Ay Kiwi! Sounds like a person from down under eh? Well, the other Kiwi is a delectable fruit which is now widely available throughout the U.S. and many parts of the world. And since it’s the middle of summer here in the many parts of the world, this is one of the best times of the year to enjoy this amazing SuperFruit … the Kiwi!
Besides being compact and pleasantly fuzzy, did you know that this amazing Super Fruit also offers numerous health benefits? It’s not surprising, as nature offers countless natural foods that have been used as medicine throughout history.
» 10 healthful benefits of Kiwi fruit
Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, and once the “sunny peach”, Kiwi fruit has been declared by some to be one of the world’s most nutritionally-perfect foods. It’s time to experience all of the kiwi fruit benefits that the fruit has to offer. Known in ancient China as Yang Tao, the kiwi fruit earned its way in that culture not just for its flavor, but also its medicinal properties, which science has today substantiated in numerous areas.
Introduced by missionaries in New Zealand in the early 20th century, then in the US in the late 1960s, kiwi was first called “Chinese gooseberry,” although it’s doubtful that this moniker ever really stuck.
Luckily, kiwi got its new name – in honor of New Zealand’s native bird – from an enterprising food distributor, and its subsequent cultivation flew around the globe. Today, Italy, Chile, France, Japan, and the US are the highest producers of two varieties: green and gold. Kiwi is not only a scrumptious food, but is also used for its ability to tenderize meats, due to the compound actinidin.
Kiwi is a surprising little fruit, and is unlike any other. First, it’s small and light brown in color with a fuzzy skin surface. Inside, the fruit is not only lime green and studded with tiny black seeds in an oval pattern when sliced, but it’s also delicious, rather like the flavor of a strawberry. Peeled, sliced, and chilled, kiwi is an excellent addition to any fruit salad combination or by itself.
- Kiwi fruit reduces respiratory problems like asthma, coughing, and wheezing » One of the most well known health benefits of kiwi fruit revolves around it’s ability to lessen respiratory issues like asthma and wheezing. In fact, kiwi and other vitamin C-rich fruit provide significant protection. The most famous study showing this connection comes out of Italy, and was published in the journal Thorax.
- Kiwi protects against DNA damage and cancer » As mentioned, kiwi fruit is quite rich in vitamin C. Acting as an important water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C is essential for preventing free radical damage. What’s more, kiwi contains a number of flavonoids and carotenoids responsible for protecting DNA from oxidative stress. The vitamin C content and phytonutrients help to prevent a number of issues related to DNA damage and oxidative stress, including: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and cancer growth.
- Improves cardiovascular health » Kiwis are loaded with vitamin C, polyphenols, and are a good source of potassium – all of which work together to reduce the risk of blood clots, protect the blood vessels and heart, and protect the the body from free radicals that cause oxidative stress, which could lead to atherosclerosis (one cause for heart disease). Further, kiwis reduce blood clotting without negative consequence unlike aspirin, which is routinely recommended by doctors to reduce clotting.
- Protection against macular degeneration » Further adding to kiwi fruit benefits, your eyes are also boosted by the fruit! Containing famous vision-promoting compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, kiwi seems to be the perfect fruit for maintaining vision and protecting against macular degeneration. Lutein is a phytonutrient known for protecting the eyes from free radical damage by helping filter out damaging blue light and ultraviolet light. Zeaxanthin offers the same and similar benefits; both have been repeatedly shown to protect against vision loss, and slow the progression of dry macular degeneration. The antioxidants could also help improve visual acuity. Kiwi is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Kiwi benefits pregnant mothers » We know today more than ever before how important it is to maintain a healthful diet during pregnancy, and one of the well-known important nutrients for mom’s-to-be is folate – also known as folic acid (the syntehtic form). An extremely important B vitamin for producing and maintaining new cells, folate is an essential compound for optimal pregnancy. The vitamin helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida and helps the baby to grow sufficiently. But how does this tie in with the kiwi fruit? Kiwi offers a notable dose of folate!
- Prevents constipation, keeps digestive tract healthy » Due to fiber and supplying prebiotics.
- Boosts immune system » The kiwi fruit may be small, but it packs a powerful immune-boosting punch. Packed with vitamin C, D, B6, B12, K, zinc, folate, fiber, and other nutrients, the Golden kiwi fruit is perfect for boosting the immune system and preventing a cold or sickness.
- Promotes healthy and beautiful skin » Vitamin C helps keep the skin looking young and vibrant. The vitamin aids in the growth and repair of bodily tissues, which affects collagen formation and skin pigmentation, and helps to rejuvenate damaged skin.
- Facilitates absorption of iron » Which helps to prevent anemia.
- It makes you FEEL good because it tastes good » When something makes you feel good via the sense of taste, whether it be sweet, sour, salty or even bitter … that means it’s GOOD for you! It pleases your senses, and whenever that happens, it releases endorphins in your brain which excite your neurons, which ultimately result in a feeling of well-being and potentially euphoria (for some). It’s a win/win situation!