Kiwis are those small; oval; fluffy fruits that became popular in New Zealand; but are now eaten all over the world. Inside the skin is a green flesh that is sweet and bubbly. But behind its delicious flavor is a wealth of nutrients; including vitamins C; K and E; folic acid and potassium. It’s also packed with fiber and antioxidants that can significantly improve your life.
Even if you’ve never eaten a whole kiwi; you’re probably familiar with its flavor; as it’s often used in combination with strawberries for juices and fruit toppings. Kiwi is also a frequent star in store-bought smoothies. But we encourage you to take kiwifruit home with you.
Because kiwifruit is now grown in many parts of the world; you can buy it year-round. From November through May; you’ll find kiwifruit from California; while from June through October; they’re likely to have been imported from New Zealand.
But regardless of where they come from; studies show that eating three kiwis a day can have significant health benefits. We were especially surprised by number 4. So go ahead; read all about what kiwifruit can do for your body and then go buy it.
Stronger immune system
In addition to their varied nutritional profile; kiwifruits contain many antioxidants; including vitamin C. Eating just one cup of kiwi far exceeds the recommended daily amount of vitamin C (but don’t worry; you can’t overdose). Studies have shown that a diet rich in vitamin C can improve immune system function and even help fight colds and flu.
Young children and those over 65 seem to especially benefit from the protective effect of kiwifruit.
Kiwis Better digestion
First of all; kiwifruit (like most fruits) is high in fiber. Fiber is important for giving stool enough bulk to pass easily. A diet rich in fiber reduces the frequency of constipation and allows for regular bowel movements. But that’s not the only way kiwifruit aids digestion. It also contains a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin.
This enzyme helps break down proteins in foods; allowing for more complete and efficient digestion.
Healthier blood pressure
Kiwifruits contain certain bioactive substances that have been shown to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that eating three kiwis a day can lower blood pressure more than the fabled “apple a day.”
The reason for this is probably the high lutein content; lutein is a powerful antioxidant. This is good news; because hypertension is often asymptomatic until it causes another health crisis; such as a heart attack or stroke.
Kiwis can help Decreased vision loss
One of the most common causes of vision loss is macular degeneration. Studies have shown that eating three kiwis a day can protect against this disease.
In this case; the lutein in kiwifruit is supported by a compound called zeaxanthin; which reduces the risk of macular degeneration by 36%. Kiwifruits are also said to protect against cataract formation.
Kiwis Protect against heart attacks
It is common for doctors to advise their patients to take a baby aspirin every day to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The idea is that aspirin thins the blood and reduces clots that can block arteries and veins. However; aspirin also carries the risk of clotting problems.
If you take aspirin every day; you should talk to your doctor about using kiwi instead. A study from the University of Oslo showed that eating 2 to 3 kiwifruit a day has an aspirin-like effect on the body by reducing blood clotting and decreasing the amount of fat in the blood.
Better overall health
Oxidative stress is the result of cellular disruption caused by free radicals and can damage our DNA. This leads to premature aging; as well as a number of health problems. Due in part to its antioxidants; regular consumption of kiwifruit or kiwifruit extracts; has been shown to prevent DNA damage caused by uncontrolled free radicals.
Experts know that oxidative DNA damage is strongly linked to colon cancer. Therefore; regular consumption of kiwifruits could reduce the risk of this deadly disease and keep you young.
Kiwifruits can be consumed daily by most people; unless they are allergic to them. Signs of a kiwi allergy can be as harmless as a scratchy throat; but can also include a swollen tongue; hives; difficulty swallowing and even vomiting. Some other allergies increase the risk of being sensitive to kiwifruit; such as avocado; wheat; poppy seeds; hazelnuts; figs or latex. If you are allergic to any of these products; ask your doctor to test you for kiwifruit allergy before adding it to your daily diet.
In rare cases; kiwifruit may also increase the severity of clotting disorders. It may slow blood clotting or increase bleeding. Therefore; you should avoid kiwi if you have a chronic clotting disorder or if you are going to undergo surgery in the near future.
Kiwifruit is a tasty fruit that can be eaten whole; blended in a smoothie; or run through a juicer. Its seeds are edible; as is its spongy skin; but most people prefer to peel kiwifruit before eating it. Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of eating three kiwis a day; but that’s 21 a week! Not everyone can stomach or even afford to eat that many kiwis; especially if they are flying in from New Zealand.
A good alternative is to take a powdered food supplement based on kiwi extract. Another healthy strategy to improve the variety of your diet while getting the benefits of kiwifruit is to add other lutein-rich foods such as broccoli; kale; carrots; peas; oranges; peaches; pistachios and eggs.