Kiwifruit (often shortened to kiwi outside Australia and New Zealand), or Chinese gooseberry, is the edible berry of several species of woody vines in the genus Actinidia.
The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa ‘Hayward’) is oval, about the size of a large hen’s egg: 5-8 centimeter (2-3 inches) in length and 4.5 – 5.5 cm (1 3/4 – 2 1/4 in) in diameter.
It has a thin, hair-like, fibrous, sour-but-edible light brown skin and light green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds.
The fruit has a soft texture with a sweet and unique flavour. In 2017, China produced 50% of the world’s total of kiwifruit.
Kiwifruit is native to Central and eastern China. The first recorded description of the kiwifruit dates to the 12th century during the Song dynasty. In the early 20th century, cultivation of kiwifruit spread from China to New Zealand, where the first commercial plantings occurred.
The fruit became popular with British and American servicemen stationed in New Zealand during World War 11, and later became commonly exported, first to Great Britain and then to California in the 1960s.
Kiwis are small fruits that pack a lot of flavor and plenty of health benefits. Their green flesh is sweet and tangy.
It’s also full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and potassium.
They also have a lot of antioxidants and are a good source of fiber. Their small black seeds are edible, as is the fuzzy brown peel, though many prefer to peel the kiwi before eating it.
Thanks to different growing locations, kiwis can be in season year-round. They’re grown in California from November to May, and in New Zealand from June to October. Kiwi can also be found in supplements form.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF KIWIFRUIT
■ CAN HELP TREAT ASTHMA
It’s thought that the high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants that Kiwis contain can actually help treat people with asthma.
One study from 2000 found that there was a beneficial effect on the lung function among those who consumed fresh fruit regularly, including kiwis. Fresh fruit like kiwi may reduce wheezing in susceptible children.
■ AIDS DIGESTION
Kiwis have plenty of fiber, which is already good for digestion. They also contains a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin that can help break down proteins.
One study recently found, that kiwi extracts containing actinidin greatly enhanced the digestive of most proteins.
■ BOOSTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Kiwis are nutrient-dense and full of vitamin C. In fact, just 1 cup of kiwi provides about 273 percent of your daily recommended value. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient when it comes to boosting your immune system to ward off disease.
One study even found that kiwis may support immune function and reduce the likelihood of developing cold-or flu-like illnesses. This is especially true in at-risk groups like adults over the age of 65 and young children.
■ REDUCES RISK OF OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONS
Oxidative stress can result in damage of our DNA. This can lead to health problems. Partially thanks to its antioxidants, there is some evidence, from an older study that regular consumption of kiwi or kiwi extracts reduces the likelihood of oxidative stress.
Since oxidative DNA damage is strongly linked to colon cancer, regular kiwi consumption could lower your risk of colon cancer.
■ CAN HELP MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE
Not only can kiwi fruits provide an extra boost to our immune system, they can also help us to manage our blood pressure.
A 2014 study found evidence that the bioactive substances in three kiwis a day can lower blood pressure more than one apple a day.
Long term, this may also mean a lowered risk for conditions that can be caused by high blood pressure, like stroke or heart attacks.
■ REDUCES BLOOD CLOTTING
In addition to helping us manage our blood pressure, kiwis can actually reduce blood clotting.
A study from the university of Oslo found that eating two to three kiwis a d significantly lowered the risk of blood clotting. They were also found to reduce the amount of fat in the blood.
Researchers said that these effects were similar to those of a daily dose of aspirin to improve heart health.
PROTECTS AGAINST VISION LOSS
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, and kiwis might help protect your eyes from it.
One study found that by eating three servings of fruits a day, macular degeneration was decreased by 36 percent.
Kiwis high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein are thought to contribute to this effect.
Eating kiwi fruits is regarded as safe for most people. The main exception is for those who are allergic. Signs of a kiwi allergy include itchy throat, swollen tongue, trouble swallowing, vomiting and hives.
Your risk for allergy to kiwi increases if you’re also allergic to hazelnuts, avocados, latex, wheat, fish, or poppy seeds.
In rare cases, kiwis could slow blood clotting, increasing bleeding. This could increase the severity of bleeding disorder.
If you have a bleeding disorder or are about to have surgery, avoid eating kiwis.
FORMS AND DOSAGES
Kiwis can be eaten as they are or blended into a smoothie. It is best not to cook kiwi so it retains its vitamin C content.
It can also be taken as a supplement. Supplements can be in power, tablets, or capsule form, and are typically made from kiwi extract.
The dosage you take depends on factors like age, health status, and what you’re trying to treat. Eating one to three kiwis a day is enough for most people to get the boost of nutrients from the fruit.
A daily dose of some kiwi powders is about 5.5 grams. Follow the instructions on supplements you take, and ask your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen. They’ll be able to tell you how much is safe for you.
BEST LOW-SUGAR FRUITS
If you’re watching your sugar intake for dietary reasons or because of your diabetes, you can often be surprised by how much sugar is contained.