Kiwifruit has become hugely popular the world over. Consuming it has many health benefits. This exotic fruit is said to be native to China. It was brought to New Zealand by missionaries in early 20th century, and gained huge popularity there. By mid 20th century the country started exporting it to other countries. Its earlier name was Chinese gooseberry. This was changed to Kiwifruit due to its resemblance with kiwi, the national bird of New Zealand.
This brown from outside fruit is vibrant green from inside. It spruces up the glamour quotient of any dish. Its refreshing flavor has made it a hugely popular fruit in salads, fruit bowls and desserts. For maximum nutritional gain, it should be consumed raw.
kiwifruit – some nutrition facts
Powerhouse of vitamin C
Kiwifruit is a storehouse of more Vitamin C then oranges or lemon, in fact twice that of an orange of same amount. It thus helps in boosting the immunity of our body. It fights aging, and promotes iron absorption. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. This vitamin eliminates free radicals that may result in cancer or cause inflammation.
Kiwifruit improves skin texture
Vitamins C and E present in this fruit act as antioxidant and prevents skin damage from pollution and sunlight. It thus keeps the skin young and vibrant. The vitamins helps in growth and repair of body tissues. This affects collagen formation and rejuvenates the damaged skin. The alkaline nature of kiwifruit counters acidity from many food items. It keeps the body and skin healthy.
Loaded with dietary FIBER
Two kiwifruits contain more dietary fiber than most of the bran cereal. Moreover, it is fat-free and helps in weight loss. High fiber content helps in controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, as well as blood sugar. This reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Kiwifruits are rich in fiber, therefore they prevent constipation and help clean out toxins from the intestines. Actinidain enzyme present in these fruits helps in digestion of proteins in the body. This enzyme acts in similar manner as papain in papaya, which is very often used as meat tenderizer.
kiwifruit protects against asthma
Being rich in Vitamin C, it lessens respiratory problems such as asthma, wheezing, and coughing. A study was conducted by a journal Thorax of Italy. It shows that intake of citrus fruit such as kiwi has highly significant protective factor for wheezing in children.
good for eyes
Kiwi is a good source of compounds lutein and zeaxanthin which promote vision. They protect the eyes from damaging effect of blue light and ultraviolet light that comes from sun. Diet rich in these antioxidants is said to protect age related eye diseases. They slow down macular degeneration.
Good in PREGNANCY
Kiwi has folate. It is an important compound for optimal pregnancy. It is also packed with vitamin C that is essential for bone growth and tissue repair for the baby in mother’s womb.
kiwifruit Induces sleep
Antioxidants and serotonin helps in inducing sleep in person suffering from sleep disorders. Consuming two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed can help in inducing sleep.
important tips to enjoy kiwifruit
how to select
- Hold the fruit between your thumb and finger, and gently apply pressure. If it yields gently, it is perfectly ripe and will have sweet taste.
- If it is very soft or has damp spots, it is over-ripe. Avoid selecting it.
- If you have bought kiwi that does not yield to pressure, it can be ripened by storing it in a paper bag at room temperature with other fruits; preferably with banana, apple or pear. These fruits hasten the ripening.
- Quickly use it once ripe. Else, keep it in refrigerator away from other fruits.
How to use
- It is delicious and can be eaten as it is. Its skin is also rich in nutrients. If the fruit is organically produced, the skin can be eaten . Else the fruit can be peeled, sliced and eaten. It has maximum benefit if taken raw.
- Sliced fruit can be added to fruit salad, fruit platter, various desserts, smoothies and mocktails. Click on the link to check the recipe of fruit salad that uses kiwifruit.
- This fruit is a tenderizer. Once cut, it softens other fruits kept with it. The enzymes present in it softens the fruit itself and makes the fruit soggy. So it should be consumed soon after cutting it.
- It contains oxalates which may be harmful to people with kidney or gallbladder problems.
- Some people may be allergic to kiwifruit. People who are allergic to latex may be allergic to kiwifruit as well.
Disclaimer: The author is not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. This article is written for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.