Juice
There has been no conclusive verdict regarding whether prune juice is better than plum juice as a remedy for constipation, but both have more or less the same properties, so consuming either would aid in relieving constipation.
Alternatives to prune juice are grape juice and cranberry juice. Moreover, a mixture of apple and prune juice may also be used.
Moderate consumption of about 120 ml per day should not have any adverse effects. However, people suffering from fructose intolerance may experience diarrhea because prune juice has a high fructose content which the digestive enzymes may not be able to break down.
It might cause gas and bloating in some individuals.