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We all know kiwifruit to be high in vitamin C. But did you know that kiwifruit contains super biome-boosting gut health qualities? This makes the fruit something of a power-boosting pre-biotic, which is great for your gut, bloating, and digestion. It also makes it a natural longevity superfood!

What makes the kiwifruit such a powerful fruit?

This delicate fruit is grown across the world, despite being named after New Zealand’s national bird and originating in China. And it has attracted a good deal of scientific interest for valid reasons. Kiwifruit is a highly nutrient-dense superfood. It is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins C and E, folate, and bioactive compounds such as phytochemicals.

Indeed, does the fruit have a whopping three times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges and strawberries when compared by weight?

According to a Lancet report, “Two kiwifruits contain around 3·5 g of fibre and nearly 200 mg of vitamin C—which is twice the fibre and up to three times the vitamin C content of an average orange. Eating skin and fibre is bumped up to 5 g. Kiwifruit contains both soluble (pectic polysaccharides) and insoluble sources (cellulose and hemicellulose) of fibre, which have prompted several studies of kiwifruit and its effect on gut health.”

The importance of having a good gut

One of the most interesting aspects of the kiwifruit lies in its gut health-boosting qualities. Our gut is considered a second brain and is critical for disease prevention and management. Keep your gut in balance.

Our digestion breaks down the food we consume into the building blocks needed to perform vital processes such as energy and cell repair. Our bodies require these proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy and maintain proper function.  For this, we need good gut bacteria, which break them down and aid digestion.

“About 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad, live inside your digestive system. Collectively, they’re known as the gut microbiota.” Harvard Health Publishing

Good gut health is the balance of the trillions of bacteria that live there.When we have a bacterial imbalance and experience things like an upset stomach, excess bloating or gas, weight gain, and even depression, this suggests a gut health problem.

irritable bowel syndrome | Longevity LIVEA bad gut can result from antibiotics, your diet, sleep disorders, stress, and exercise. In fact, studies show that these bacteria and overall gut health are even directly linked to your mood because a large amount of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter, comes from the gut. 

Additionally, other studies suggest diseases can begin in the gut thanks to more undesirable bacteria called endotoxins finding their way into your bloodstream. These are recognized as foreign molecules and can cause chronic inflammation as your body defends itself. 

“Inflammation is linked to a range of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” says the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

NATURAL prebiotics with many other benefits too!

Prebiotics are a type of fiber that the human body cannot digest. They serve as food for probiotics, which are tiny living microorganisms, including bacteria and yeast. Both prebiotics and probiotics may support helpful bacteria and other organisms in the gut. Research shows that when you eat kiwifruit, it increases the number of probiotics in your gut. This is why it is referred to as a prebiotic food.

In studies, scientists have tracked the effect of kiwifruit on intestinal microbiota. While the profiles varied between individuals; in general, the kiwifruit demonstrated a prebiotic effect of promoting the content of faecal lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.

Also, kiwifruit contains high amounts of pectic polysaccharides and dietary fiber, which have also been found to improve the immune system and relieve chronic constipation.

What does a kiwi’s nutritional information look like?

According to Medical News Today, each medium kiwifruit contains:

  • calories – 42
  • protein – 0.8 grams
  • total fat – 0.4 grams
  • fiber – 2.1 grams
  • Vitamin C – 64 milligrams
  • Vitamin A – 3 micrograms
  • iron – 0.2 milligrams
  • potassium – 252 milligrams
  • folate – 17 micrograms

Kiwifruit helps relieve bloating too

Eating a kiwi will also improve your digestion. This is due to the fact that this green powerhouse contains a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin. This helps to digest proteins.

Health Tip: A study showed that adding kiwi to a steak meal led to less bloating.

Kiwi allows us to both get fiber and feed good gut bacteria, without creating the extra gas that’s typical of other fruits such as apples. Studies show that it can increase the softness and volume of stool, as well as the frequency. It helps to draw more water to the stool, and increase the intestinal contractions to keep things moving.

Low Glycemic index

Often, people associate fruit with sugar and don’t want to eat too much for fear of blood sugar spikes and unwanted calories. However, the kiwifruit here shows its power yet again. The fruit has a low glycemic index that will not spike your blood sugar.

Kiwifruits are nutrient-rich and have properties that indicate a low glycaemic impact compared to many cooked cereal foods, suggesting that they may be used for dietary enrichment of vitamin C without glycaemic cost.

Just to put this in perspective. Kiwifruit has such a low glycemic load that eating 2 small kiwis is equal to 1/10th of a potato in terms of average blood sugar response.

In closing

Even if your gut is already in good health, you should never take this for granted. Eating just 2 kiwifruits a day will help you achieve better bowel movements and a more optimally formed stool (from slightly harder to perfectly soft).

Some studies suggest the prebiotic effect of kiwifruit appears to work best when you are eating them. So if you stop eating them, you will lose the benefit. Researchers found the content of lactobacilli returned to that of the baseline level rapidly after consumption of kiwifruit was stopped.

This means you would need to make kiwifruit part of your daily diet to get the full benefit. It’s not only an apple a day that keeps the doctor away. Two kiwifruits a day will go a long way to making sure your best gut health and preventing disease.

References

Could a kiwifruit a day keep the doctor away? https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/langas/PIIS2468-1253(20)30163-1.pdfKiwifruit Exchanges for Increased Nutrient Richness with Little Effect on Carbohydrate Intake, Glycaemic Impact, or Insulin Response: DOI: 10.3390/nu10111710
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3747767/
Involvement of gut microbiota in the development of low-grade inflammation and type 2 diabetes associated with obesity.
https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/13/3/846/6546207
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463487/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089374/

 

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Gisèle Wertheim Aymes

Gisèle is the owner of the Longevity brand and a self-proclaimed health hedonist. When she is not working, you'll find in her in a yoga class or active in the great outdoors. Gisèle is passionate about health and sharing information. You can follow her @giselewaymes on Twitter and Instagram or read her Linked-In profile for full bio details.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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