Kiwi is a fruit that’s worth discovering. Kiwi is relatively low in calories (42 calories each) and an excellent source of fibre. It’s also great for dropping extra belly fat without restrictive diets.
Its scientific name is Actinidia deliciosa and it is also known as Chinese Gooseberry, Woody Vine and Yang-tao. A study finds that Kiwi fruit is number one in nutrient content when compared to 27 other fruits including apples and oranges.
It contains twice more vitamin C as compared to same size oranges, Also double the amount of nutrients than the same size of apples. By eating one kiwi fruit a day we can get 85% of vitamin C, 31% of vitamin K, 7% of vitamin E, 5% of folate of our daily recommended dose.
It contains actinidain, which is known for its protein dissolving properties. It helps in the digestion of proteins in the body and is also known to help patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Eating one kiwifruit after eating meat helps improve digestion. Eating two kiwis a day improves Lipid Homeostasis, Fatty Acid Metabolism and Gut Micro biota.
Health benefits of kiwifruit
Kiwi Fruit is an excellent natural remedy to improve health and disease conditions such as stroke, asthma, excess cholesterol and hypertension. Various studies over the past few years had unfolded the health benefits of kiwi fruits.
Kiwifruit Helps to Improve Cardiovascular Health
A study conducted with human volunteers found that those who ate two to three kiwi fruits a day reduced their platelet aggregation response (potential cause of blood clot ) by 18% , reduced triglycerides (a blood fat) by 15% as compared to those who did not eat kiwifruit.
Eating raw kiwifruit every day significantly lowers the risk for blood clots and reduces the amount of fats (triglycerides) in our blood-helping to protect cardiovascular health. It may be a good alternative of aspirin which also has side effects such as inflammation and intestinal bleeding. Please consult your doctor before taking any action with regards to medication.
Kiwifruit is Our Best Antioxidant Defence
Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant). It is a water soluble antioxidant in the body, neutralizing free radicals that may cause damage to cells and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. Many studies find that adequate intake of vitamin C may reduce the severity of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, prevent colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease. Vitamin C is also necessary for the optimal function of the immune system. Strong research based evidence shows that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes.
Kiwifruit Promotes Bone Health
Kiwifruit is rich in vitamin K. We all know that vitamin K promotes healthier, stronger bones. Vitamin K deficiency weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures and bone-related illnesses.
Kiwifruit's Support against Macular Degeneration Many people know that carrots are good for eyes but fewer people know that kiwi fruit is even more important for improved eyesight. Kiwi contains lutein, which is known to protect the eyes and prevent age-related vision loss. A study that spans over 18 years and involved 110,000 men and women and published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating three or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration by 36%, the primary cause of vision loss in older adults.
Eating three kiwifruits may sound like a lot each day, but kiwifruit can help you reach this goal as it is a low GI fruit. We can slice kiwi over our morning cereal, lunchtime yogurt, green salads or any fish dish with kiwi slices to reap these benefits.
Kiwifruit Support Healthy Glowing Skin
High content of vitamin C in the kiwi fruit helps to produce collagen, a key component in skin cells. The vitamin also boosts the body’s ability to heal wounds. Many research studies found that although taking oral collagen supplements may help boost skin elasticity and hydration and reduce wrinkles, consuming vitamin C by eating kiwi fruits may still help keep the skin healthy. Kiwifruit also provides vitamin E, which has the ability to help protect the skin from sun damage.
Kiwifruit Contains Phytonutrients Which Protect Against DNA
Kiwifruit is well known for its ability to protect DNA from oxygen-related damage. Researchers are not yet certain which compounds in kiwifruit give it this protective antioxidant capacity, but they are sure that this healing property is not limited to those nutrients most commonly associated with kiwifruit, including its vitamin C or beta-carotene content.
