Study Reveals the Healing Power of Kiwi

Eating Kiwi fruit is good for your gut.

Kiwi is good for gut health.

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The fuzzy, oval kiwi is more than delicious; it is healing. It is already known that the nutritious fruit is packed with vitamin C, aiding heart health and asthma. Filled with fiber, kiwi is also good for gut health.

A new study, published in The Journal of Gastroenterology in January, 2023, advances this knowledge. The findings show that two kiwis a day may keep the gastro doctor away, offering relief for those with functional constipation – which is actually quite common  and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

A sound study on a nutraceutical
When preparing for the study, scientists learned that some patients do not find relief using pharmacological constipation treatments. And many of the nutraceutical therapies were not backed by scientific studies.

Armed with this important information, scientists conducted a randomized controlled trial for kiwi, a nonpharmaceutical treatment, in three diverse populations. The study looked at those with IBS and functional constipation in Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.

Participants ate two green Zespri kiwi fruits daily for four days over four weeks. They had a four-week break to wash out their system and then took psyllium, another natural laxative, for four days a week over four weeks.

Compared to the psyllium, participants reported improvements in GI discomfort when eating two kiwis daily. This is great news for those seeking relief using a natural remedy.

Why is kiwi a natural laxative?
The big question is what makes kiwi a natural laxative. Some scientists, according to the organization Heal With Food, believe it is the fruit’s high fiber content.  Kiwis’ strong cell wall walls are able to hold water, which relieves constipation by softening stool. Moreover, kiwis contain actinidin, an enzyme that breaks proteins down into acids.

This new international study explained that success may also be due to raphides in kiwis, a component that improves laxation. Researchers also used MRI scanning to explore the ingestion of two kiwifruits, observing an increased retention of water in the small bowel and colon.

Fiber is key
Overall, fiber is a key to the IBS and constipation puzzle, according to mindbodygreen. Fiber is naturally found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, and whole grains, but most people do not eat enough fiber.

In fact, some 95 percent of American adults and children are not getting enough daily fiber, according to Vox. This is called the fiber gap.

Aside from helping to relieve constipation, eating foods with fiber may also assist in lowering cholesterol, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and could help control blood sugar.

The next time you are out for a shop, add a bag of kiwis to your cart. They are nutritious, delicious, and may help to keep your visits to the washroom regular. Remember, two kiwis a day may keep that tummy ache away!

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