What is Kiwi Fruit?
A fruit with a thin hairy skin, green flesh, and black seeds kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is a popular fruit named after the kiwi, the national bird of New Zealand. Kiwifruit have high nutritional value and are a good source of fiber, antioxidants and several vitamins and minerals.Native to China, this fruit was originally known as the Chinese gooseberry.
Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit
Heart Health: The fiber and potassium in kiwis support heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
High Source of Vitamin C: If you thought that lemons and oranges were the highest sources of Vitamin C, then think again! According to the nutritional break-up of kiwi fruit, per 100 grams contain 154 percentage of Vitamin C, which is almost twice that of lemons and oranges. Vitamin C acts as powerful antioxidant, eliminating free radicals that could cause inflammation or cancer. It also helps in boosting the immunity of the body against harmful pathogens.
Sleep Inducer: Having trouble sleeping? According to a research done by Taipei Medical University, “Numerous studies have revealed that kiwi fruit contains many medicinally useful compounds, among which antioxidants and serotonin may be beneficial in the treatment of sleep disorders.” It is said that having two kiwi fruits one hour before bedtime can help immensely in inducing sleep.
Powerhouse of Vitamins and Minerals: Kiwi fruit is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. These contribute collectively to the proper functioning of the body such as blood circulation through the vessels, fight stress, iron absorption for healthy bones and teeth, good vision, etc. The high levels of potassium, 312 mg per 100 grams, help in maintaining blood pressure whereas magnesium helps in the nerve and muscle functions.
Better Sleep: kiwifruit consumption improves sleep quality in adults with sleep problems, it was found that kiwi consumption may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances.
Beautiful Skin: Collagen, the skins support system, is reliant on vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke, smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.
High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
Lowering Blood Pressure: Because of their high potassium content, kiwis can help negate the effects of sodium in the body. It is possible that a low potassium intake is just as big of a risk factor in developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.
Good Source of Dietary Fiber: This exotic fruit is loaded with dietary fiber, which helps in the prevention of numerous diseases. According to a study done by the University of Leeds, “Increasing consumption of fibre-rich foods can lower risks of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).” It also facilities weight loss and is often recommended to diabetics.
Helps in Digestion: Kiwi fruit contains an enzyme known as actinidain which is known for its protein dissolving properties, similar to that of papain in papaya. This is the reason why it is commonly used as a meat tenderiser. Moreover, it helps in the digestion of proteins in the body and is also known to help patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
Good Source of Folate: It is not without reason that the Chinese valued kiwi for its medicinal properties. It is a good source of Vitamin B6, also known as folate, which is said to be beneficial for pregnant women because it helps in the development of the foetus, making it healthy. It is also considered to be good for growing children.
In addition to the above mentioned qualities, kiwi fruits contain omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids, polyphenols, and promotes heart health.
Uses of Kiwi Fruit
Kiwi is no ordinary fruit, both in terms of the way it looks as well as its nutritional content. The vibrant green slices specked with little black seeds have always worked wonders in sprucing up desserts and fruit bowls. It is a sight for the eyes and the refreshing flavour makes it a favoured choice among fruits.