The kiwi fruit, also known as the Chinese Gooseberry, originally came to New Zealand via missionaries from China in the early 20th century. However, the small and unique fruits didn’t make it to the United States until 1961, when a produce distributor took note of the kiwi’s fuzzy brown skin and bright green flesh and recognized the potential demand for a new exotic fruit. Today, the kiwi fruit soars in both popularity and recognition, and it is grown commercially in a number of countries including the United States, Chile, France, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
Nutritional Kiwi Fruit Facts
While sliced kiwi fruit makes a colorful and tasty addition to any fruit platter or salad, the kiwis provide much more than an attractive color contrast to any dish. They may be small, but kiwi fruit are loaded with important nutrients. For example, consider the following nutritional kiwi fruit facts:
• Excellent source of Vitamin C (more than that found in oranges)
• Excellent source of vitamin K
• Excellent source of polyphenols – plant nutrients with powerful antioxidant properties
• Good source of magnesium
• Good source of copper
• Good source of potassium
• Good source of Vitamin E
• Source of calcium
• Alkaline forming
Health Benefits from Kiwis
While eating fruit is part of a healthy diet kiwi fruit is particularly noted for its potential ability to aid digestion. Eating two to three kiwis a day can significantly lower blood clot risk and reduce blood lipids, according to a report just published by the University of Oslo.
Best of all, kiwis taste a lot better than that daily dose of aspirin. While aspirin is frequently recommended as a means of protecting against cardiovascular disease, it belongs to a class of drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID) that can aggravate gastrointestinal ulcers and have other side effects. One hundred thousand people are hospitalized and as many as 20,000 die annually as a result of NSAID-related complications.
No known ER admissions due to kiwi overdose, nor kiwi-related casualties as of publication time.
Lead researcher, Professor Asim Duttaroy, refrained from telling folks to take two kiwis and call him in the morning, but he did say: “The results of our study are quite promising and are an indication that kiwifruit is an excellent choice for people trying to improve heart health through diet.
“Just how kiwis keep clots at bay remains a mystery — though Dr. Duttaroy said the mechanism appears to be quite different than the way aspirin works. It’s possible that the incredible nutrient density, including high antioxidant content, of kiwis could be behind the benefit. Indeed, in one study, kiwis were found to contain more vitamins and minerals than 27 other commonly consumed fruits.
With over twice the RDI of vitamin C two medium kiwis (148 g) serve as an excellent source of vitamin K and provide a good source of fiber and potassium. Kiwis also contain the enzyme actinidin, making pureed kiwi an excellent ingredient in fruity marinades.
To summarize these benefits;
• Reduce blood clot risk
• Help regulate cholesterol
• Improve lung function and breathing
• Help manage blood pressure
Most people prefer to peel kiwi fruit before eating them. However, the skin is edible if you can get past the fuzzy texture. Many people agree that kiwis are delicious, but not everyone agrees about what they taste like. Some people think the juicy green flesh tastes similar to strawberries, while others compare them to melons or grapes. In some cases, people have compared them to bananas, but that comparison may have more to do with the tiny black seeds that ring the center of the fruit. Truthfully, kiwi has a unique sweet flavor all its own.
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