Kiwifruit: Health benefits and nutritional information

Introduction:

Kiwi is scientifically known as Actinidia deliciosa. It is native to China and originated in the mountain ranges of Chang Kiang valley (Yang Tao) in northern China. Kiwi is also known by many other names such as Mihoutau, Macaque peach and very popular Chinese gooseberry. Kiwi fruit is small in size and has a brown peel. It contains edible flesh, which is green in colour and black seeds, which are also edible. Some seeds of the kiwifruit were introduced from China to New Zealand at the beginning of the 20th century. Since then, there has been a growth in its production in New Zealand, which currently hosts the best kiwifruit industry in the world. In India, this fruit is successfully grown in Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and the hills of Tripura.

How to Use Kiwi?

Kiwi can be used in the following ways:

  • It can be used to make desserts and salads.
  • It is used in the production of wine.
  • It is consumed as fresh, frozen and dried fruit. It can also be consumed as jams, juices, marmalades, nectar, jellies, etc.
  • Kiwi juice is used in some cultures as a meat tenderiser.
  • Kiwi contains many phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins that promote good health.
  • The peel of kiwi is used as an ingredient for making natural sleeping aids.

You should always consult your Ayurvedic physician before consuming kiwi for therapeutic uses.

Benefits of Kiwi:

1. Benefits of kiwi for heart

Kiwi is a rich source of potassium, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Fibre reduces high cholesterol levels, thus decreasing the risk of diseases of the heart. Potassium is an essential component of the cells that helps in regulating the heart rate. It has been found through many studies that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have the capacity to decrease the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. Folate, vitamin E, and magnesium present in the fruit also minimise the risk of heart disease.2

2. Benefits of kiwi for hair

Kiwi contains vitamins C and E that help in hair fall reduction. This fruit also contains magnesium, phosphorus and zinc that enhance blood circulation, hence improving hair growth. The seed oil of kiwi contains omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain the moisture of the hair. It also contains copper, which is very helpful in preventing premature greying of hair and also maintaining its natural colour. The iron present in the fruit promotes blood circulation in the scalp, thereby strengthening the hair from its roots and giving it proper nourishment.2

3. Benefits of kiwi for cancer

Kiwi contains antioxidants, vitamins, carotenoids and fibres, which show cancer healing and prevention properties. Dietary fibre in kiwi decreases the risk of colon cancer. It contains catechin that helps in the reduction of the toxicity caused by anti-cancer agents by stimulating the proliferation of bone marrow. Kiwi also contains lutein, which helps in the prevention of lung and prostate cancers.2

4. Benefits of kiwi for high blood pressure and diabetes

Kiwi has a high potassium content, which helps in minimizing the effects of sodium in the body, which otherwise can cause high blood pressure.2

Kiwi is rich in fibre, which controls the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and, thus, can be safely consumed by people having diabetes.2

5. Benefits of kiwi for skin

Kiwi is a very good source of vitamin C, which acts as an anti-oxidant and helps in preventing the damage caused by the sun, removes wrinkles, keeps the skin vibrant and young and improves the texture of the skin. Vitamin C is also responsible for collagen formation, which repairs the skin. It also helps the skin to recover from cuts and wounds. It also contains vitamin E, which makes the skin soft and moist and protects it from degeneration.

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