4 Important Health Benefits of Kiwi
Copyright 2012 - Kris Heeter, Ph.D.
Even though kiwis are small and not the most common fruit, many people are surprised to learn that kiwis have incredible health benefits. Despite their small size, one little kiwi can have as much Vitamin C as a regular size orange.
Along with the obvious benefits of Vitamin C, kiwis contain a number of nutrients that protect DNA from being damaged, they contain a high amount of fiber, and kiwis can help lower the risk of macular degeneration.
1. Kiwi Phytonutrients
Kiwis contain a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids. Flavonoids and carotenoids, and other phytonutrients act as antioxidants that help protect and repair DNA damage. These neutralize free radicals that can cause inflammation and that can lead to diseases like cancer.
2. A Good Source of Vitamin C
Getting enough vitamin C naturally is one way to boost your immune system and kiwis are loaded with it.
This vitamin acts as a water-soluble antioxidant in the body and has been shown to help reduce the symptoms and severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It also helps reduce the risk of a number of diseases including colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and heart disease.
3. Benefits of Kiwi Fruit and Skin Fiber
The green kiwi fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fiber binds to and helps remove toxins from the colon. In addition, fiber-rich foods, help regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels.
And what many people aren't aware of is that the skin is also edible. It is soft and thin and contains even more fiber and nutrients. It may feel a little furry to the tongue at first, but it's definitely worth consuming if you can adjust to the texture.
4. Kiwis Help Fight Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the primary cause of vision loss in older adults. The beta-carotene in yellow and orange veggies, as well as in fruits like the kiwi, has been a key nutrient in helping protect against this disease.
Research reported in a study published in the Archives of Opthamology suggests that eating three or more servings of fruit per day may lower the risk ARMD by 36% compared to people who consume less than 1.5 servings per day.
Kiwi Breakfast Smoothie Recipe and Tips
Smoothies are a great breakfast you can fix the night before. You can prepare and blend them before you go to bed, stick the blender top in the refrigerator, get up, give it a pulse and pour in a "to go" mug. This is a great breakfast on the run!
There is no need to worry about a loss of nutrient content in preparing kiwi and other fruits in advance like this. Research has shown that minimal processing of kiwi (cutting and chilling does not significantly alter the nutritional content for up to six days.
Below is one of my favorite kiwi smoothie recipes. It's fantastic fresh or as a frozen slushy!
Kiwi Surprise Smoothie Recipe
2 kiwis - peeled and sliced
2 apples cored, peeled and sliced
Small splash of lemon juice
1/2 cup of orange juice or other 100% juice (e.g., Juicy Juice brand)
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend for one minute!
Double or triple the recipe and freeze leftovers for another day!
Additional Tips and Suggestions:
- Freeze the mixture for a frozen treat.
- Add ground flax seed for extra nutrition or flax seed oil
IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTE: Kiwi Linked to Latex Allergy
Like avocados and bananas, the kiwi contains compounds that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome.
There is strong evidence of the cross-reaction between latex and these foods. If you have a latex allergy, you may very likely be allergic to these foods as well. The latex-fruit allergy syndrome is described in depth in the article: A Connection Between Latex, Fruit and Nut Allergies.