Kiwi, or kiwifruit, is a small fruit originating from China. Not only is it a delicious fruit, it also has a lot of incredible health benefits which help us live longer. These include lowering blood blood pressure, preventing strokes and improving cardiovascular health. Kiwis also help treating various conditions such as insomnia, cancer, diabetes and macular degeneration. Finally, kiwifruits are rich in flavonoid compounds, which are beneficial for pregnant women and help promote the body’s absorption of iron.
Kiwi: What Is It?
Kiwi is a very delicious type of berry that comes from a woody, twirling vine. The fruit is widely produced in China, and is even referred to as their national fruit. Kiwifruit is oval in shape with a dull brown color and a somewhat fuzzy texture..
Inside, its pulp is a semi-translucent, vivid, bright-green flesh with a radiant pattern of light-colored spikes. The pulp contains freckle-like seeds and has a unique and invigorating flavor, offering a creamy and soft texture.
This delicious fruit was brought to New Zealand in the early part of the 20th century. This is actually where the term ‘kiwi’ originated, due to the fruits similarity to the country’s national bird. The major global producers of kiwi are, of course, New Zealand, Italy, Chile, Japan, United States and France.
Kiwi: Nutrient Values
The incredible kiwifruit is very rich in many nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as ascorbic acid and folate. Kiwi also has incredible mineral wealth, rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. All of these vitamins, minerals and nutrients come with an additional dietary fiber bonus.
Health Benefits of Kiwi
Kiwifruit is becoming more popular, not only because of its delicious taste but also because of its nutritional benefits. The following are the health benefits of kiwi:
Helps induce better sleep. Kiwifruit is rich in serotonin, a compound that’s essential in promoting better sleep. A study shows that consuming kiwi improves total sleep time and sleep efficiency.
Contains Antioxidant Properties for Better Health. Kiwifruit is very rich in antioxidants like vitamin C. Not only that, it also contains carotene and phenolic, components that are essential in promoting better health. In a comparative study involving oranges, grapefruits and kiwi, the incredible kiwifruit appears to contain the strongest antioxidant properties.
Prevents Cancer. In Chinese Folk Medicine, Kiwifruit is thought to help heal some types of cancer, including stomach, liver, lung and breast cancer. Furthermore, kiwi extract helps inhibit cancerous cells’ proliferation.
Improves Cardiovascular Health. Kiwifruit is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. Together with protective polyphenols, these efficiently help maintain heart health. A certain study shows that consuming a couple of kiwis a day helps reduce the platelet aggression that may cause blood clotting.
Boosts Immunity. Consuming kiwifruit on a daily basis helps combat seasonal ailments and infections.
Helps Iron Absorption. This is one of the best benefits of kiwi. Certain components in kiwi, including vitamin C and other phytochemicals, like zeaxanthin and lutein, help improve the status of iron in the body.
Kiwi: Side Effects
Even though kiwi has an abundance of health benefits, consuming too much of the fruit may also cause some after effects. Some of these side effects are simple and some are more complicated, such as allergies and kidney stones.
You should consult a professional if it’s your first time eating kiwi, in order to determine if you are allergic. Allergic reactions may be mild or localized, but they can also be fatal, so you should not ignore any signs.
Kiwi contains oxalate raphide crystals. Excessive consumption of these may cause a threat by increasing the chances of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Additionally, if you consume a lot of oxalates, it may interfere with how you absorb nutrients like magnesium and calcium.
Kiwifruit, or kiwi, is a delicious fruit that is rich in nutrients which improve your health. These benefits are incredible and surprising, so you can never go wrong by adding it to your diet. However, you should still control your kiwi consumption, because eating too much can cause additional side effects.