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Nutritional Benefits of Kiwi

Kiwifruit, commonly known as kiwi outside of New Zealand and Australia, or referred to as the Chinese gooseberry or yangato, is a small fruit with significant nutritional benefits. It earned its name from New Zealand fruit exporters, who named it after the flightless kiwi bird based on similarities in appearance. Originally from the hillsides of southwest China, kiwi has become a popular fruit cultivated in many parts of the world including New Zealand, which is now one of the largest producers of kiwi.

There are several kiwi species, but the two most commonly consumed are known under the scientific names Actinidia deliciosa and Actinidia chinensis. The Actinidia deliciosa species is the typical green kiwi often seen in stores. Known for its vibrant green flesh and tiny black seeds, this small, fuzzy fruit is not just visually appealing but also a powerhouse of essential nutrients. From boosting your immune system to improving digestion and heart health, kiwi proves that great things often come in small packages. This article will guide you through the remarkable nutritional benefits of this vibrant fruit and inspire you with delicious ways to incorporate kiwi into your daily meals.

NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF KIWI

Now let’s explore the nutritional wonderland of kiwis, where each bite of this tiny but powerful fruit provides a wealth of vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants along with high content of vitamin C.

Macronutrients:

Macronutrients are the elements that make up the majority of meals and are needed by the body in excess. These are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Carbohydrates: A medium-sized kiwi fruit has approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates, providing a delicious energy boost. They are mainly found in natural sugars like fructose and glucose, which make them ideal for a tasty and speedy energy boost.

Proteins: Approximately 0.8 grams of protein is found in each kiwifruit, which is surprising given their small size. This adds flavor to your snack variety and supports general body upkeep and muscle recovery.

Fats: With less than half a gram of fat per fruit, kiwis are very lean fruits. Its guilt-free nature allows you to enjoy its juicy sweetness without worrying about burdening yourself.

NUTRIENTAMOUNT IN 1 KIWI (69G)
Calories4.2
Carbohydrate (g)10.1
Fiber (g)2.1
Calcuim (g)23.5
Magnesium (mg)11.7
Phosphorous (mg)23.5
Potassium (mg)215
Copper (mcg)90
Vitamin C (mg)64
Vitamin E (mg)1.0
Vitamin K (mcg)27.8
Folate (mcg)17.2
Beta Carotene (mcg)35.9
Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg)84.2
Protein (g)0.4
Fat (g)0.8

Macronutrients:

Micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals, are essential for health in small quantitates, and support vital functions like immune response and bone strength.

Rich in vitamin C for immunity, vitamin K for bones, vitamin E for skin, and potassium for heart health, kiwis are a nutritional powerhouse. With every tart mouthful, this colorful fruit boosts general well-being with an abundance of nutrients. 

Now let us delve deeper into the discussion of these micronutrients.

Vitamin C: Famous for its high levels of vitamin C one serving of kiwi delivers more than the majority of adults’ recommended daily consumption. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that boosts immunity, promotes skin health by aiding collagen production, enhances iron absorption, supports heart health, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K aids in the creation of several proteins required for clotting, hence reducing the amount of blood lost from injuries. Furthermore, vitamin K promotes bone health by assisting in the control of calcium, a mineral necessary for strong and dense bones.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E acts as a potent antioxidant and plays a role in protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. By widening blood arteries, vitamin E reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Potassium: Kiwi is a good source of potassium, providing about 215 milligrams per 69 grams. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions.

Folate: Kiwi contains folate, providing about 17.2 micrograms per 69 grams. Folate is important for cell division and DNA synthesis, making it particularly crucial during periods of rapid growth and development, such as pregnancy.

ROLE IN HUMAN NUTRITION:

Owing to the nutrient-rich profile of kiwis, they are responsible for providing numerous health benefits to the body. Some of them are discussed ahead:

IMPROVES DIGESTIVE HEALTH:

Kiwi contains both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Some soluble fibers function as prebiotics and feed the good bacteria in the stomach. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for optimal digestion and overall well-being. Dietary fiber encourages regular bowel movements by either adding bulk to the stool to relieve constipation or absorbing excess water from the stool to avoid diarrhea.

ANTIOXIDANT BENEFITS:

Packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, kiwi acts as a powerful antioxidant. It helps in the body’s defense against dangerous free radicals, which can lead to oxidative stress and cell damage. Antioxidant-rich foods, like kiwis, can help prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease and improve general health and well-being. It also protects the skin from oxidative damage and promotes a healthy complexion.

FACILITATE HEALTHY WEIGHT AND NUTRITIOUS DIET:

Kiwi fruit is a healthy choice for anyone trying to control their calorie consumption because of its comparatively low-calorie content.

