Although small in size, kiwi fruit packs a mighty source of nutrition! These fuzzy-skinned fruits are filled with sweet deliciousness and a number of health benefits, including a role in ‘clearing the system’, when you are feeling a bit ‘backed up’. Constipation is a common problem, impacting approximately 1 in 7 people (Verney, 2017). This can be uncomfortable, contributing to other symptoms such as bloating and gas. So, how can this humble fuzzy-skinned fruit help?
Kiwis and Constipation
Kiwi contains an enzyme called ‘Actinidin’, which may play a role in promoting laxation of the bowel. This means it helps the bowel relax, to move your stool (or poo) along to alleviate constipation. Not only is kiwi a source of this constipation-combatting enzyme, but also a great source of dietary fibre. Kiwifruit’s fibre content appears to be particularly good at holding water, which ultimately assists with bulking your stool and promoting laxation of your bowel to get things moving! (Verney, 2017)
Research supports this with several studies demonstrating that two kiwi fruits per day softens bowel movements, reduces transit time and assists in increasing the frequency of defecation. (Verney, 2017)
Other Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit
Kiwi’s benefits don’t stop with just the benefits on bowel health, they are also a great source of:
- Vitamin C: to promote wound healing and growth and repair within the body
- Potassium: assisting in maintaining healthy blood pressure and nerve and muscle function
- Low Energy: making it a suitable snack if you are watching your weight!
So, how can you include more kiwis in your day?
How Can I Include More Kiwis in My Day?
Some of our favourites include:
- Slice and add to porridge or cereal for brekkie
- Have a kiwi as an on-the-go snacks
- Blend into smoothies
- Chop and add to a summer fruit salad
- Pair with a low-fat Greek yoghurt
- Slice and add to your favourite dessert, such as pavlova, for a treat!
Is Kiwi Fruit the Answer to Your Constipation Problems?
Although kiwi fruit may assist in alleviating constipation, it is essential to identify why you are constipated. This may be due to day-to-day changes in diet, fluid intake or medications or if persistent, may indicate a medical issue. If you notice a change in bowel movements for longer than two weeks or changes that concern you, discuss this with your GP and dietitian.
For those with occasional constipation or diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome who lean towards the constipation end of things, kiwi fruit may be a strong player in the game of maintaining regular bowel motions, as supported by research.
Two kiwi fruits a day may in fact keep constipation away! Its role in promoting bowel motions has been demonstrated, therefore, may be worth a try next time you are feeling ‘backed up’. If you are looking for more handy nutrition tips and tricks, head to our website to get in contact with one of our amazing Dietitians today!