Kiwi

Kiwi: the most common ‘exotic’ grocery store staple you can think of, ideal for smoothies, popsicles or sliced on a plate in the evening glow. The fuzzy fruit is extremely refreshing.  But what’s it got for us?  What are the health attributes of the green flesh?

Lets explore the top 3 reasons why Kiwi should be a top treat for the muggy summertime season. 

 

Digestive Health

Healthy digestive systems rely on fiber consumption. Fiber is found in almost every fruit and vegetable. Kiwis contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber forms a gel in the digestive tract, slowing down digestion to help absorption and help to make bowel movements more consistent.  Insoluble fiber acts as a laxative, adding bulk to the diet, and helps the good bacteria to thrive in your gut.  One cup of sliced kiwis contains 5 grams of fiber, a significant portion for one fruit [i].  Thus, consuming kiwis helps to prevent constipation and other digestive problems.

 

Cancer Fighting

Antioxidants are essential for protecting the body against the harmful effects of external and internal carcinogens and every day physiological wear and tear.  Kiwi is an excellent source of Vitamin C, a dietary antioxidant. One cup of Kiwi contains 273% of the daily values of Vitamin C, which our body uses for wound healing and in protecting our DNA from damage caused by free radicals [ii]. One study showed that consuming kiwi helps decrease DNA oxidation and can help to defend against cancer. A kiwi a day, may in fact help to keep cancer away.

 

Heart Healthy

Potassium is good for the heart. The electrolyte lowers blood pressure, plays a role in muscle contraction, and helps maintain a healthy balance of fluids in the body [iv]. Did you know that Kiwis contain more potassium than bananas?  One cup of kiwis provides our body with 562 mg of this wonderful mineral (140 mg more than the same serving size of bananas).

Kiwi’s brown and fuzzy peel is full of green fruit speckled with black seeds, a lovely addition to a picnic or backyard gathering.  Try it frozen, or as a creamy ice cream treat.  And stay tuned for Savor Health’s wonderful recipe for Matcha Kiwi Ice Cream. 

 

References
[i] Keefe, S. (2015, December 01). Fiber in Kiwifruit. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/368052-fiber-in-kiwifruit/
[ii] Kiwi Fruit, (chinese Gooseberries), Fresh, Raw Nutrition Facts & Calories. Nutrition Data Know What You Eat. Conde Nest, 2014. 
[iii] Brevik, Asgeir et al. Supplementation of a Western Diet with Golden Kiwifruits (Actinidia Chinensis var.’Hort 16A’:) Effects on Biomarkers of Oxidation Damage and Antioxidant Protection. Nutrition Journal 10 (2011): 54. PMC.
[iv] Tremblay, MSc Sylvie. Nutritional Values of Kiwifruit. LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 01 Feb. 2014. 
Jessica Iannotta, MS, RD, CSO, CDN

Jessica is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). She studied nutrition at Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. She obtained her Master's degree through the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Jessica has worked in inpatient and outpatient oncology settings since 2001 in the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Jessica is in charge of all operations including clinical and culinary operations ranging from menu development to evidence-based website content, relationships with registered dietitians and social workers and developing processes and protocols for intake, management and outcomes analysis of patients.

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