Courtesy of Ehime Eigbe
Many women walk around with pelvic pain, protruding bellies, back aches, and unbearable menstrual cramps. Some accept this as a way of life while others eventually realize these symptoms aren’t normal and seek out help, only to find that they have uterine fibroids. The condition causes growths in your uterus, which can be as small as seeds or as big as large oranges—sometimes larger.
Fibroids aren’t uncommon as 20%-50% of women who are of reproductive age have them. Additionally, 77% of women will get fibroids at some point during their childbearing age. Ehime Eigbe, founder of Sweetkiwi, a frozen yogurt brand, is familiar with fibroids and the challenges they bring. She was diagnosed with them in 2009.
“I had really painful periods and random excessive bleeding, which would cause me so much embarrassment at the worst possible time,” she tells ESSENCE.
Bleeding in between periods is a common side effect of fibroids. Women may also experience heavy bleeding during periods, frequent urination, difficulty urinating, issues with constipation, or excessive bowel movement. Eigbe’s fibroids became so severe that doctors told her she needed surgery. This is when she turned lemons into lemonade and the idea for Sweetkiwi emerged.
“I believed a lifestyle change could be a natural solution, however, it was difficult to stick to my new eating lifestyle as I quickly learnt healthy meant taste suffered,” she says. “In a desperate attempt to make my lifestyle change more sustainable, I started trying to recreate my favorite treats so they were still indulgent but now nutritionally sound and this is how Sweetkiwi was born.”
Most fibroid tumors aren’t cancerous but if left unattended, they can cause reproductive issues, difficulty during pregnancy, and heavy bleeding. There isn’t a known cause of fibroids and the only known cure is a hysterectomy–when you have your uterus removed. However, as Eigbe discovered, lifestyle changes can make fibroids more manageable.
Some of the diet changes the entrepreneur made to help tackle her fibroids include increasing her protein intake, reducing sugar and processed foods and focusing on consuming nutritional food.
“I became really good at reading labels and I made sure I ate more natural food and had a balanced diet,” she says. Her greek yogurts were a byproduct of this process of experimenting with healthier and more nutritious fare.
Courtesy of Ehime Eigbe
“We don’t make a claim that Sweetkiwi cures fibroids but it has a combination of carefully selected ingredients that function better together to support gut health, wellness and nutrition absorption. A lot of disease starts in the gut and Sweetkiwi is a gut healthy product,” she adds.
The brand was established in 2011 and was a pioneer for frozen yogurt in the African market. Sweetkiwi started out as a catering business and eventually grew into the pervasive brand it is today. Eigbe initially opened three physical locations in Nigeria and moved to the D.C. area in 2017 to expand her product to the U.S. By 2020, the entrepreneur created a product people could buy on shelves.
Sweetkiwi has a range of flavors including chocolate hazelnut, vanilla, raspberry frosé and cookies & cream. Vanilla, hibiscus & ginger, as well as mango mojito are some other flavors her brand offers. Probiotic granola is another product sold outside of the yogurt.
These yogurts aren’t only helpful to women with fibroids, they can also be an excellent source of protein for anyone interested in clean eating. It can also make a healthy alternative for ice cream and yogurt lovers.
If you’re interested in purchasing Sweetkiwi products, you can find the brand in major stores such as Whole Foods Market, Mom’s Organic Market, Kroger, and Walmart. If you visit the website, you’ll find other independent stores where you can find their products.