A medium-sized kiwi (around 100 grams) has roughly 61 calories on average. Kiwi is a fantastic option for providing critical nutrients and satisfying hunger without considerably boosting total calorie intake.

Additionally, the amount of dietary fiber in kiwi helps maintain a healthy diet and supports weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer periods. This can help control appetite and reduce overall calorie intake.

Kiwi contains a sustainable amount of complex carbohydrates which is really beneficial for weight loss because they are typically rich in fiber, which adds bulk to meals and promotes feelings of fullness and satiety. Unlike simple carbohydrates, which are quickly digested and absorbed, complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly. This gradual digestion results in a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, providing sustained energy levels and reducing cravings for sugary snacks.

HEALTHY SKIN:

Kiwis are abundant in vitamin C, which stimulates the creation of collagen for firmness and elasticity which helps promote healthy skin. Collagen improves skin health by giving structural support, enhancing moisture, decreasing wrinkles, assisting in skin restoration, and providing protection from UV rays.

CONTROLS DIABETES:

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that measures how quickly carbohydrate-containing foods raise blood sugar levels.

Kiwis have a low glycemic index so; it does not lead to an immediate rise in blood glucose levels. Hence, this fuzzy delight may be a good choice for diabetes.

A HEART-HEALTHY SUPERFOOD:

Kiwi fruit is a great complement to any diet that promotes heart health because it has several heart-healthy advantages. Kiwi’s high potassium content lowers the risk of hypertension, a key risk factor for heart disease, by helping to maintain appropriate blood pressure levels. Additionally, kiwi’s high fiber content supports heart health by promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

SIDE EFFECTS:

While kiwi is a nutritious fruit with many health benefits, there are some potential risks associated with consuming it, particularly for certain individuals. These risks may include having allergic reactions but they’re not as common. Symptoms can range from mild oral itching to severe reactions like difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis. If you suspect a kiwi allergy, it’s best to avoid kiwi and consult a healthcare professional.

INCORPORATING KIWI INTO YOUR DIET

When It’s Ideal?

While most shops carry kiwis year-round, November through May is their prime season. When kiwis are ripe, they look plump, feel soft when pressed, and smell delicious. You can buy firm, unripe kiwis and ripen them at home for a few days at room temperature. Steer clear of overripe kiwis with bruises, soft areas, or creases.

It has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the globe so adding it to your diet can be a delightful experience.

 Here are some ways to enjoy this versatile fruit:

  • Fresh and Raw: Eat it on its own as a refreshing snack by peeling and slicing it. Simply slice it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon for a convenient and satisfying treat.
  • Salads: Slice some kiwi to add a burst of color, sweetness, and tanginess to salads. Leafy greens, berries, almonds, and a mild vinaigrette dressing go nicely with kiwis.
  • Smoothies: Add kiwi to smoothies to give them a taste of the tropics. For a tasty and nutritious drink, mix kiwi with other fruits like bananas, pineapples, or mangos along with leafy greens, yogurt, and your preferred liquid.
  • Desserts: Yogurt, ice cream, pudding, and kiwis make great toppings for desserts. Its vivid color and tangy taste provide a welcome contrast to sugary desserts.
  • Baking: For a novel twist, add kiwis to baked products such as muffins, cakes, or tarts. Kiwi may be pureed or chopped to add flavor and moisture to baked meals, making them a delicious dessert or snack alternative.
  • Mocktails & cocktails: Muddle kiwis into drinks to provide a touch of the tropics, or use them as a garnish. In refreshing drinks, kiwis go well with flavors like lime, mint, ginger, and coconut.

These inventive methods to include kiwi in your diet will allow you to take advantage of its high levels of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants as well as its delightful flavor. Try a variety of dishes and discover fresh approaches to cooking with kiwis to create a colorful and nourishing supper.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, kiwis are a diverse, nutrient-dense fruit with many health advantages. Kiwi boosts the immune function, aids in digestion, and contributes to glowing skin because of its high vitamin C content, fiber-rich diet, and antioxidant qualities. Kiwi brings taste and nourishment to any diet, whether it is eaten raw, pureed into smoothies, or mixed into salads and sweets. You can enjoy the delightful flavor of this vivid fruit along with its many health advantages when you incorporate it into your daily routine. Make kiwis an integral part of your diet to reap the benefits for your general health and well-being.

References:

Cervoni, B. (2020, October 30). Kiwi Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/kiwifruit-nutrition-facts-calories-and-health-benefits-4113823

Hatanaka, M. (2019, December 5). Kiwifruit: Health benefits and nutritional information. MedicalNewsToday. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271232

Kiwi: Benefits, Nutrition, and Facts. (2023, December 11). Health. https://www.health.com/kiwi-benefits-8404555

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