Kiwi: A little fruit with big health benefits
Kiwi fruits’ brown, fuzzy exterior is deceptive. It may not look like much of health food or even that appetizing. But once you slice into one, its bright lime green interior dotted with black seeds in an oval pattern tells another story.
Originating in China and known there as Yang Tao, it was introduced by missionaries in New Zealand and didn’t make it to the United States until the late 1960s. If it wasn’t for honoring this fruit after New Zealand’s native bird – the kiwi – kiwi fruit may still be better known by what its original name was – the Chinese gooseberry.
6 best reasons for consuming kiwi fruit
It’s easy to overlook kiwi fruit at the grocery store. It doesn’t catch your eye like brightly colored peppers or ruby red apples. But make no mistake this small but mighty fruit is a nutritional winner. If you don’t already consume kiwi fruit, here are 6 reasons why you should:
1. Exceptional source of vitamin C
Surpassing oranges when it comes to vitamin C content, kiwis have five times or 273% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C than what an oranges or lemons provide. Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant eliminating free radicals that can cause inflammation within the body. It also helps boost the immunity of the body against harmful pathogens in addition to helping our body absorb the mineral iron more efficiently.
2. Beneficial for inducing sleep
If a good night’s sleep is an elusive visitor than consider eating more kiwi fruit. According to research done by Taipei Medical University, kiwi fruit contains many medicinally useful compounds including antioxidants and serotonin which may be beneficial in the treatment of sleep disorders. Significant improvements to sleep included falling asleep quicker, sleeping more soundly, along with improvements in sleep quality and efficiency.
3. Good source of fiber helping with digestion
One kiwi provides 2.3 grams of fiber which can help in the prevention of numerous diseases. Many studies have shown consuming more fiber can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease along with controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
Kiwi fruit also contains an enzyme known as actinidain which is known for its protein dissolving properties. This enzyme helps in the digestion of protein in the body and is known to help people suffering from irritable bower syndrome.
4. Good source of folate
Kiwi fruit is a good source of folate, a B vitamin known for reducing the risk of neural tube defects in babies. Pregnant women who consume adequate folate both before and during pregnancy can reduce her baby’s risk of developing this condition. Folate plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and is a crucial nutrient helping the neural tube to develop properly into the brain and spinal cord of a developing baby.
5. Loaded with vitamins and minerals
Be sure to not overlook kiwi fruits power of providing important nutrients such as vitamin A, B6, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Together, these vitamins and minerals contribute to the proper functioning of the body by maintaining blood pressure, fighting stress, boosting immunity, enhancing iron absorption, and strengthening eye health.
Kiwi fruit has been found to pack more nutrients per ounce than 27 other commonly consumed fruits, including oranges, apples, and bananas. Kiwi fruit can come in either green or gold varieties with both being nutritionally comparable.
6. Important role in improving health conditions
Kiwi fruit appears to be an active participant in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A study found that colon transit time significantly decreased in individuals consuming kiwi fruit helping improve bowel function in adults with IBS.
Children suffering from asthma may want to add kiwi fruit several times a week to help reduce wheezing. A study found that when children ate six to seven servings of kiwi along with other vitamin C rich foods each week, they had a 44% lower incidence of wheezing and other respiratory difficulties.
A 2011 study found that kiwi fruit had strong anti-oxidant effects and may prevent the development and deterioration of disease caused by oxidative stress with the gold kiwi fruit having the strongest effect.
Buy kiwi fruit today
Knowing the health advantages that kiwi fruit provides should make you want to stock up on this delightful fruit to help diversify your diet with its color, flavor and nutritional value. To help ripen kiwis, place them in a brown paper bag for four to six days – place an apple, banana, or pear with them to speed up the ripening process.