Kiwifruit Can Help You Get Better Sleep
Kiwi fruit contains serotonin, a hormone that has a sedative effect. According to a study eating two kiwi fruits one hour before bed may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Kiwifruit Helps You With Healthy Weight Loss
Kiwi fruit is low in calories (42 calories each) and packed with fibre, makes it excellent sweet, when you are in a mood for something sweet. Researchers have
found that diets that contain plenty of fibre can reduce high cholesterol levels. Fibre is also good for binding and removing toxins from the colon, which is helpful for preventing colon cancer. In addition kiwifruits are good for keeping the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients under control.
Kiwifruit Protects You Against Asthma
Eating kiwi fruit may significantly protect against respiratory symptoms associated with asthma such as wheezing.
A study published in Thorax that followed over 18,000 children aged 6-7 years living in Central and Northern Italy found that those eating the most citrus and kiwifruit (5-7 servings per week) had 44% less incidence of wheezing compared to children eating the least (less than once a week). Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%, severe wheeze by 41%, night time cough by 27%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%.
Children with Asthma appeared to benefit the most, even if they ate fruit only once or twice a week.
When Kiwi Fruit Is Not Safe To Eat?
Kiwifruit is a fruit and it goes through the same digestive process as other fruits. Amount of nutrients that goes into our body is highly dependent on the health of our digestive system. It is important that we eat this fruit in moderation and try to take our daily dose of nutrients through a variety of food sources. If you are considering including two kiwifruits daily into your diet plan then you should be aware of some health risk factors linked to kiwifruits.
Kiwi fruit may cause Allergy
Kiwifruit may cause oral allergy, which is a local allergic reaction around the mouth, lips, tongue and throat. It may include itchy and tingling feelings inside and around the mouth. Some people may experience rash in areas where skin touches the kiwi fruit. An important thing to remember is sometimes we have very little or no reaction to eating the fruit for the first time but a second exposure may cause more severe symptoms of allergy. In most cases, kiwifruit reactions are not serious and produce mild local symptoms. An allergy to kiwifruit is due to our immune system when it mistakes certain proteins in the kiwifruits for harmful substances, similar to viruses or bacteria. Scientists blame a range of proteins in kiwifruit to allergic reactions, such as actinidin, thaumatin proteins. People with a kiwifruit allergy often have hypersensitivity to other fruits such as apples, bananas and pineapples. Don’t eat kiwi fruits if you are using beta-blocker and blood thinning medications
Don’t go on a kiwifruit diet if you are on beta blockers medication.
Doctors often prescribe these medications to people with heart disease. Beta blocker medications may raise blood potassium levels. If you are on this type of medication then you should be careful and monitor your intake of potassium. Consuming too much potassium can also be harmful for people whose kidneys are not working properly. If the kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, life-threatening complications can arise. Kiwifruit contains a significant amount of vitamin K. It can interfere with the action of blood thinning medicines. Check with your doctor if you are using blood thinning drugs, before going on a kiwifruit diet.
How to Shop, Eat and Store kiwifruit?
Kiwi fruit is up to 2-1/2 inches long, with russet-brown skin densely covered with short, stiff brown hairs. The flesh, firm until fully ripe, is glistening, bright green or sometimes yellow, brownish or off-white. Kiwi fruit flavour is sweet to acidic, somewhat like that of water melon with a suggestion of strawberry.
Always buy environmentally friendly and organically grown kiwifruit. Kiwifruit trees need few pesticides; hence makes it one of the most environmentally friendly trees. Many commercial growers over kill it with pesticides and infest kiwifruit with harmful chemicals. Always ask for the source before buying at a store.
A kiwifruit can stay fresh up to 5 weeks depending on the picking time. According to a research study conducted about the freshness of kiwi fruit; a kiwifruit remains fresh the whole week if kept at 5C, even after peeling and slicing. Kiwi fruit can be sweet or sour based on how ripe it is at the time of eating. A ripe kiwi fruit yields to the pressure of fingers. An unripe kiwifruit is hard to finger pressure and can be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, until it is fully ripe to eat.
Best way of eating kiwifruit is by peeling and slicing. It is better not to eat the skin as most fruits store their toxins in the skin. Kiwifruit is a good source of vitamin C, Vitamin K and other nutrients. It is a very healthy snack. Many large scale research studies provide ample evidence in favour of eating 2 to 3 kiwifruits everyday as it prevents cardiovascular heart disease, improves macular degeneration, improves skin health and over all body wellbeing.
