Kiwifruit: a natural alternative to laxatives
Constipation is a common problem, especially among seniors. It means either having very hard stools that may be painful to pass, or experiencing fewer bowel movements than normal.1 For most people, constipation is not serious, but for others, it can be a chronic (long-lasting) condition that significantly affects their quality of life.
What causes constipation?
Usually, constipation occurs when the large intestine (colon) absorbs too much water or because the colon's muscle contractions are slow or sluggish.1 This causes the formation of hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. A number of things can cause your intestines to slow down, but in many people, it is the result of not eating enough fibre (roughage) and drinking too little water.1
While constipation is a frequent problem among older people, it is not necessarily a normal part of aging. Seniors are more prone to suffering from constipation because they are more likely than younger people to rely on regular medications and tend to move around less, both of which increase the incidence of constipation.1
More often than not, constipation can be relieved by making some simple diet and lifestyle changes such as increasing the amount of fibre in the diet by adding more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and being more active.1
Relieve constipation naturally with Zespri® Green kiwifruit
Zespri Green kiwifruit have been shown to relieve constipation and improve bowl movement frequency in a number of clinical studies.2,3 This is because they are high in fibres and have unique proprieties due to its composition of insoluble and soluble fibres – which work together simultaneously.4
As soluble fibre moves through the digestive system it is able to hold water, creating larger and softer stools that move more easily. Insoluble fibres also help the movement of stools through the digestive tract by adding extra bulk.
Regular fibre, regular bowel movements
Adding more fibre to the diet to relieve constipation is a natural and effective alternative to medications and laxatives, but like any good habit, you must do it consistently to see results.
Zespri Green kiwifruit are simple yet delicious way to add more fibre to the diet – simply cut one in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon!
So what are you waiting for! Try adding two Zespri Green kiwifruit to your daily diet to help keep you keep regular and combat constipation.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Constipation. Available from: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/digestive_disorders/constipation_85,P00363/ (accessed 19 October 2016)
- Rush EC, Patel M, Plank LD, Ferguson LR: Kiwifruit promotes laxation in the elderly. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2002;11:164-168.
- Chan AO, Leung G, Tong T, Wong NY: Increasing dietary fiber intake in terms of kiwifruit improves constipation in chinese patients. World J Gastroenterol 2007;13:4771-4775.
- New Zealand Ministry of Health. New Zealand FOODfiles 2014 Version 01.