People are attracted to kiwi because of its brilliant green color and exotic taste. But the real uniqueness of kiwi comes from its health benefits. Read below kiwi’s health benefits, interesting facts and how to use this amazing nutritious fruit.
1. Helps Your Digestion with Enzymes
Raw kiwi contains actinidain, a protein-dissolving enzyme that can help digest a meal much like the papain in papaya or bromelain in pineapple. Kiwi has both kinds of fiber;soluble fiber, which helps keep you full and avoid overeating, and insoluble fiber, which helps keep you regular.
2. Helps Manage Blood Pressure
Kiwi’s high level of potassium helps keep our electrolytes in balance by counteracting the effects of sodium. Electrolytes are required for various bodily processes, including proper nerve and muscle function, maintaining acid-base balance and keeping you hydrated.
3. Protects from DNA Damage
A study by Collins, Horska and Hotten showed that the unique combination of antioxidants in kiwi helps protect the cell DNA from oxidative damage. Some experts suggest this can help prevent cancer.
4. Boosts Your Immunity
Kiwi’s high vitamin C content along with other antioxidant compounds has been proven to boost the immune system. Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system, and it also works like an antioxidant in the body, guarding cells against damage. Some research has linked vitamin C with a lower risk for certain kinds of cancer.
5. Supports Weight Loss
Kiwi’s low glycemic index and high fiber content means it will not create a strong insulin rush like other fruit with high sugar content. S o the body will not respond by storing fat.
6. Helps Clean Out Toxins
The fuzzy fiber of kiwi helps bind and move toxins from your intestinal tract.
7. Helps Fight Heart Disease
Research shows eating 2 to 3 kiwis a day reduces the potential of blood clotting by 18 percent and reduce triglycerides by 15 percent. Many individuals take aspirin to reduce blood clotting, but this causes many side effects including inflammation and intestinal bleeding. Kiwi fruit has the same anti-clotting benefits with no side effects, just additional health benefits.
8. Suitable For Diabetics
Kiwi is in the ‘low’ category for glycemic index, meaning it does not raise your blood sugar quickly. It has a glycemic load of 4 which means it is safe for diabetics.
9. Protects Against Macular Degeneration and Other Eye Problems
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. A study on over 110,000 men and women showed that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day decreased macular degeneration by 36 percent. This is thought to be associated with the kiwi’s high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin—both of which are natural chemicals found in the human eye. Although both fruits and vegetables were studied, this same effect was not shown for vegetables.
10. Creates Alkaline Balance
Kiwi is in the “most alkaline” category for fruits, meaning it has a rich supply of minerals to replace the excess of acidic foods most individuals consume. A few of the benefits of a properly acid/alkaline balanced body are: youthful skin, deeper sleep, abundant physical energy, fewer colds, less arthritis and reduced osteoporosis.
11. Protects the Skin
Kiwis are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant known to protect skin from deteriorating.
12. Tastes Delicious
Kiwis not only look great but also taste great. For nutritional balance it is always good to eat a variety of foods. Each food has its own unique qualities and powers. The trouble with most people’s diet is that we eat a limited number of foods, which limits the amount of nutrients we get.
13. Has Fewer Pesticides
Kiwi fruit is on the list of foods that are generally safe from a lot of pesticide residues. For 2016 it came in with the top 10 safest foods. While it is always good to support organic when you can as a matter of principle, it’s also good to know whether there is a big danger if organic is not available or viable for you.
Interesting Facts About Kiwifruit
- Kiwi fruit was named after the New Zealand Kiwi bird—an unusual flightless bird—because they are both small, brown and furry.
- Not all kiwi fruit is fuzzy! The most popular species of kiwifruit is appropriately called fuzzy kiwifruit, but there is also golden kiwi with a smooth bronze skin. The golden kiwi is actually sweeter and more aromatic in flavor.
- Although kiwifruit can grow in any temperate climate, most of the world’s kiwi are grown in Italy, New Zealand and Chile.
- YES, you can eat the fuzz if you want.
How to Use:
- If a kiwi does not yield a bit to finger pressure, allow it to ripe by storing it at room temperature away from the sun.
- Kiwi ripening can be hastened by putting it in a paper bag with a banana, apple or pear.
- Once a kiwi fruit is ripe, keep it away from other fruit (even in the refrigerator) since the kiwi is very sensitive to the ethylene gas given off by those other fruits and it will over ripen.
- The actinidain in raw kiwi makes them unsuitable for desserts and other dishes that are not eaten right away because it can make the dish too mushy or stop it from setting. This applies to proteins but also to other fruits.
Kiwifruit contain a measurable amount of oxalates, a naturally occurring substance in many plants and animals. When the natural occurring substance become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. People with kidney or gallbladder problems may therefore want to avoid eating kiwi.
Kiwis also contain enzyme substances associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. If you have a latex allergy, you may be allergic to kiwi also. Since ripening the fruit with ethylene gas increases these substances, organic kiwi not treated with gas will have fewer allergy-causing compounds.
Cooking also deactivates the enzymes.