Health & Wellness

Kiwis Ease Constipation

Snacking on kiwi fruit can help keep you regular

By Wendy Haaf

Not only does eating two kiwis each day help increase bowel-movement frequency and reduce straining in people with chronic constipation, but the fuzzy fruits are less likely to cause side effects such as gas than are prunes or a psyllium fibre supplement such as Metamucil.

US researchers compared the three remedies in a study involving 79 volunteers with constipation (defined as three or fewer bowel movements a week). Participants were assigned to one of three groups in terms of daily dietary additions: two kiwis; 100 grams (3.5 oz) of prunes; or 12 grams (0.4 oz) of psyllium.

While symptoms improved significantly across the board, kiwi eaters reported no abdominal pain (versus 33% of subjects in the psyllium group and 18% of those in the prune group) or gas (versus 19% and 18%, respectively). Eating kiwis was linked with slightly more bloating than consuming psyllium (11% versus 10%), but with far less bloating than was seen in the prune group (36%).

The study findings were presented to the American College of Gastroenterology at its annual meeting in 2020.

Photo: iStock/Imo (kiwis).