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Is the Kiwi a Cure-All for Elderly Health Problems?

benefits of kiwi
Dr. Lindsey Mcilvena, MD

In her day job, treating patients living with chronic disease, nutrition and lifestyle are not after-thoughts, they’re central to helping her patients get well. She’s also our go-to expert on plant-based diets.

Despite multitudes of research and millions of anti-aging products on the market, no one has discovered a legitimate fountain of youth. We can’t escape aging, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up the fight to stay youthful, both inside and out.

Research has shown that the benefits of kiwi may be just what the doctor ordered for combating what ails the aging people among us. Let’s break this down:

1. Stroke
This is one of the top killers of Americans; in an attempt to prevent strokes on a mass scale, many people over the age of 50 or 60 are put on aspirin to thin their blood. Kiwi can do this, too. In one study in Oslo, Norway people who ate 2 or 3 kiwi a day for 28 days reduced their platelet aggregation response – or potential for clot formation – by 18% compared to those eating no kiwi.

2. Eye Disease
Cataracts and macular degeneration, common in the elderly, are a real problem—decreasing not only sight but quality of life, and increasing the risk of falls. Turns out that kiwi contains healthy doses of lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eye from age related disease.

3. Constipation
Move over prune juice, kiwi is making its debut as a natural laxative. It makes stools fluffier and larger, making for easy passage—so no more straining! And what’s even better, there’s no risk of the colon becoming dependent on kiwi, unlike other types of stimulant laxatives.

There’s hope for easing the ills of aging with this simple fruit. Try tossing it in salads, making a jam, or blending it into smoothies.