It’s as natural as breathing, drinking and eating. The elimination of waste is one of the basic functions necessary for our body’s survival. A healthy and efficient digestive tract helps cleanse our body of harmful carcinogens and other toxins.
Yet even otherwise healthy people can sometimes have problems with constipation, while poor or extremely low-carbohydrate diets, certain medical conditions and some medications can actually cause us to become constipated.
In the Western world, there is a greater awareness of the undesirable consequences of constipation, and the use of laxatives is on the increase. But taking laxatives can be expensive and their long-term use can also have negative side effects for the body. Some laxatives may cause our bodies to lose nutrients, like calcium, potassium and fat, and alter the natural action of our digestive system.
It’s understandable then that many people would prefer a natural alternative – one that gives us real relief from constipation and is unlikely to affect other medications. If it tastes good, has additional nutritional benefits and is widely available, that’s even better.
Now scientific studies carried out by the Auckland University of Technology and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, show there is a natural, and naturally good, alternative. Researchers found what many people already suspected – that the bright green flesh of Zespri Kiwifruit can relieve the effects of constipation while also providing essential dietary nutrients such as vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
For some people, constipation is more than just lack of regularity. It can cause strain and discomfort, or even pain in some cases. Anyone can be affected by constipation, but some groups are more vulnerable that others – young children, pregnant women, people on popular diets, those taking certain medications such as anticonvulsant drugs and diuretics, and older people. A good diet with plenty of fiber and regular exercise are known to help.
The Auckland medical trial reported that eating two to three green kiwifruit each day improved both regularity and the consistency of the stool. The scientists concluded that kiwifruit can be a useful addition to the diets of otherwise healthy people who have problems with constipation.
And as those taking part in the study discovered, Zespri Green Kiwifruit are not only easy to eat, their zingy sweetness is a great addition to all kinds of delicious recipes Tasty, healthy and fun to eat – all good reasons to make kiwifruit part of your daily diet.
Rush EC, Patel M, Plank LD, Fergus LR. Kiwifruit promotes laxation in the elderly. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2002; 11(2):164-8.