Kiwi fruit or Chinese gooseberry is a delicious fruit full of phyto-chemicals, vitamins and minerals. The taste of the fruit is a blend of taste of banana, strawberry and pineapple. It has a hairy brown peel with green flesh and white pulp in the center. Apart from consuming it fresh, it is used as appetizer, in fish, salads, meat dishes, pudding, pies and prepared as cake filling. It is rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and magnesium and low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol.
Kiwi Health Benefits
- Protects against macular degeneration: Eating 3 or more servings of kiwi per day have been found to reduce age related macular degeneration in older adults by 36% as compared to who eat only 1.5 servings. This is attributed to its constituent anti-oxidant vitamins A, C and E.
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- Protects DNA: Kiwi’s phytonutrients protect DNA in the nucleus of human cells from oxygen related damage.
- Rich in antioxidant: Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C which is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin C is beneficial in reducing severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. It also prevents conditions such as colon cancer, arthrosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. Vitamin C is also very useful in healthy functioning of the immune system. The antioxidants protect the skin from degeneration.
- Rich in dietary fiber: Since kiwi is a very good source of dietary fiber it can reduce high cholesterol levels which in turn is beneficial for reducing risk of heart disease and heart attack. Fiber is also good for binding and removing toxins from the colon thereby preventing colon cancer.
- Diabetes control: It is effective in keeping blood sugar levels in diabetic patients under control. The inositol present in kiwi helps in nerve conduction velocity, a symptom of diabetic neuropathy.
- Good for cardiovascular health: Kiwi reduces risk for blood clots and the amount of fats in the blood thereby boosting our cardiovascular health. The abundant vitamin C, polyphenols and potassium protect the blood vessels and heart.
- Helps in weight loss: In weight loss diet kiwi is very beneficial. It is not only low in calories but its dietary fibers also make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
- Respiratory health: Some studies have shown that eating vitamin C rich foods like kiwi, even in small amount, may decrease respiratory health problems including shortness of breath, wheezing and high coughing.It helps to cure nasal polyps.
- Helps in digestion: Raw kiwi contains actinidain, a protein dissolving enzyme that helps to digest a meal easily. The high fiber content is beneficial for preventing constipation.
- Creates alkaline balance: Kiwi is very alkaline in nature which means it has a rich supply of minerals to replace the excess of acidic foods we consume. Benefits of a proper acid/alkaline balanced body include youthful skin, abundant physical energy, deeper sleep, fewer colds and reduced chances of osteoporosis.
Kiwi contains measurable amount of oxalates therefore people prone to kidney and gall bladder stones can either avoid it or eat in moderate amounts.