Have you ever tried a kiwifruit? Do you know the health benefits of the kiwifruit? Hang tight, you will! Aside from being naturally gluten-free, the kiwifruit has a lot to offer.
Kiwi are in season November – May = now. This works out perfectly for me because I have been short on fruit to put in my morning fruit bowl. I have been spoiled with all of the summer fruits – melon (though I was avoiding that pesky salmonella-contaminated cantaloupe), berries, peaches, plums & cherries. I have really felt like something was lacking from my bowl. I have been including plenty of Honeycrisp apples and pears, but wanted to add something else. I picked up some kiwi the other day and the one I had today was delicious! I forgot how much I really like them!
The kiwifruit is actually a Chinese gooseberry. The most common variety has a brown, fuzzy-like skin, though there is a gold variety, too. I peel my kiwifruit before eating, but I know of some that don’t. I just can’t get past that texture. Here is some more info about the kiwifruit:
- What is kiwifruit?
Many people mistakenly believe kiwifruit is simply a hybrid of other fresh fruits — perhaps a combination of strawberries and melons, or bananas and mangoes. Nope, kiwifruit is actually and entirely unique fruit, born in China and cultivated today in the USA, New Zealand, Europe, Chile and dozens of others countries. There are over forty known varieties of kiwifruit, although the most widely grown and marketed around the world is the Hayward.
- Can someone be allergic to kiwifruit?
There are rare cases of kiwifruit causing an allergic reaction, but there’s no reason to believe that a person’s allergic reaction to kiwifruit is any different from their allergic reaction to any other food product.
Could such an allergic reaction be caused by chemicals used on California Kiwifruit? Not likely; in fact, it’s extremely unlikely. California has the world’s tightest restrictions on the use of agricultural chemicals, and the state’s kiwifruit farmers operate in strict accordance with all regulations. Plus, most of California’s kiwifruit is, for all intents and purposes, organically grown, with no chemicals sprayed directly on the fruit under normal growing conditions.
- Can you eat the skin of a kiwifruit?
Absolutely! The kiwifruit skin is completely edible and makes this nutrient-dense fruit even more nutritious! A recent study shows that eating the skin triples the fiber intake compared to merely eating the flesh. And by not peeling the skin, you preserve much of the vitamin C content as well.
People all over the world have been eating the skin for centuries with no complaints. And many find that leaving the skin on their sliced kiwifruit makes it much easier for snacking, as the skin holds each slice together.
Just like any fresh fruit or vegetable, we suggest that you wash the skin before eating since it is unknown who or what touched it before you did. So enjoy your kiwifruit, skin and all!
What about nutritional benefits?
Kiwifruit is one of nature’s perfect foods: low in calories, high in energy and an excellent source of antioxidants. Each one delivers a world of nutrition benefits, including:
- Vitamin C: Each serving of kiwifruit has nearly two-and-a-half times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, proven to boost the immune system and fight the effects of stress and aging.
- No fat: Kiwifruit is fat-free, an important consideration in today’s healthy diets and a rarity among foods containing so many other nutritional benefits.
- Fiber: Two kiwifruit contain more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal, the tasty way to maintain heart health, regular digestion and lower cholesterol.
- Potassium: A serving of California Kiwifruit has more potassium than a banana, ideal for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and for releasing energy during exercise.
- Antioxidants: Kiwifruit is an excellent source of antioxidants which are important in reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
- Low glycemic index: With a glycemic index of 52, kiwifruit is a fat-free, low-carb fruit that’s safe for diabetics and a smart part of any weight-loss diet.
- Magnesium: Two kiwifruit deliver 30 mg of magnesium, which improves nerve and muscle function while boosting your energy level.
- Lutein: Kiwifruit contains the phytochemical lutein, which works to prevent age-related blindness and protect eyes from various kinds of damage.
- Folate: With nearly 10% of the recommended daily value of folate, kiwifruit is a good way to protect the health of mother and baby during pregnancy while helping prevent birth defects.
- Zinc: Men will appreciate kiwifruit’s zinc content, which helps produce testosterone, while everyone can enjoy its other benefits like healthy hair, skin, teeth and nails.
- Vitamin E: Kiwifruit is one just a handful of fat-free sources of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol and boost immunity.
My favorite way to eat kiwi is skinned, cut up and tossed into my morning fruit bowl. This morning’s bowl was a combo of kiwi, Honeycrisp apple, comice pear and a plum. I have also enjoyed kiwi in yogurt, a tossed salad and even with vanilla ice cream! Eating a bowl of fruit for breakfast ensures that I
meet exceed my daily fruit requirements.
If you have tried the kiwifruit, what is your favorite way to eat it?
***This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days.