Kiwi Fruit a Natural Digestive Aid

Eating a kiwi fruit after a large meal can help to relive bloating and improve digestion.

According to Doctor Lovedeep Kaur from the University of Massey, New Zealand, kiwi fruits contain a naturally occurring enzyme called actindin, which ensures faster and more complete digestion of food proteins.

Along with colleague, Dr. Mike Boland of Riddet Institute at Massey University , Dr. Kaur observed the effects of kiwi fruit on gastric protein digestion. Their findings, published in the journal Advanced Food and Nutritional Research, stated kiwi fruit improved the digestion of proteins common in cheese, yoghurt, red meat, fish and chicken. It may also increase the rate at which protein is observed in the small intestine, the study said.

A further study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry in 2010 investigated the impact of actinidin on protein during digestion. It found that actinidin enhanced the digestion patterns of all proteins tested, but that the green kiwi fruit extract was most effective when digesting WPI, zein, gluten, and gliadin proteins. The study concluded that:

“Including green Kiwifruit as a regular part of your diet may give the upper tract digestive system support in processing proteins and may… alleviate the sensation of an overfull stomach.”

Protein, particularly red meat proteins, is one of the hardest nutrients to digest. This is one of the reasons why people who over-indulge are said to suffer ‘meat sweats’. Breaking down protein causes a thermogenesis reaction. Your body works harder to break down the protein and so the thermal energy produced is greater. Your gut is filled with digestive enzymes, but at times of excess these digestive enzymes need a boast. The actindin in kiwifruit is one such boaster.

So next time you find yourself feeling a bit bloated, have an attack of the meat sweats, or feel ‘over full’ after too much dairy, reach for the furry green goodness of kiwi fruit.