Kiwi, though traditionally a Chinese fruit is an exotic, tropical item that has successfully been grown in various countries around the world today. The most recognizable variety by sight is the Green Hayward Kiwi, which would be the fuzzy brown fruit with light green fleshy interior, a soft texture and a uniquely tangy cum sweet flavor that makes the salivary glands of your mouth move to fast track mode. This fruit is admired by many for its exotic looks as well as taste. The heavily loaded fruit though small in size is packed with vitamins, nutrients and many other compounds extremely essential for the human body. It is available in India almost throughout the year. All you have to do is check the shelves of the nearest established supermarket brand. The Indian Kiwis grown in the cooler regions of the country hit the markets by October and are here to stay till December, and for the rest of the year it is imported from New Zealand, Australia and China.
Due to its high beneficial value and as an easily available supplement to one’s daily diet, here are the top 15 health benefits of Kiwi fruit.
15. Naturally Organic Fruit
Kiwi is one of the fruits that has low pesticide residues. It is a huge advantage over the highly toxic pesticide content, which usually comes as a package with the rest of the fruits and vegetables we consume on a daily basis. This itself is a preventive approach for various prominent health disorders. Organic foods are opted today by many as a healthy lifestyle choice. It is always a possibility that these foods may be unavailable at your location or not suitable to your constitution. In such cases fruits like Kiwi step in as nature’s backup so that there is no hindrance whatsoever to your diet.
14. Alkaline Balance
Kiwi is categorized as a ‘most alkaline’ fruit. This means it is loaded with minerals that can balance the acidic content in our food intake. Alkaline content is very necessary to maintain a healthy system, so as to counteract the highly acidic nature of the food consumed by us on a regular basis. Increased alkaline content helps to neutralize our system and in the process presents us with great looking skin, increased physical energy, immunity and reduced risks of loss in bone mineral density (osteoporosis) and arthritis.
13. Potassium and Magnesium Boost
Kiwi fruit also happens to have high amounts of magnesium and potassium. Increased amounts of Magnesium in the body results in smooth functioning of the muscle and nervous system. High levels of Potassium in the body regulates blood sugar levels. This happens because the Potassium present in Kiwi maintains electrolyte balance by counteracting the effects of Sodium. An increase in potassium levels also helps to control blood pressure, prevention of muscle mass degeneration and decreased chances of kidney stones, osteoporosis and arthritis.
12. Removal of toxins
The fibers present in the fruit bind to the toxins present in our digestive tract and help to clear them away. This provides us with a healthier and more efficiently functioning system.
11. Healthy Skin
As Kiwi is rich in Vitamin E and other antioxidants, it discourages oxidation and degeneration of the skin cells. Daily intake of Kiwi ensures one of healthy and glowing skin.
10. Weight Maintenance
Kiwi’s low glycemic index and high fiber content assures that its consumption will not lead to insulin rush as in the case of other fruits. Thereby the body does not end up storing fat, helping one to maintain carbs for effective weight loss (it tastes better than brown bread too…)
9. Serotonin Content
Kiwi has high serotonin content. Serotonin is a hormone that aids in cardiovascular and digestive functions. It accelerates learning, ups memory retaining power and improves and maintains sleep. Serotonin also helps in appetite management. It also makes one alert in the morning. Well, one more reason to not forget your morning dose of Kiwi!
8. Improved Immunity
Kiwi is abundantly high in Vitamin C content and other antioxidants that help to generate immunity against numerous diseases. Kiwi helps to keep at bay various common place diseases like kidney stones, colds, heart attacks and strokes. Regular consumption of Kiwi has been proved to reduce the severity of many conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Having a Kiwi everyday is way better than taking all those antibiotics prescribed by that grumpy doctor!
7. Diabetic Check
Kiwi has a low glycemic index of 52/glycemic load of 4. As mentioned earlier, intake of Kiwi fruit doesn’t lead to an insulin rush, making it a safe dietary supplement for diabetic patients. The high fiber content also flushes out toxins and helps to keep blood sugar levels under control.
6. Healthy Digestive System
Kiwis boosts digestion in many a ways. Its digestive enzymes breakdown protein and aids easy assimilation into the bloodstream. Actinidain enzyme present in Kiwi helps to dissolve proteins and digest them in the process. Its high fiber content removes toxins from the intestinal tract and also prevents or reduces chances of constipation and other intestinal issues and improves colon health. So intake of Kiwi with your regular meals ensures pretty quick digestion.
5. Vitamin Supplements
Kiwi is extremely rich in Vitamin C. It has an equivalent of twice the Vitamin C present in an Orange, which is 230 percent the recommended daily dose of Vitamin C. This provides a huge boost to the immunity system. It speeds up wound healing and iron absorption in the body required for healthier bones, teeth and blood vessels. The high Vitamin C content also helps to fight stress and ageing thus providing one with a youthful countenance. Vitamin C is the main water soluble antioxidant in the body and neutralizes the free radicals in the body that would otherwise lead to degeneration of cells, inflammation and cancer. Research has shown that regular consumption of vitamin C rich foods help to prevent atherosclerosis, colon cancer and diabetic heart disease. Kiwi is also equally rich in Vitamin E. It has twice the amount of Vitamin E as in a banana and helps to improve skin texture (everybody loves having healthy skin..), hair growth and prevent general degeneration. The fruit has an unique fat-free form of Vitamin E that is a very potent anti-oxidant and helps reduce cholesterol and increase immunity.
4. Cardio-vascular Health
The Vitamins present in Kiwi reduces risks of blood clotting and strokes. Daily prescription of a few kiwis has shown 18% reduction in blood clotting and 15% in triglycerides (fats). It has no side effects unlike Aspirin taken for blood dilution which sometimes leads to inflammation and intestinal bleeding. The adequate Potassium content in Kiwi negates the effects of increased Sodium content present in the body that is responsible for high blood pressures. The high fiber content helps in decreasing cholesterol levels in the blood, reduces risk of death from strokes and other cardio-vascular diseases.
3. Strong Respiratory System
As Kiwi is royally rich in Vitamin C, its consumption has shown to decrease the rates of respiratory problems in people. Kiwi helps to boost the immunity and prevent from the common respiratory problems like wheezing that accompanies asthma. Research has proved that Kiwi as a primary component of daily diet can help decrease instances of night time coughing, severe wheezing and shortness of breath.
2. Prevents Macular Degeneration
While improving eye sight in children is very necessary, it is even more important to preserve eye sight with the progression of age. Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is the main cause of vision loss in adults. Studies conducted on a large number of people has revealed that fruit intake is an effective protection against this vision-impairing disease. Kiwi intake leads to decrease in macular degeneration as it contains high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin which are natural chemicals found in the human eye. Servings of Kiwi thrice a day can decrease Macular degeneration by about 36%. Don’t go blind with Kiwi in sight!
1. Prevention of DNA Damage
The strong anti-oxidant properties of Kiwi protects the DNA in the nucleus of human cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. The various phyto-nutrients like flavonoids and carotenoids present in Kiwi may be responsible for its protective anti-oxidation properties. According to some experts this property of Kiwi could help prevent cancer.