The kiwi, originally called the Chinese gooseberry and later the “sunny peach”, was renamed the kiwi by New Zealand natives after their national bird. There are over 400 varieties of this fuzzy fruit, which grows off of vines on a trellis, much like grapes are cultivated.
People are attracted to kiwi fruit because of its brilliant green color and exotic taste. But, the real uniqueness of kiwi fruit comes from its health benefits. Read the kiwi’s fourteen health benefits:.
1. Helps Your Digestions 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.
2. Helps Manage Blood Pressure
Kiwi’s high level of potassium helps keep our electrolytes in balance by counteracting the effects of sodium.
3. Protects from DNA Damage
A study showed that the unique combination of antioxidants in Kiwi fruit helps protect the cell DNA from oxidative damage. Some experts conclude 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.
5. Smart Carb for 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 contents — so the body will not respond by storing fat.
6. Improves Digestive Health
Kiwis are a great source of fiber. This prevents constipation and other intestinal problems.
7. Helps Clean Out Toxins
The fuzzy fiber of Kiwi helps bind and move toxins from your intestinal tract.
8. Helps Fight Heart Disease
Eating 2-3 kiwis a day has been shown to reduce the potential of blood clotting by 18% and reduce triglycerides by 15%. 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!
9. 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.
10. 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 serving of fruit per day decreased macular degeneration by 36%. 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.
11. Create 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.
12. Great for the Skin
Kiwis are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant known to protect skin from degeneration.
13. Exotic Taste and Look for Food Variety
Kiwis look and taste great. Kids often love them because they are so different from most fruits.
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 such a limited number of foods. It increases our chances of not getting enough of important nutrients.
14. Naturally Organic
Kiwi fruit is on the list of foods that are generally safe from a lot of pesticide residues. For 2012 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.
How do I choose a kiwi?
-Look for a fruit that is plump and fragrant with no visible bruising or wrinkles and a slightly firm feel
What if I chose a fruit that isn’t yet ripe?
-Kiwis ripen quickly when placed in either a paper or plastic bag with a banana. However, once they are ripened, store them away from other fruit or they will decompose more quickly!
How long are kiwis good for once I buy them?
-Ripe kiwi fruit can last in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Can I eat the skin?
You can, but wash carefully to remove unwanted pesticides! Rub it a bit to minimize the fuzz. The skin actually provides more fiber to your sweet snack. If you’re not fond of the fuzzy exterior, simply “sloop” it out by slicing the kiwi in half horizontally and spooning out each end to enjoy.
Kiwi fruit can be enjoyed in smoothies, sprinkled into your morning yogurt, mixed into fruit salad, or eaten plain. For a few more creative ideas to incorporate kiwis into your daily meals, check out the ideas below:
-Make a “fruit pizza” out of graham crackers and a creamy topping (peanut butter, honey, ricotta cheese- the possibilities are endless!) and sprinkle chopped kiwi on top.
-Involve your kids and make fruit kabobs with kiwi as the star (Make sure to use blunt end skewers so the little ones don’t hurt themselves!).-
-Incorporate kiwi into a citrusy jam, jelly, or chutney.
-Rub on meat for an all-natural meat tenderizer- the kiwi contains enzymes that aid in breaking down protein.
Source : Dave Sommers