While they may have an unattractive outer skin that is brown and fuzzy, the inside flesh is an unexpected surprise. The flesh is bright green and smooth with tiny black seeds speckled in the center. Kiwis provide more vitamin C than oranges and are a great tropical addition for any fruit salad or smoothie.

Disease/Ailment:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer protection
  • Cardiovascular disease prevention

Health benefits:

DNA protection: Kiwis are concentrated with vitamin C and beta-carotene, two known nutrients that protect against oxidation. Phytonutrients such as caratenoids and flavanoids are also found in kiwis and protect against DNA damage.

Asthma: Vitamin C has been shown to reduce respiratory symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and chronic coughing.

Cardiovascular health: Kiwis can significantly reduce the risk for blood clots and amount of triglycerides in the blood. Kiwis are rich in vitamin C, polyphenols, and potassium, all which protect the blood vessels and heart from damage that may lead to cardiovascular disease.

Good source of:

–       Vitamin C

Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:

Purchasing: Kiwis ripen with time and are sweetest when they are slightly soft. Avoid kiwis that are shriveled or bruised. Kiwis are available year-round.

Storing: Kiwis that are hard should be left to ripen for a few days to a week at room temperature. Do not exposure them to sunlight or heat. To fasten the ripening process, place the kiwi in a paper bag with other fruits such as apples, bananas, and pears. Gases that are naturally released from the other fruit will speed the ripening process.

Enjoying:

  • The most antioxidants can be gained from kiwis that are fully ripened. Add kiwi to any fruit salad to add a tropical flair and pop of color.
  • Eat kiwis as is by cutting them in half and scooping the flesh with a spoon.

Resources & recipes:

–       Kiwi smoothies: http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/recipes/kiwi-smoothie-recipes-and-nutrition/

–       Sweet potato and kiwi soup: http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/recipe/sweet-potato-and-kiwi-soup-recipe

–       Kiwi coconut balls: http://vegweb.com/recipes/kiwi-coconut-snackballs

–       Banana kiwi icecream: http://sketch-freeveganeating.blogspot.com/2011/07/raw-banana-kiwi-ice-cream.html

 

References:

  • Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92. 2004. PMID:15197064.
  • Collins BH, Horska A, Hotten PM, et al. Kiwifruit protects against oxidative DNA damage in human cells and in vitro. Nutr Cancer 2001;39(1):148-53. 2001. PMID:13330.
  • Duttaroy A, Jørgensen A. Effects of kiwi fruit consumption on platelet aggregation and plasma lipids in healthy human volunteers. Platelets 2004 Aug;15(5):287-292. 2004. PMID:15370099.
  • Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California. 1983.
  • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.
  • Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York. 1996.
  • Gil MI, Aguayo E, Kader AA. Quality changes and nutrient retention in fresh-cut versus whole fruits during storage. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Jun 14;54(12):4284-96. 2006. PMID:16756358.
  • Maillar C. [The kiwi, rich in vitamins C and E and also in potassium]. Servir 1998 May-1998 Jun 30;46(3):160. 1998. PMID:13380.
  • Sommerburg O, Keunen JE, Bird AC, van Kuijk FJ. Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Br J Ophthalmol 1998 Aug;82(8):907-10. 1998. PMID:13370.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=41


About the Author

Ashley Kim

"Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners." – William Shakespeare

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