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Kiwi: Cardioprotective Fruit of "Insoluble Fiber”

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Kiwis are ovoid fruits with fuzzy skin and vary in their diverse looking types across the world. Read the article to know the benefits of this fruit.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Lakshi Arora

Published At November 6, 2023
Reviewed AtNovember 6, 2023

What Are Kiwi Fruits or Chinese Gooseberries?

Kiwis are hairy and dull-looking tiny, nutrient-dense fruits that pack in a lot of health benefits, both in the pale-looking fruit skin and in the inner bright green flesh. Also mostly referred to as the common kiwifruit or as the Chinese gooseberry, kiwis primarily originated in China before their cultivation spread to New Zealand and, subsequently to eventually, to Europe and the United States. There are several varieties of kiwi which are mainly native to China and Taiwan. Kiwi is grown commercially in California and New Zealand to a wide extent.

Some common varieties of kiwi fruits include the well-known Actinidia deliciosa variety, which is extremely popular throughout the globe. Other varieties include the following silver vine (A.polygama), purple kiwi (A.purpurea), golden kiwi (A.chinensis), red kiwi (A.melanandra), and many more. Out of these varying types, the golden kiwis are known as the " hairless" or skin-bearing Kiwis. This is because when one cuts sand and eats kiwi fruit, most people tend to eat the skin that can yield essential additional fiber. Golden kiwis also, in fact, contain more vitamin C than the more commonly available green kiwi fleshy variety.

What Are the Nutrition Facts About Kiwi?

The following nutrition information has been provided by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) for 2.6445 ounces, or 75 grams, per single fruit serving of kiwi:

  • Fat: 0.0141 ounces.

  • Sodium: 0.000134 ounces.

  • Potassium: 0.00522 ounces.

  • Carbohydrates: 0.356 ounces.

  • Fiber: 0.0738 ounces.

  • Sugar: 0.2369 ounces.

  • Protein: 0.0282 ounces.

  • Vitamin C: 0.00198 ounces.

  • Total Calories: 42 calories.

Kiwis are considered low to moderate glycemic index fruits with a value of 52. Kiwis are also very naturally low in fat, with almost a negligible content of o ounces of fat per serving of fruit. Kiwis do not also contain any saturated fats, which means one can easily include them in low-caloric fat diets. There is almost 1 gram, or 0.0282 ounces, of protein in a serving per kiwi fruit; however, this amount still needs to be a significant source of amino acids, so there is not much protein in this fruit. From the nutrition content enlisted above, one can see that if one consumes two kiwi fruits, one can likely gain around 230 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and around 70 percent of dietary vitamin K needs. Kiwis also provide good amounts of potassium, vitamin E, and folate vitamins.

What Are the Health Benefits of Kiwis?

Various health benefits of kiwis include:

  • According to nutrition studies, including kiwis alongside fortified breakfast cereals showed a possible increase in serum ferritin levels, which means they hold promising potential through the diet in preventing iron deficiency anemias. Though the fruits themselves are not rich iron sources, the vitamin C present in the fruit would aid better absorption of iron and also boost bodily immunity, preventing cellular damage as well.

  • Short-term or preliminary research studies have shown that eating kiwi fruits would help relieve the intensity of upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold, chest congestion, and sore throat.

  • Kiwi fruits have the most ideal combination of cardioprotective elements, low sodium content, and high potassium content that can aid in blood pressure reduction and also prevent the risk of cardiovascular events, according to recent nutrition research.

  • The dietary fiber present in these fruits can add bulk to stools and support healthy gut bacteria, making it ideal for promoting digestion.

How to Purchase and What Are the Storage Conditions of Kiwi?

Once kiwis are purchased ripe, one can store them easily in the refrigerator, where they may last for around 7 days. Placing them in a plastic bag inside the refrigerator is ideal for storing them so that they are protected from moisture contamination and the fruit content is not lost, as well as allowing the kiwis to last for almost a full 2 weeks.

Before one consumes them, always wash the kiwis thoroughly under running water before cutting them.

How Is It Best to Consume Kiwis?

Kiwis are of course completely edible; as mentioned earlier, one can eat not just the skin but also the seeds. If one is peeling out the kiwi fruits before consuming, one might just note the fact that they are losing out on some healthy "additional" or extra fiber. Most people may prefer peeling the fruit skin away, but they are equally edible and antioxidant-filled too, and it is best to consume both the seed and the skin to avail maximum nutrient benefit. These fruits are also best eaten either raw by hand, or they can be easily sliced and prepared or added to a flavorful fruit salad. The vibrant color of this fruit is what can brighten up the plates for an attractive garnish or topping, which is the reason culinary experts prefer it throughout the globe. One can add kiwi fruits to smoothies, sauces, and even mousses. The actinidin element in kiwi makes the fruit a natural meat tenderizer, meaning that it can be a useful ingredient in marinades/ marinating meat.

What Are the Possible Allergies or Adverse Effects of Kiwis?

Kiwis are good sources of vitamin K, so those individuals who are taking systemic medications or individuals on anticoagulant therapies should consult with their healthcare provider or nutritionist before including kiwis in their diets. Kiwi is also known as one of the most common fruits that can cause allergies in susceptible individuals, alongside peaches and apple fruits. Allergies to kiwi might be more common because sometimes individuals who may have associated allergies to pollen, latex, or other fruits would also suffer a kiwi allergy. Heart palpitations or anaphylaxis are some of the more serious kiwi allergies that have been reported in medical literature. If one or one's loved ones are suffering from a possible kiwi allergy, then immediately see an allergist or professional health care provider for allergy testing.

Conclusion

Because many people with allergies would possibly be allergic to kiwi fruit, one would need to consult a health care provider before including kiwi in the diet. For most individuals, this fruit is an excellent source of insoluble fiber throughout the diet promoting cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and respiratory health. It is a complete fruit package filled with fiber, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C.

Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop
Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop

Dentistry

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