Kiwi is a small nutrient-dense fruit with amazing flavor and a lot of health benefits. It originated in China as a wild with the name Chinese gooseberry. And introduced in New Zeeland by a school teacher in 1904 returning from China. That’s why it is called kiwi or kiwi fruit after the national bird of New Zeeland. Kiwi fruit is also a national fruit of New Zeeland. But now it is equally popular in the whole world.
Kiwi fruit is sweet green flesh with a tangy flavor. It has a fuzzy brown peel and edible black seeds. Its amazing tart flavor, pleasing texture, low-calorie count, delicious taste, and attractiveness for sight make it the best choice among other fruits. It can be used in desserts, cereals, and other foods.
Kiwi fruit is full of nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and folate.
Let’s explore some deep in the kiwi to find out its nutritional facts, how healthy is kiwi fruit, its side effects, how to eat kiwi fruit, and much more.
Nutritional Facts of Kiwi Fruit
According to USDA, one green kiwi has the following nutrients:
- Calories: 42
- Carbohydrates: 10.1g
- Sugar: 6.2g
- Protein: 0.8g
- Fats: 0.4g
- Fibers: 2.1g
- Sodium: 2mg
- Calcium: 23.5mg
- Phosphorus: 23.5mg
- Magnesium: 11.7mg
- Potassium: 215mg
- Vitamin E: 1.0g
- Copper: 90mcg
- Folate: 17.2mcg
- Vitamin K: 27.8 mcg
- Beta carotene: 35.9 mcg
- Vitamin C: 64mg
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: 84.2mcg
Types of kiwi fruit
There are several types of kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa) that are grown in China, Taiwan, New Zeeland, and California. These are:
- Golden Kiwi (A. chinensis)
- Red kiwi (A. melanandra)
- Sliver kiwi (A. polygama)
- Chinese egg gooseberry (A. coriacea)
Health benefits of kiwi fruit
Kiwi fruit is full of nutrients, antioxidants, and fibers that provide several health benefits.
Eating kiwi fruit Improves skin health
Kiwi fruit is full of vitamin C which is a major contributor to the production of collagen. Collagen is a key component that supports the structure of the skin.
One kiwi (69 grams) contains 64 mg of vitamin C. This meets 71-85% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirements. Thus eating one kiwi would help you to meet the daily requirements of vitamin C that help to support your skin structure.
Kiwi fruit also provides you with vitamin E. Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties that help to protect your skin from sun damage.
Also Read: Foods To Avoid During Weight Loss
Treatment of asthma
Kiwi is very helpful for the treatment of asthma, especially in children. It helps to control wheezing and breathlessness, the most common symptoms of asthma. This is due to the abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants in kiwi.
A study conducted in 2000 indicates that the consumption of fresh fruits like kiwi has beneficial effects on the functioning of the lungs.
Kiwi fruit is helpful for heart health and blood pressure
Kiwi fruit is associated with the control of blood pressure and heart health. It is naturally a good source of potassium, folate, and dietary fiber content.
The American Heart Association suggests people increase potassium and reduce salt consumption. This fruit is high in potassium and low in sodium. This is the best combination for blood pressure reduction. Potassium helps to relax blood vessels that reduce blood pressure. This leads to reducing the chances of the development of cardiovascular diseases.
The folate present in kiwi also helps to reduce the risk of stroke.
The dietary fibers in kiwi help to keep LDL or bad cholesterol levels down. This lower level of LDL is helpful to reduce the chances of developing a cardiovascular disease like atherosclerosis.
So, adding one to three kiwis to your daily meal provides you with enough potassium and dietary fiber to cope with heart issues.
Support digestive system
Kiwis are a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. These dietary fibers regulate the digestive system and help in digestion in a variety of ways.
These dietary fibers also help to reduce constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. A study conducted in 2019 reveals that eating kiwis helps the small intestine to retain water and improve stool frequency and consistency. The study also indicates that kiwi fruit has mild laxative properties and can in used as an alternative to medical laxatives.
Kiwi contains a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin. This enzyme work in the stomach and small intestine and increases the breakdown of tough protein present in meat and fish.
