Nutritional Value of Kiwi Fruit
Aside from being fun to pronounce, the kiwi fruit has a number of beneficial qualities. In fact, the nutritional value of kiwi may surprise you. Native to southern China, but named for New Zealand’s national symbol (a brown flightless bird), the kiwi actually provides more vitamins and minerals per gram and per calorie than most other fruits. It’s also been shown to prevent certain ailments and diseases.
So let’s take a look at the many health benefits of kiwis.
It’s probably no surprise that kiwi is high in vitamin C, but what might be surprising is how high. Even fruits like oranges can’t top the kiwi, which contains about 64mg of this all-important vitamin – that’s roughly 85% of the daily recommended amount for women and about 71% for men!
Kiwis are also high in vitamin E, which might not be so unusual except that kiwis are naturally low in fat. Typically, foods high in vitamin E tend to have higher fat contents – avocados, sunflower oil, nuts and nut oils, palm oil, etc.
Another shocker is that kiwis actually pack more of a potassium punch than bananas, and they do so with about half the calories.
A few other nutrients found in kiwis include; folate, anti-oxidants, fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, E, K, and B.
A Kiwi - or two - a Day...
Apples have always been touted as the food to eat if you want to keep the doctor away, but adding a few kiwis to your diet couldn’t hurt either.
Vitamin C, which kiwis are packed with, protect the body from free radicals, and when consumed regularly can help thwart everything from cardiovascular problems to cancer to obesity. In addition, studies have shown kiwis to have positive effects on the respiratory tract – helping to prevent asthma and wheezing, particularly in children.
Fiber, which kiwis are also a good source of, can help combat diabetes and colon cancer, and has been shown to reduce cholesterol. It also helps maintain healthy digestion.
The lutein content in kiwis – one of the highest concentrations of all fruits – is better than the lutein found in vegetables and can help prevent age-related deterioration of eye-sight.
As if all this wasn’t reason enough to eat more kiwis, they’ve been shown to help improve the function of the immune system by thwarting the effects of stress and inflammation, and have also been shown to aid in the repair of damaged DNA.
No wonder kiwis consistently rank as one of the top fruits in nutritional density models.
Fun Facts About Kiwis
- The kiwi is actually the edible berry of a woody vine.
- Kiwis contain an enzyme called actinidin, which makes this fruit a natural meat tenderizer.
- You can eat the skin of kiwi fruits.
- Kiwis have also been known as; Chinese gooseberry, Macaque peach, Macaque pear, vine pear, sunny peach, wood berry, hairy bush fruit, and unusual fruit or wonder fruit.
- The kiwi is a “National Fruit” of China.
- Italy is the leading producer of kiwi fruit.
- Chinese khans once considered kiwi to be an aphrodisiac.
- Kiwis were not introduced to America until the 20th century.