FODMAP: Zespri Kiwifruit, Gut Health and You!
One of the best things you can do to maintain — or improve — your digestive function is eat a balanced diet. Making healthy choices and eating wisely might even be able to soothe the discomfort and pain caused by intestinal conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
An estimated one in seven adults suffer from IBS, which often produces symptoms such as gastrointestinal pain, nausea, the inability to digest foods, and a loss of appetite.
Zespri’s very own Health & Nutrition Innovation Leader, Dr. Juliet Ansell, had this to say: “Foods that are high in FODMAPs can cause stomach gas and bloating. For some, the impact of a high FODMAP diet can be much more severe.”
And research into IBS suggests that following a low FODMAP diet can help to alleviate digestive symptoms.
What is FODMAP?
The food community is abuzz with topics discussing FODMAP. But what is it? FODMAP is an acronym that describes any one of a group of compounds that are poorly absorbed during digestion.
That’s quite a mouthful — literally! — which is why we stick with the generally accepted term, FODMAP!
These compounds are believed to contribute to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and similar gastrointestinal disorders. These compounds tend to be mostly carbs. Common high-FODMAP foods include milk, apples, broccoli, wheat breads, cereals, ripe bananas, pasta, avocados, pears, stone fruits, and mushrooms, among many more.
While poor absorption of these types of carbohydrates is common to everyone, most people don’t suffer significant IBS-like symptoms. But if you do, consult with your family doctor and see if a low-FODMAP diet is right for you.
Kiwifruit Officially Joins the Low FODMAP Food List
Lead by Dr. Ansell, Zespri® invited the leading researchers at Australia’s Monash University to analyze our kiwifruit for certification as a low FODMAP food. This certification rating is very similar to a heart foundation tick, or the low GI icon — both industry standards.
The result was overwhelmingly positive! Our green and gold kiwi variants were certified as low FODMAP — another great rating for Zespri® Kiwifruit and perfect choice for anyone looking for healthier snack choices.
Whereas fruits such as apples, ripe bananas, cherries, pears and watermelon are considered high FODMAP foods, kiwifruit is a great option for a healthy snack that delivers great nutritional value without the digestive discomfort.
Kiwifruit: Great for a Low-FODMAP Diet
When we talk about a low-FODMAP diet, we’re referring to a dietary management approach to control symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by eating foods low in those compounds.
Zespri® Kiwifruit is a perfect, healthy addition to any low-FODMAP diet. Low in calories and high in balanced fibers, kiwifruit not only delivers nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C, K, E to the body, but they are chock-full full of prebiotics — food that nourishes the good gut bacteria in our digestive tract.
However, it’s important to note that a low-FODMAP diet is not a cure for IBS or other ongoing intestinal concerns. As with any change in your diet, you should always consult your family physician if you’re experiencing continued gastro-intestinal discomfort. Diagnosis of and management strategies for IBS should only be made by a medical practitioner.
The Dynamic Duo: Fiber & Actinidin
From improved immunity to metabolic health, the benefits of our green and SunGold kiwifruit are numerous. One area where Zespri® Kiwifruit benefits really excel is in good gut health. We’ve talked before about the fiber benefits of Zespri® Kiwifruit:
A diet rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber is the way to go if you want a digestive system that runs smoothly.
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Zespri® SunGold™ has 2 grams of fiber per serving, with a good balance of soluble and insoluble fiber. When eaten with its smooth skin, the same serving provides double the fiber!
It’s this balance of soluble and insoluble fiber that is unique in kiwifruit, making it easier to absorb.
But Zespri® Green Kiwifruit is not only rich in fiber, it also contains high amounts of a unique natural enzyme — actinidin.
Actinidin aids in the digestion of proteins found in meats and dairy products improving the digestion of protein (e.g. in meat and dairy products). A more complete digestion of proteins helps reduce that feeling of ‘heaviness’ and bloating associated with a protein-heavy meal.
Zespri® Green and Sungold™ Kiwifruit have the added benefit of being a low-FODMAP food, which makes it one of the best foods to eat with IBS and perfect for people prone to digestive discomforts.
Looking for a Delicious Low-FODMAP Recipe?
Give our Rainbow Strata with Yogurt and Green Kiwifruit a try!
- 4 Zespri® Green Kiwifruit
- 1 large orange
- 8 strawberries
- 4 large, fresh dates
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) vanilla yogurt
You can substitute the dates with dried cranberries and use either Greek yogurt or lactose-free yogurt for a delicious low-FODMAP breakfast or mid-morning snack that will leave you invigorated — ready to take on the day!
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High in fiber, a low glycemic index, and now low FODMAP! Once again our kiwifruit proves to be a key nutritional performer! If you’re looking for low FODMAP fruits that are high in fiber and low in added sugar, you can add Zespri® Green and SunGold™ Kiwifruit to your low FODMAP list of foods!