There’s a humble fruit you might not realise is packed with digestive enzymes, fibre, antioxidants and prebiotics to combat bloating, constipation and gas. So, add a few slices to your plate if you find yourself feeling a little blocked up.
Kiwi is packed with the enzyme actinidin, a natural digestive aid. Actinidin assists in breaking down proteins efficiently in the stomach, aiding digestion and reducing the chances of undigested food fermenting and causing problems. This is because incomplete protein digestion can sometimes lead to discomfort, such as gas, bloating, and indigestion. By facilitating the breakdown of proteins, actinidin can reduce the likelihood of these uncomfortable symptoms. To put it simply – this enzyme helps your digestive system function smoothly.
Kiwi is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance when combined with water in the digestive tract, which promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to stool, facilitating its movement through the intestines and reducing the risk of bloating. Fibre also plays an important role in slowing down sugar absorption and, as a result, it improves digestion and lowers blood sugar levels. But only 5% of us are getting enough of the stuff! 19 to 38 grams per day is the current daily intake recommendation, and it’s not hard to reach your target if you load up on fibre-rich foods.
Natural Laxative Effect
Kiwi has a natural laxative effect, thanks to its fibre and natural sugar content. This combination helps soften stool, making it easier to pass, along with acting as a gentle stimulant for bowel movements, providing relief from constipation.
Kiwi is a rich source of dietary fibre, including both soluble and insoluble fibre. The soluble fibre in kiwi forms a gel-like substance when it mixes with water in the digestive tract. This substance serves as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Kiwi is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E which help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Inflammation can lead to various digestive discomforts, including bloating and cramping – not to mention the risks it brings with chronic disease. By combating inflammation, kiwi's antioxidants can provide relief from these symptoms. The antioxidants in kiwi neutralise harmful molecules called free radicals. When free radicals accumulate in the gut, they can cause oxidative stress, leading to cellular damage and digestive issues. Kiwi's antioxidants help protect the digestive system from oxidative stress. The antioxidants in kiwi can improve the absorption of essential nutrients in the digestive tract. For example, vitamin C in kiwi aids in the absorption of non-heme iron from plant-based foods. This can be especially beneficial for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets.
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