Amazing and yet strange looking Kiwifruits doesn’t seem to get many pickoffs from the shelf at Shoprite and most other local grocery stores. It’s no wonder why because it looks quite strange having a hairy outer covering like a yam tuber and when cut open it looks like the green version of something in between an avocado, a watermelon and an orange all in one.
The kiwifruit is a small fruit approximately 3 inches long and weighing about four ounces. Its green flesh is almost creamy in consistency with an invigorating taste reminiscent of strawberries, melons and bananas, yet with its own unique sweet flavour.
Health Benefits of Kiwifruit
1. Helps Your Digestions with Enzymes
Raw kiwifruit contains actinidain, a protein-dissolving enzyme that can help digest a meal much like the papain in papaya or bromelain in pineapple.
2. Helps Manage Blood Pressure
Kiwi’s high level of potassium helps keep our electrolytes in balance by counteracting the effects of sodium.
3. Protects from DNA Damage
A study by Collins, Horska and Hotten showed that the unique combination of antioxidants in Kiwifruit helps protect the cell DNA from oxidative damage. Some experts conclude this can help prevent cancer.
4. Boosts Your Immunity
Kiwi’s high vitamin C content along with other antioxidant compounds has been proven to boost the immune system.
5. Smart Carbohydrates for Weight Loss
The Kiwi’s low glycemic index and high fibre content cause it not to create a strong insulin rush like other fruit with high sugar contents — so the body will not respond by storing fat. See diet plans to manage weight loss.
6. Improves Digestive Health
Kiwis are a great source of fibre. This prevents constipation and other intestinal problems.
7. Helps Clean Out Toxins
The fuzzy fibre of Kiwifruit helps bind and move toxins from your intestinal tract.
8. Helps Fight Heart Disease
Eating 2-3 kiwis a day has been shown to reduce the potential of blood clotting by 18% and reduce triglycerides by 15%. Many individuals take aspirin to reduce blood clotting, but this causes many side effects including inflammation and intestinal bleeding. Kiwifruit has the same anti-clotting benefits with no side effects, just additional health benefits!
9. Suitable For Diabetics
Kiwi is in the ‘low’ category for glycemic index, meaning it does not raise your blood sugar quickly. It has a glycemic load of 4 which means it is safe for diabetics. See natural ways to manage diabetes.
10. Protects Against Macular Degeneration and Other Eye Problems
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. A study on over 110,000 men and women showed that eating 3 or more serving of fruit per day decreased macular degeneration by 36%. This is thought to be associated with the kiwi’s high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin — both of which are natural chemicals found in the human eye. Although both fruits and vegetables were studied, this same effect was not shown for vegetables.
11. Create Alkaline Balance
Kiwi is in the ‘most alkaline’ category for fruits, meaning it has a rich supply of minerals to replace the excess of acidic foods most individuals consume. A few of the benefits of a properly acid/alkaline balanced body are youthful skin, deeper sleep, abundant physical energy, fewer colds, less arthritis, and reduced osteoporosis.
12. Great for the Skin
Kiwis are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant known to protect skin from degeneration.
13. Exotic Taste and Look for Food Variety
Kiwis look and taste great. Kids often love them because they are so different from most fruits.
For nutritional balance, it is always good to eat a variety of foods. Each food has its own unique qualities and powers. The trouble with most people’s diet is that we eat such a limited number of foods. It increases our chances of not getting enough important nutrients.
14. Naturally Organic
Kiwi fruit is on the list of foods that are generally safe from a lot of pesticide residues. For 2012 it came in with the top 10 safest foods. While it is always good to support organic when you can as a matter of principle, it’s also good to know whether there is a big danger if organic is not available or viable for you.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking Kiwifruit
Preparing a Kiwifruit
Kiwifruits are so delicious that they can be eaten as is. They can be peeled with a paring knife and then sliced or you can cut them in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. You can also enjoy the skins which are very thin like a Bosc pear and are full of nutrients and fibre; the peachlike fuzz can be rubbed off before eating.
Kiwifruits should not be eaten too long after cutting since they contain enzymes (actinic and bromic acids) that act as a food tenderizer, with the ability to further tenderize the kiwifruit itself and make it overly soft. Consequently, if you are adding kiwifruit to fruit salad, you should do so at the last minute so as to prevent the other fruits from becoming too soggy.
While sliced kiwi fruit may soften other fruits when combined in fruit salad, a study published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that minimal processing of kiwi and other fruits—cutting, packaging and chilling—does not significantly affect their nutritional content even after 6, and up to 9, days.
Researchers cut up kiwi fruit, pineapples, mangoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, and strawberries. The freshly cut fruits were then rinsed in water, dried, packaged in clamshells (not gastight) and stored at 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Enjoy the Kiwifruit
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
- Kiwifruit is so delicious, it can be eaten as is. One of our favourite ways to do so is to peel with a paring knife and slice.
- Add kiwifruit to tossed green salads.
- Serve sliced kiwifruit and strawberries, fruits whose flavours are naturally complementary, topped with yoghurt.
- Mix sliced kiwifruit, orange and pineapple together and that can be served as an accompaniment to chicken or fish.
- Blend kiwifruit, spinach with ice cubes in a food processor to make a chilled smoothie. For a creamier consistency, blend yoghurt in with the fruit mixture. Kiwifruit has a wonderful flavour and appearance for use in fruit tarts or as a smoothie as seen above.