Rivaling many other mainstream produce, kiwi is a delicious addition to your everyday orange, apple and banana choices. Technically a berry and referred to as kiwifruit, it is native to southern China (in Chinese it is translated as Yang Tao or Chinese Gooseberry) and is their national fruit. Some other countries that commercially cultivate kiwi are Italy and New Zealand. Knowing what kiwi offers is a great way to gauge your daily vitamin and mineral intake.
Next time you reach for an orange think again. Kiwi packs way more vitamin C than oranges, almost one and a half times more. Vitamin C has been known to boost the immune system, fight infection and repair and regenerate certain body tissues.
Kiwi contains about as much potassium as a banana. Potassium regulates bodily fluids, electrolytes, acidity, blood pressure and neuromuscular functions.
Due to its high dietary fiber content, kiwi can sometimes act as a mild laxative to help move along waste. It can also help absorb vitamins and minerals for use throughout the body.
This vitamin has been sought out by many people to help reverse the aging process. Kiwi has a fair amount of vitamin E that can help retard potential skin degeneration as well as contribute to a healthier heart.
Kiwi was studied by the University of Oslo in Norway for the sole purpose of its effect on blood. It turns out that consuming two kiwifruits per day for about one month actually thinned the blood. This could possibly benefit the decrease of potential blood clots as well as fat that may be blocking arteries.
This is an incredible antioxidant found in kiwi. Lutein has been known to attack free radicals, helping the body stave off disease. It is also a blue light absorber, which helps prevent eye disease such as macular degeneration.
Zeaxanthin works hand in hand with lutein, contributing primarily to eye health.
Kiwi Seeds and Skin
The skin and seeds of a kiwi also has significant nutritional benefits. They contain an oil that is high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as alpha-linoleic acids. These two essential acids are not produced by the body and therefore must be acquired through diet. They are paramount in contributing to joint, heart and metabolic health. Kiwifruit skin is edible and is another source of excellent dietary fiber as well as a flavonoid antioxidant.
Other Kiwi Facts
- Kiwi's are about forty-six calories each
- People who are allergic to latex, pineapples or papayas may very well be allergic to kiwi
- Bees are not naturally attracted to the kiwi flower, therefore pollination is difficult to maintain. Most producers will place bee hives within the kiwi vine far away from other flowers forcing them to cross pollinate. This is called saturation pollination.
- It is not recommended to serve kiwi with dairy, as it contains the enzyme actinidin, which when in contact with dairy protein will in turn break it down making it unsuitable for consumption.