Improve immune system
Kiwi helps to improve the immune system. It is a rich source of nutrients such as vitamin C. One cup of kiwi gives you 273 percent of vitamin C of your daily recommended value. Vitamin C is an essential and powerful nutrient to boost your immune system. Vitamin C, an antioxidant protects cells from free radical damage and reduces oxidative stress. This is also responsible for the repair and growth of tissues.
A study indicates that kiwi fruit reduces the chances of the development of cold, and flu, and ward off disease. Thus support your immune system.
Prevent vision loss and Improve eye health
Kiwi fruit is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds function as antioxidants and are involved in the formation of vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for eye health. These compounds also help to absorb excess light that may damage your retina.
The nutrients present in kiwi prevent muscular degeneration, cataracts, and some other diseases. This ultimately improves eye health and prevents vision loss.
Kiwi fruit prevents blood clotting
Kiwi fruit is also helpful to prevent blood clotting. Kiwis were found to reduce the fat contents in the blood and also manage blood pressure.
A study conducted at the University of Oslo indicated that eating two to three kiwis a day is very helpful to reduce blood clotting. Furthermore, this could be consumed in place of aspirin to thin the blood by preventing clotting and improving heart health.
Kiwi fruit is a good source of kiwellin and kissper protein that may help to control inflammation in the human intestine.
Kiwi contains an enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme can break proteins and breakdown inflammatory substances present in the bloodstream.
This is also effective against inflammation in joints and helps to control arthritis.
The higher amount of vitamin C is also effective to cope with inflammation by fighting against free radicals that may cause inflammation.
Kiwi fruit helps in weight loss
Kiwis are considered to be the best fruit to control weight. They are low in calories, and high in water content, and fiber. A higher amount of vitamins is also a key factor in weight loss.
The higher amount of dietary fiber makes you feel full and support your digestive system. This ultimately leads to weight loss.
What are the side effects of eating kiwi fruit?
Kiwi fruit is safe to eat for most people but there are some exceptions too. This is especially for those who are allergic. The common symptoms of kiwi allergy are swollen tongue, vomiting, itchy throat, lips, mouth, skin rash, and trouble swallowing.
In some cases, this could increase bleeding disorders.
Kiwi contains vitamin K which promotes blood clotting. Vitamin K may also interfere with blood thinner such as warfarin. Therefore, people who are patients of cardiovascular disease and use such blood thinner should consult their doctors before eating such foods.
How to eat kiwi fruit?
Eating one to three kiwi is enough to get most of the benefits. But the dosage may depend on different factors like health status and age of a person. Always follow the instruction of your doctor before consuming if you are having any health issues.
Here are some tips to eat kiwi fruits:
- Kiwi fruit can be best used as raw as it maintains its unique flavor and vitamin C contents.
- Don’t cock it as it may be lost its nutrients such as vitamin C during cooking.
- Kiwi fruit can be used as a supplement in the form of powder, tablets, and capsules.
- It can add as sliced in a fruit salad.
- Blend kiwi with strawberry to make a smoothie.
- Add in Greek yogurt to make a refreshing dessert.
- Add it as a blend in smoothies, mousses, and sauces.
- You can make a fruit cocktail with other fruits such as pineapple, strawberry, and mango.
- You can freeze its slice and eat it as dessert on a hot day.
Kiwi fruit is not only a delicious fruit but also has several health benefits as discussed above.
It is a rich source of many vital nutrients such as vitamin C, fibers, and antioxidants. These nutrients are beneficial for your health.
You can use it in a variety of ways. It is easy to incorporate into your daily meal. It can be added as flavor in sweet dishes, eaten as a salad, and make in smoothies.
You can eat one to three kiwis daily to get all the health benefits and optimal functioning of your body.
It is best to eat ripe kiwi. Kiwi can be stored in a refrigerator by packing it in plastic bags.
Kiwi fruit is easily available in the peak season of November to May. But it can be available throughout the year in supermarkets as fresh or frozen. Don’t use overripe kiwi fruit with bruises or soft spots.