1. You can eat kiwi fruit with other vegetables to create low GI salad recipes
2. You can use it to make mixed fruit and vegetables juices
3. You can make smoothes with two to three other ingredients.
4. You can add to kids lunch boxes as a source of nutrients.
5. You can add to jams and make kiwifruit leather for kids.
How to Grow Kiwifruit in Your Backyard?
The kiwifruit is native to the Yangtze River valley of northern China and Zhejiang province on the coast of eastern China. Kiwifruit has an interesting history of cultivation.
There is no formal history of the kiwifruit industry in print; there is a historical consensus as written on New Zealand’s official history website. Kiwifruit was first grown in New Zealand in 1904, when a school teacher brought back some Chinese gooseberry seeds from China. They were then given to a farmer who planted them in his farm near the riverine town of Whanganui. The trees went on to bear their first fruit in 1910. Around the same time the first seeds were introduced to New Zealand, the species was in fact also experimented with as a commercial crop both in the U.K. and the U.S.
When the fruit was first grown in New Zealand, their sweet and sour flavour quickly earned them the nickname 'Chinese Gooseberries. In 1959 it was decided to change the name to kiwifruit, after New Zealand's national bird.
Kiwifruit has many related varieties such as Hardy Kiwi, Red Kiwi, Silver, Purple Kiwi and Gold Kiwi.
Kiwifruit grows best in temperate climates. There are low-chill cultivars available for warmer regions.
Kiwifruit is a dioecious plant, which means that male and female flowers are borne of different plants, but it’s also now possible to buy the male and female plants, grafted onto one rootstock, so only one vine needs to be planted.
It is always better to buy small kiwi plants from a local nursery than growing from seeds. Seeds of kiwi fruit may be planted in the spring. This should be done in a fine, somewhat sandy planter mix which is kept moist but not soaking wet. Seed germinates in 4 to 5 weeks.
Kiwifruit prefer acid (pH 5.2 - 6.9), well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter. The plants do not tolerate salty soils. Prepare soil with well-rotted manure. After planting, cover with Lucerne hay to retain moisture, add nutrients for healthy growth. Plant your kiwi at a location which has some wind protection. Kiwi Planrt polinate by wind and bees. Always plant mail and female close enough together to make pollination easy. The leaves may show nitrogen deficiency if the soil is too basic.
Plants lose their leaves in winter and need protection from frost for healthy growth. Kiw fruit tree needs lot of water during growing season, especially when flowers start setting fruit. Avoid using high nitrogen fertilisers after fruit set.
In the forests where it is native, the plant is a vigorous, climbing shrub. The plants need a long growing season with an average temperature of 32 C. In California, the kiwifruit is grown with other citrus fruits, peaches and almonds crops
Kiwi fruit vine may cover an area of 10 to 15 feet wide, 18 to 24 feet long and 9 to 12 feet high. The large white to cream colour flowers are somewhat fragrant and their flowering period extends over several weeks from early May to June, depending on climatic conditions.
Kiwifruit will tolerate part shade but prefer a sunny one. Kiwifruit is not recommended for hot dessert. Kiwifruit plants need a patio cover, or other permanent place to grow upon. Simply run the plant up a corner post to the top and allow the plant to then form a spoke work of shoots which would resemble an umbrella.
Kiwifruit plants need large volumes of water during the entire growing period.
Kiwifruit plants are relatively free from problems. Garden snails can be a problem on younger plantings. Other pests include deer browsing on the leaves and gophers attacking the roots. Scale insects can also be a problem if populations build up too fast.
Kiwi fruit is best to harvest when ripened off the vine. IBest way to check is to cut a kiwi fruit into half and look at the seeds. If the seeds are black then the fruit is ready pick. Put picked kiwi fruit in your fruit bowl and allow softening before eating.
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- Svendsen, M. (2014, December 8). The effect of kiwifruit consumption on blood pressure in subjects with moderately elevated blood pressure: A randomized, controlled study. Blood Pressure, 24(1).