Kiwis are delicious, small fruits which are as flavorsome as they are juicy. Not only do they taste delicious but also are packed with a lot of goodness and health benefits. Kiwis are rich sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folate and potassium and come stacked with antioxidants and fiber. The outer green flesh is tangy and sweet and the black seed hidden beneath the flesh is also edible. Even though most people prefer to peel off the fuzzy brown peel before eating the fruit, the peel is also edible and has nutritional value as well, like the other parts of the fruit.
Though kiwis are grown all around the year – from November to May in California and from June to October in New Zealand, access to kiwi fruit in India is still elusive and expensive. This is why people bank on the dried version of the fruit. Dried kiwi fruit carries as much nutrition as the fresh fruit. Even food supplements are made from the dried kiwi fruit. This is also a great way to have a regular dosage of the goodness of the kiwi fruit, rather than depending on the availability of the fruit or during the season of fruition of the kiwi fruit.
The utility of the dried kiwi fruit has recently been unearthed by people as it is the most practical solution for the long-term storage of the food. The dried kiwi fruit is a great alternative of fresh fruit. Not only can you have the fruit regularly, all round the year but it also becomes a great snack for you to have it on the go. Additionally, the dried kiwi fruit is lower in calories and fat than the fresh one and is also loaded with fiber and healthy minerals. The dehydrated version of the fruit is not without added sugar however, which acts as a preservative to store the dried kiwi fruit for a longer period of time. You should be thus, mindful in the quantity of the intake of the dried kiwi fruit, and incorporate it in your diet if you restrict yourself to a low-sugar diet.
The kiwi fruit is said to have originated in China and has been valued for centuries for its medicinal properties. But the fruit, originally known as yang tao and Chinese gooseberry got reintroduced to the world as the national fruit of New Zealand as the missionaries took it to the country with them. The indigenous people of New Zealand took an instant liking to the fruit so much so that they started cultivating the fruit commercially and renamed the fruit as ‘kiwi’ as it bears a close resemblance to their national bird. The kiwi fruit found its popularity among the Europeans and the Americans too. They started including the fruit in their daily diet by incorporating it in their cereals, desserts, ice creams and other dishes. They are mostly found in desserts, smoothies, salads and fruit bowls as the texture of the fruit add an extra bit of tanginess and juiciness to the dishes. Not only is the fruit pleasing to the eyes but it also has a refreshing flavor to it, which makes it the main ingredient of many desserts and ice creams. The fruit falls in the category of exotic fruits and is very rarely cooked. One reason of the fruit not making its way to the oven is that the fresh version of the fruit has an enzyme that helps in digestion and in the breaking down of milk proteins.
Nutritional Benefits of the Kiwi Fruit
The vibrant green fruit with specks of black seed is no less than a miracle fruit as far as the nutritional benefits are concerned. The kiwi fruit has a plethora of nutritional benefits. Some of the benefits are mentioned below:
Rich in Vitamin C: Kiwis make it to the top of the list of fruits rich in Vitamin C. Yes, you read that right. Lemons and oranges are nowhere near the kiwi fruit as far as the nutritional content of Vitamin C is concerned. Studies show that the kiwi fruit has 154% of Vitamin C per 100 grams of the fruit. Thus, the kiwi fruit have almost twice the amount of Vitamin C in them than the lemons and the oranges. They are also great antioxidants and actively eradicate free radicals from the body which result in inflammation and cancer.
High in dietary fiber: Kiwi is rich in dietary fiber and helps to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well as coronary heart diseases (CHD). Since the fruit is rich in fiber, eating the fruit makes one feel full for longer duration of time. This prevents one from munching on food all day and also regulates the metabolic rate of a person, thereby, keeping a strict check on his/ her blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Eating fiber-rich food helps one to reduce weight and keep one’s diabetes in strong regulation.
Rich in folate: The kiwi fruit is an extremely beneficial add-on for pregnant women and for growing children. Since the fruit is rich in folate, the intake of kiwi fruit helps in the healthy development of foetus, Taking care of the well-being of both the mother and the birthing child.
Loaded with both vitamins and minerals: Vitamins such as Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, and Vitamin E and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium are found in ample in the kiwi fruit. These vitamins and minerals help to keep a well-balanced body and mind, as these minerals aid in maintaining a proper blood circulation through the blood vessels, stimulates iron absorption for good bones and teeth, enhances vision, helps fight stress and anxiety, etc. The magnesium in the kiwi fruit alleviates the regulation of the nerve and the muscle functions in the body and the high content of potassium in the fruit (312 mg per 100 grams) also keeps the blood pressure in check.
Health Benefits of the Kiwi Fruit
The nutritional benefits of the kiwi fruit has a positive impact on the health of a person and yields quite a few health benefits. A few of them are discussed below:
Great immunity booster: The kiwi fruit is a magic fruit as far as enhancing immunity is concerned. The fruit helps to develop the immunity of the body is effectively fight the harmful pathogens and the disease-carrying bacteria that attack the body.
Aids in bringing sleep: Research shows that among the myriad components which make up the kiwi fruit, it also has antioxidants and the compound serotonin. These compounds are used to treat sleep disorders in people. As the fruit is rich in serotonin and antioxidants, doctors prescribe to have kiwi fruit an hour before sleeping to people with sleeping disorders. Thus, in the medicine world, the kiwi fruit is the harbinger of sleep.
Improves digestion: The kiwi fruit is rich in actinidain, an enzyme responsible for dissolving protein. This makes kiwis a great tenderizer of meat. Besides, the intake of kiwi fruit helps in digesting protein. Hence, kiwis are a great food supplement for people facing issues with digestion and irritable bowel syndrome.
Helps in maintaining a youthful skin: The kiwi fruit helps in upkeep of the pH balance of the body. As the fruit is alkaline in its nature, it neutralizes the acidic effect a few food items have on us. A healthy body with a good pH balance is the key to feeling active and energetic all day. Other than this, a good pH balance is essential in maintaining a healthy, glowing and a youthful skin. The vitamins C and E and the antioxidants found in the kiwi fruit stop skin degeneration and premature aging. The regular application of a few slices of the kiwi fruit on your face will lighten up the skin and make your skin soft and supple.
Aids in weight loss: Since the fruit is rich in fiber, eating kiwi boosts one’s metabolic rate and thus, keeps a person’s weight in check. Eating a fibrous fruit keeps one feeling full for long, thus also curbing the calorie intake of a person throughout the day. Additionally, diabetic patients too can reap the benefits of the kiwi fruit as its regular inclusion in the diet can help the insulin levels in check.
With its striking appearance, great taste and even greater health benefits, the kiwi fruit is no ordinary fruit but is a storehouse of nutrition. Whether you have it fresh or in its dried form, the kiwi fruit is sure to take you a step further in leading a good and healthy lifestyle. Adopt a healthier lifestyle and eat a kiwi fruit each day to keep most of your health problems at bay.