The Kiwi

Kiwifruit is one of the most nutritionally dense fruits out there. Who knew?! These fuzzy fruits are also loaded with antioxidants, which may help prevent and repair DNA damage, potentially protecting the body against some cancers. Additionally, they are packed with fiber (one cup provides 21% of the RDA!), which has been associated with improved digestion and less constipation [i][ii].

Interesting Fact: One cup of kiwi (approx. 2 medium fruits) contains 273% of the RDA for vitamin C, which is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. By comparison, one cup or oranges contains only 160% (not too shabby but kiwis provide more bang for your nutrient density buck!) [iii]

Kiwis also contain tons of minerals – calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. In fact, one cup of kiwi provides more potassium than the same amount of bananas, with less sugar and fewer calories.

 

Eating Kiwi Fruit

While most of us typically eat kiwis by peeling them and eating the juicy green flesh inside, you can eat the skin. Just be sure to wash it carefully and give it a good rub to minimize the fuzz. Eating both the fruit and the skin together provides the most amount of fiber possible. The green fleshy part of a kiwi has soluble fiber, which absorbs water to form a gel in our body that slows digestion down, makes us feel fuller longer, and helps assist with removal of dietary cholesterol from the body. The seeds and skin, on the other hand, contain insoluble fiber which doesn’t absorb water, but adds bulk to the diet creating a laxative effect, thus, preventing constipation [iv][v].

Overall, kiwis are extremely versatile. You can puree them in a blender and add them to yogurt in the morning with some flax and chia seeds. They also make great dessert sauces and look amazing when you skewer them on kabobs.  You can even crush them by hand and rub them across meat to create an all natural meat tenderizer. (Kiwis contain enzymes that help aid in the break down protein).

A lot of times we bypass kiwifruit at the market because it seems exotic, but this is one of the most nutritionally dense fruits on the planet. Take the time to enjoy them, especially when they are in season in the US from October – May! [vi]

 

References
[i] Kiwifruit improves bowel function in patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. Chang, C.C., Lin, Y.T., Lu, Y.T., et al. School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010;19(4):451-7.
[ii] Effects of kiwi fruit consumption on platelet aggregation and plasma lipids in healthy human volunteers. Duttaroy, A.K., Jørgensen, A. Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Norway. Platelets, 2004 Aug;15(5):287-92.
[iii] Navel Oranges. Self Nutrition Data. Accessed at: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1968/2
[iv] Kiwi and it’s many health benefits. Superkids Nutrition. Accessed at: http://www.superkidsnutrition.com/superfoods/sf_kiwi/
[v] Gardner, A. Soluble and insoluble fiber: whats the difference? WebMD. Accessed at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/fiber-health-benefits-11/insoluble-soluble-fiber
[vi] Availability of kiwi fruit. California Kiwi Fruit. Accessed at:  http://www.kiwifruit.org/about/availability.aspx
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