Kiwi is a very nutritious fruit. Often found in desserts and fruit bowls as green slices with their little black seeds, they are a sight to behold. It also has a refreshing flavor, making it a popular fruit choice.
The kiwi originates from China, where it was known as “yang tao” and used majorly for its medicinal purposes. However, it is now known as the national fruit of New Zealand. The kiwifruit reached New Zealand when missionaries brought them from China.
It became so popular that it was cultivated commercially and nicknamed “the Chinese gooseberry.” It was eventually marketed as kiwi because it resembled the kiwi bird (the national bird of New Zealand).
Since then, the popularity of the fruit has reached Europe and America, where it is used in cereals, desserts, and so on. There are many health benefits of kiwi, and if you are thinking of adding it to your diet, here are some of the kiwi fruit benefits:
Nutritional Profile of Kiwi Fruits
Besides the fact that kiwi is very high in vitamin C, it also has an impressive nutritional profile. It is a low-calorie fruit (64 calories per 100g) but is packed with many nutrients essential for the body.
Below is the breakdown of the nutrition profile of a 100-gram serving of raw kiwi fruit:
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Dietary Fiber: 3 grams
Fat: 0.44 grams
Sugar: 9 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 3 milligrams
Vitamin C: 83% of the Daily Value
Vitamin E: 9% of the Daily Value
Vitamin K: 34% of the Daily Value
Folate: 7% of the Daily Value
Copper: 15% of the Daily Value
Potassium: 4% of the Daily Value
Magnesium: 4% of the Daily Value
- Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping protect the cells from oxidative damage. It also supports the immune system and is essential for the growth and repair of body tissues.
- Vitamin K controls metabolism, blood clotting, and blood calcium levels.
- Copper works together with iron in the blood to form red blood cells. Taking the recommended amount of copper gives strong bones, healthy nerves, proper functioning of the immune system, and increased iron absorption.
Benefits of Kiwi Fruits
- High Source of Vitamin C
Kiwi contains nearly twice as much vitamin C as lemons and oranges. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that prevents the occurrence of inflammation and cancer, as well as boosts the body’s immunity.
- Treatment of Sleep Disorders
Several studies have proven that kiwi contains compounds like antioxidants and serotonin, which can help treat sleep disorders—taking two kiwi fruits an hour before bedtime ensures a good night’s rest.
- Excellent Source of Fiber
Kiwi is a fiber-rich fruit. Foods with high fiber content help to prevent several diseases. They also keep one energized for long periods and regulate blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Kiwi is also advised for diabetics and helps with weight loss.
- Healthy Skin
The kiwifruit contains a lot of Vitamin C and E, antioxidants that prevent skin aging. You can also rub fruit slices directly on your skin for excellent results.
- Aids Digestion
The fruit contains an enzyme, actinidain, which helps in digesting protein. Kiwi is recommended for those with irritable bowel syndrome.
How to Eat the Kiwi Fruit
Although many people eat kiwis raw, there are several other ways in which you can add them to your diet. While most species should be peeled before being eaten, there are some varieties whose peel can be eaten.
The kiwifruit is commonly consumed in the following ways:
- Added to fruit salads.
- Blended into smoothies and protein shakes.
- Used to make a fruit cocktail with spinach, pear, and apple.
- Frozen for desserts or snacks on hot summer afternoons.
Kiwifruits are small yet sweet and very nutritious. Apart from containing essential vitamins and minerals for the body, they are also good for the heart and digestive system. They can be easily consumed either raw or added to your favorite dishes.