Kiwifruit is a tasty, juicy and exotic fruit that is one of my personal favorites! But, can it be considered a laxative? I’ve done some research and here’s what I discovered.
According to Healthline, kiwifruit contains a mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber, making it an excellent food to help promote regular bowel movements. It also contains pectin, which has also been proven to produce a natural laxative effect. It works by stimulating movement in the digestive tract, thus inducing a bowel movement.
Keep reading to learn more about how kiwifruit helps with constipation, as well as some additional side effects and 10 other fruits to help you poop!
How Does Kiwi Help With Constipation (& How Much To Eat)
Although kiwi’s are small in size, they certainly are an excellent source of nutrition! These fuzzy-skinned fruits are packed with flavor and a variety of health benefits, including being a natural laxative. If you are experiencing constipation, here’s why kiwifruit should be your first food of choice:
Kiwifruit is High in Fiber
Only one cup (177 grams) of kiwifruit contains 5.3 grams of fiber, which makes up an impressive 21% of your daily recommended intake, according to NutritionData.
It also contains a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber, which both work towards adding bulk to stools and moving them more smoothly along the digestive tract, making bowel movements more regular.
According to one four-week study, using kiwifruit as a natural laxative helped to alleviate constipation by increasing intestinal transit time in the gut. Kiwi fruit fiber seems to be particularly effective at holding water. which bulks up your stool and promotes laxation.
Kiwi May Help Symptoms of IBS
Constipation is one of the many symptoms of people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including bloating, cramping, and gas.
In fact, a study conducted by the Taipei Medical University found that patients with IBS experiencing chronic constipation had quicker bowel movements after consuming two kiwis daily for four weeks, compared to this who only took placebos.
Kiwi Contains Actinidin
Kiwi contains an enzyme called Actinidin, which may play a role in promoting a bowel movement. This means that it helps the bowel to relax, which moves your stools through smoothly and relives constipation.
Research strongly supports this, as several studies have shown that two kiwi fruits per day significantly decreased transit time and helped to increase the frequency of defecation.
With this being said, people with occasional constipation or those who are diagnosed with IBS, should certainly consider incorporating kiwifruit into their daily diet.
Tips To Incorporate More Kiwi In Your Diet
If eating two whole kiwis per day seems a little daunting (or boring), then here are some more creative ways to incorporate it into your diet:
- Slice and add to your cereal or porridge for breakfast.
- Grab a kiwi and eat it as an on-the-go bite.
- Add to smoothies or juices.
- Chop and toss into a summer citrus salad.
- Combine with low-fat Greek yogurt.
- Slice and add to your favorite dessert for an extra treat!
By now you must be curious whether there are any side effects that you need to be aware of before adding more kiwi to your diet.
What Are The Side Effects of Kiwi?
Eating kiwi in excess may result in certain side effects that it is important you are aware of, according to StyleCraze:
1. Allergic Reactions
It is possible to develop an allergic reaction to kiwi fruit. It is therefore important to be careful while eating it. Some people who ate kiwifruit in larger portions have reported cross0sensitization and differing types of allergies.
2. Rashes And Swelling
Some studies have shown that eating kiwi in excess can result in swelling. Anaphylaxis can also occur in those who eat too much kiwifruit. Rash, asthma, and hives have also been commonly reported. Additionally, it may also lead to local mouth irritation.
3. Oral Allergy Syndrome
Some people have reported oral allergy syndrome because of eating too much kiwi. Symptoms include swelling of the lips, mouth, and tongue. It may also lead to tingling and itching in the mouth.
People eating larger quantities of kiwi daily may also develop a skin disorder known as dermatitis.
5. Pancreatitis Issues
Eating too much kiwi may also result in acute pancreatitis. This delicious fruit is packed with potassium, serotonin (the happy chemical), and vitamins C and E. High doses of these may alter levels of triglyceride in the blood which can be harmful to the pancreas in the long-term.
6. Diarrhea And Collapsing
Some other effects of kiwi fruit are diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. It may even lead to fainting and difficulty swallowing.
7. Breast Feeding And Pregnancy
If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, it may be wise to consult with your doctor before eating lots of kiwis. Overeating kiwi during pregnancy may affect your health adversely.
8. Interaction With Certain Types Of Drugs
According to many researchers, it has been proven that kiwi contains ant-fungal properties which can result in addictive effects when consumed with other anti-fungal medications.
It also increases the chances of bleeding, if taken with certain types of drugs. Some of these drugs include anticoagulants, aspirin, heparin, anti-platelet drugs, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
What Other Fruits Make You Poop?
According to Healthline, there are other fruits that will make you poop just as quickly as kiwis! Here they are below:
According to NutritionData, apples are a great source of fiber! Only one small apple (5.3 ounces (140 grams) contains 4 grams of fiber, which is quite impressive!
According to Pubmed, fiber passes through your intestines undigested, which helps with the formation of stools and encouraging regular, healthy bowel movements.
Similar to kiwi, apples also contain pectin, which is a kind of soluble fiber known for its laxative effect. In fact, one study with 80 participants who had constipation noticed that, after four weeks, pectin increased the transit time in the colon.
Their constipation symptoms were significantly reduced, and their digestion improved due to the improved levels of “friendly” bacteria in the gut.
Apples can be incorporated into your daily diet as toppings for breakfast, or simply as a convenient, easy snack between meals.
Prunes are known for their ability to create a very effective laxative effect, and they certainly have the nutrients to prove it!
Prunes contain 2 grams of fiber per ounce (28 grams), and are also an excellent source of sorbitol. Sorbitol is a type of sugar alcohol that the body struggles to digest efficiently.
Sorbitol assists the body to fight constipation by drawing water into the intestines, and this results in a bowel movement. One study proved that prunes can help to soften stools, improve consistency, and increase the frequency of bowel movements.
Prunes are traditionally added to salads and side dishes, so don’t be shy to toss some into your next dish if you are feeling a little blocked up!
03. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins are not only delicious, but they are also excellent sources of fiber! One orange contains 3.1 grams of fiber, which is 13% of your RDA.
One grapefruit contains 2.6 grams of fiber, which is 10% of your daily requirements. Not bad either!
According to Pubmed, citrus fruits are also rich in the soluble fiber known as pectin, and this is found mainly in the peel of the fruit, interestingly. Pectin can increase the rate at which you poop, thus reducing symptoms of constipation.
Citrus fruits also contain a flavanol called naringenin, which may possibly help with the prevention and treatment of constipation, according to Pubmed.
Citrus fruits can be enjoyed at any time of the day, and they are also loaded with vitamin C, which is another added bonus!