Kiwifruit or kiwi is native to north-central and eastern China. It is an edible berry. It is oval in shape with brown, hairy cover. It is green in color with black, edible seeds rowed in the center. It is soft in texture and bears unique sour–sweet taste. It is small but a host of numerous nutrition benefits. It is a nutrient dense fruit – low in calories with abundant nutrients. In China, kiwifruit was originally called “Yang Tao”.
Kiwifruit was initially called Chinese gooseberry but because of heavy taxes on berries, the name was changed to “kiwifruit”. The name was given after the New Zealand kiwi bird in 1974, which is also small, brown and fuzzy. The word was further shortened to “kiwi” around 1966, when the fruit was first imported to the United States from New Zealand.
Not all kiwis are fuzzy. Golden kiwi is not and is more aromatic and sweet in taste. It is eaten raw, used in pickles, decorated on cakes and brownies, jams, juices, smoothies, fresh salads, fruit tarts, adding in Greek yogurt and is used various other forms, such as a meat tenderizer.
Kiwi is not only delicious to taste but is also packed with lots of nutrition and is thus called powerhouse of minerals and vitamins. It is giant bouquet of dietary fiber, carbs, water, electrolytes (sodium and potassium), vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folate, choline, C, D, E and K), minerals (calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, manganese and selenium) and phytonutrients (lutein, β -carotene and zeaxanthin).
Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit
1. Rich vitamin C source
Only oranges and lemon are not rich in vitamin C. Kiwi is highly rich and its vitamin C content is twice that of lemons and oranges. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, eliminate free radicals from the body reducing inflammation that could cause cancer and boosts immunity against foreign pathogens.
2. Rich in folate
Vitamin B9 or folate is highly beneficial for pregnant women because it helps in the fetus development. Kiwi is thus a known good source for folate. Also it helps growing children.
3. Rich source of dietary fiber
Dietary fiber is known to eliminate and prevent various diseases. Kiwi is one of the high fiber containing fruit, which reduces risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, controls blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol, facilitates weight loss and is also recommended to diabetics.
4. Powerful source of potassium and magnesium
Magnesium is necessary for nerve and muscle function, while potassium is essential for managing blood pressure — both minerals are abundant in kiwi — also help in decreasing risk for developing kidney stones, strokes and osteoporosis. Although if you are facing any problems with your kidney then you should definitely consult a doctor and get kidney function test done.
5. Better sleep
Kiwi contains medicinal compounds, such as serotonin and antioxidants, which helps in treating sleep disorders. It improves sleep onset and duration. It is said that having two kiwi fruits one hour before bed time will induce sleep and improve sleep quality. Serotonin also boosts regulates your appetite, mood, learning and memory. Apart from aid in falling and staying asleep, serotonin also helps in promoting alertness in the morning
6. Digestion improver
Kiwi is contains an enzyme called actinidain, which dissolves proteins easily. Thus, it helps the body in protein digestion. Also its high fiber content helps in smooth bowel movements, eliminating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
7. Breathe easier
Kiwis help in lightening the load of daily breaths on your respiratory system. Nighttime coughing, wheezing and sever wheezing are known to be reduced with 5–7 servings of this fruit every week.
8. Fight heart diseases
Kiwi possesses great anti-clogging benefits. Unlike aspirin, kiwi does not cause intestinal bleeding and inflammation.
9. Alkaline balancer
Kiwi is rich in minerals and is a great alkaline fruit. It helps in replacing the excess acids from the body. Characteristics of a properly alkaline/acid balance body are deeper sleep, youthful skin, fewer colds, abundant physical energy, reduced osteoporosis and les arthritis.
10. DNA protector
DNA damage is one of the major causes for cancer. Kiwi being rich in antioxidants combination helps in prevention of cells DNA from oxidative damage. This property of kiwi can thus prevent from cancer.
11. Eye friendly
In older adults, macular degeneration is the leading cause for vision loss. To reduce the risk, include 2–3 kiwis in your day and let the risk fall down by 36%. This happens because of lutein and zeaxanthin, natural chemicals found in the human eye.
12. Powerful and youthful skin
Vitamin E is a good antioxidant preventing skin form degeneration, which is luckily present in this delicious fruit, kiwi. Its vitamin C content smooth wrinkles, improves skin texture and prevents skin from sun damage, smoke and pollution – collagen is the skin support system reliant on vitamin C. being alkaline in nature, it neutralizes the effects of acidic foods. For instant glow at certain occasions, apply the kiwi slices on face for best results.
13. Relieves from stress and depression
Kiwi contains inositol, a precursor of an intracellular second messenger system, which helps in reduction of anxiety levels, relieving you from stress and depression.
14. Prevents cancer
Kiwi contains glutathione, an antimutagenic compound, which helps in prevention of gene mutation which leads to cancer development. Liver, breast, lung and stomach cancers can be healed with daily kiwi consumption. The fruit’s extract helps in inhibiting cancerous cells proliferation and protects DNA damage. Green color of kiwi is because of chlorophyll and thus contains its derivative called chlorophyllin – an inhibitor of liver cancer. It also contains a phytochemical – catechin – which helps in stimulation of bone marrow proliferation, thus reducing toxicity of anti-cancer agents.
15. Improves iron absorption
Kiwi is an amazing fruit because of its iron absorption abilities. It improves the iron status in the body because of vitamin C and phytonutrients contained in it. Thus, it helps in preventing anemia.
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