December 6, 2013

Kiwifruit: A Health Powerhouse

Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is a small, nutrient-dense fruit that packs a stunning amount of health benefits.
It’s an amazing source of vitamin C, and has almost the same amount of potassium by weight than a banana. It’s also a good source of Vitamin E, and contains a small amount of Vitamin A.

That’s only if you consider the green flesh, if you take into account also the black seeds you’ll get an average of over 60% of Omega-3 ALA acid.
Furthermore, the inner white part of this fruit packs so much fiber, it’s been reported to have mild laxative effects.
Considering such an awesome nutritional profile - which rightfully grants kiwifruit the status of superf
ood - one would expect kiwifruit to be much more popular than it actually is.
Unfortunately, especially in the US, kiwifruit is not much sought after by consumers.

So what I'm trying to do here is try to convince you
to include kiwifruit in your diet.

Some background


Kiwifruit is native to southern China. In the early 20th century kiwifruit’s seeds were introduced in New Zealand, and afterwards to the rest of the world.
As of today, the cultivation of this fruit represent the major horticultural export earner in New Zealand. However, it’s Italy that holds the crown of top producer of kiwifruit worldwide.

In the US kiwifruit was not widespread distributed until the ‘80s. Nowadays, California produces a considerable amount of this fruit, but there’s still room for growth.

Nutritional profile

One medium kiwifruit
yields 46 calories, with less than one gram of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein. 
Kiwifruit has 117% of the daily RDA of Vitamin C, is a very good source of Vitamin K, and a good source Vitamin E, Potassium, and Copper.




Packed with antioxidants


A study published in the journal 'Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry', took a closer look at the antioxidants virtues of kiwifruit. It was found that not only it’s high in Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin E, but also contains a whole array of antioxidant phenolics and carotenoids that have a promoting effects on human health.
Similarly,
another study noted that kiwifruit can provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Consumption of green kiwifruit was found to have positive effects on cardiovascular health through antioxidant activity, inhibition of platelet aggregation and lowered triglyceride levels.
In addition, evidence was found that kiwifruit enhances immune function, and regulates several ‘immune’ and ‘DNA and repair’ related genes sets (that could trigger cancer).

It was further discovered that kiwifruit has stronger anti-oxidant effects than orange and grapefruit.
Kiwifruit, also, inhibits oxidation of biological substances in the human body. In particular, kiwi fruit may inhibit early lipid oxidation. Kiwifruit strong anti-oxidant effects may prevent the development and deterioration of diseases caused by oxidative stress.


A strong ally against cardiovascular diseases

Regular consumption of kiwifruits was found to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as blood pressure.
Kiwifruit consumption favorably affects plasma lipids in humans. It was in particular noted that the regular inclusion of green kiwifruit as part of a healthy diet helps increasing good cholesterol and decreasing the bad one.

Aids the digestive system

In a study conducted at the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research, kiwifruit was found to have positive effects on the digestive system by stimulating human gut microbial composition and metabolism.
Similarly, a team of researchers from Tapei Medical University discovered that kiwifruit consumption for 4 weeks shortened colon transit time, increases defecation frequency, and improved bowel function in adults.

Promotes sleep

There’s also evidence that Kiwifruit consumption may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances. In particular, kiwifruit contains many medicinally useful compounds, among which antioxidants and serotonin are beneficial in the treatment of the sleep disorders.

How much...

How much of it should you consume daily? Aim to eat at least one kiwifruit while they’re in season. California and Italy grown are in season from October through May, while New Zealand kiwifruit are available between April and November. In other words, you can get seasonal kiwifruit year round.
Experts suggest to eat riper ones as they contain greater antioxidant power.
I like to add kiwifrui
t to my green protein smoothie, they add a slight sour/bittery kick that I enjoy.

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11 comments:

  1. This is super interesting Mike, thank you for sharing!

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  2. Thanks for the reminder...such a tasty fruit!

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    Replies
    1. I know, right? I just wonder why it doesn't get much attention...

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  3. I know, I know, this is a great fruit. I just wish I liked it, maybe in smoothies, will give it a shot.

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    1. Try it in smoothies Ash, I'm sure you'll like it!

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  4. I love kiwi fruit. Don't know why I don't have it more often, honestly. I think it's the peel that puts me off... I hate peeling it and I can't stand eating it. I can't wait until they come up with GMO Peel-less Kiwis. (of course, you know I'm kidding, right?)

    How 'bout you? You eat that kiwi peel or not?

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    Replies
    1. No peel for ma...although I remember a couple of years ago noticing a group of boy-scouts eating them like apples (peel on) on the steps of MET. I thought they were weird!

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    2. Yeah, my brother does that, too! I tried it once, can't say I cared much for it. I think it's the hair that does it. Guess I'm a "no hair" kinda girl! ;)

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  5. Thanks for the Kiwi article, I will definitely increase my intake from occasionally to regularly, good thing I like their taste and colour!

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  6. I love Kiwi, without peel... Just like a peach has to be peeled.

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