Kiwi isn’t just any fruit! Kiwifruits are beautiful bright green and fleshy with a sweet, tangy flavour perfect for summer. Most of you have eaten kiwis that decorate light pastries, summer desserts, fruit salads and breakfast cereals. But what you may not realise is how powerful kiwis are as a health food source. Here are seven benefits of eating kiwi fruit worth noting.
But first here’s a little kiwi history.
Ancient Chinese people used kiwis (known as Yang Tao back then) for their medicinal properties. About 100 years ago, missionaries took it down under to New Zealand, where it was grown commercially, and the kiwifruit became their national fruit. Kiwi crops quickly spread to Europe and America. California kiwi harvests are from November until May, while in New Zealand, kiwifruits are sold from June to October, making the delicious fruits available all year round.
How healthy is kiwi fruit?
Kiwis are a powerhouse of enzymes, antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals. Although some cooks like to prepare or cure food with the fruit, the healthiest and tastiest way to eat kiwis is to eat them fresh and raw.
There are many health benefits of eating kiwi fruit:
Vitamin C for immunity.
Vitamin C is useful for removing harmful free radicals that lead to inflammation, flu, illness, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and colon cancer. It helps boost immunity by defending the body against pathogens. Vitamin C also heals wounds faster, helps in tissue repair, and iron absorption.
Did you know kiwis contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits? One kiwi fruit contains the minimum recommended daily value (DV%) of daily intake of Vitamin C, which is 65-90mg for adults. In other words, you get 85%-100% of your daily C requirement from a small 3-inch long fruit having just 42 calories. Compare this with 30mg of C-vitamin contained in a lemon, and just 10mg in a large apple!
Serotonin for inducing sleep.
There are many wonderful ways of consuming yummy kiwis! Besides being delicious, studies suggest kiwis contain antioxidants and serotonin which improve the quality of sleep. Try eating kiwifruit for dessert before bedtime to relax and make you feel sleepy. Eat it alone, make a yummy tropical fruit cocktail or even a kiwi fruit tart. Kiwi, pineapple, mango, and strawberries work well together.
Dietary fibre for heart health.
High-fibre diets help reduce the risk of blood clots which cause heart attack and stroke. Tropical fruits do not usually have enough dietary fibre, but exotic kiwis are loaded with fibre. Studies suggest that eating kiwis can help reduce triglycerides (blood fats) and cholesterol. Kiwis also contain omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids, polyphenols..making them all the more heart-healthy fruits!
Fibre-rich foods also help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and remove toxins from the digestive tract, preventing colon cancer.
Protein enzymes for digestion.
Like papaya enzymes, kiwi fruit contains actinidain which is good for tenderising meat and proteins. This is also why eating kiwis will help you digest proteins more easily. Relieving Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the little-known benefits of eating kiwi fruit. This comes from the high fibre and high water content of kiwi fruits.
Folate for pregnancy and children.
Vitamin B6 (folate) is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. Folate ensures healthy foetal growth during pregnancy and B6 is also important for growing children.
Vitamins and minerals for good health.
Kiwifruit is a powerhouse of vitamins (like A, C, B6, B12, E) and minerals (potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium). All these are essential vitamins and minerals for maintaining healthy bones, strong muscles, and a healthy body.
Vitamin E for beautiful skin.
Vitamins C and E are the anti-ageing vitamins, and both of them are present in kiwifruit. Unlike other fruits, kiwis are alkaline, which means it balances excessive stomach acids from eating unhealthy foods. The healthy body maintains pH balance, which is why when you eat right you are full of energy, and your skin looks glowing.
Take home message:
Instead of “an apple a day”, consider having a kiwi a day. Gain all these benefits of eating kiwi fruit. And become more healthy, beautiful and energetic!