Flavor-packed kiwifruit provides countless nutritional benefits
June 26, 2012
In a produce rut? There’s no better time than summer to choose kiwifruit.
It’s no secret that, like virtually any other fruit, kiwifruit is a longstanding nutritional powerhouse. But a new nutritional study published in the journal Nutrition Today further verifies that in addition to its antioxidant benefits, kiwifruit has digestive benefits and can help renew your complexion.
According to the study, eating kiwifruit can lead to an improvement in gastrointestinal health, lowering of blood lipids, and alleviation of skin disorders. Kiwifruit is also a rich source of vitamin C as well as folate, potassium and dietary fiber. The fruit’s nutritional content and biologically active phytochemicals have led scientists to investigate its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that might then help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer and other degenerative disorders.
Previous studies have shown many other positive benefits in children and adults who consumed kiwifruit. Italian research indicated that children had less trouble with wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing in the night when they consumed five to seven servings of kiwi or citrus fruit a week. Those with asthma were shown to receive the most benefit from the kiwi, even when eaten no more often than twice a week. Another study showed that eating two to three servings of kiwifruit per day can reduce the potential for blood clots and decrease triglycerides. Finally, research has also shown that an increase in kiwi consumption allows you to protect and repair the body from DNA damage, which could protect against cancer.
So how should you choose kiwi at the supermarket? Look for pieces of fruit that are firm, plump and fragrant with no visible bruising or wrinkles. If you pick fruit that is not yet ripe, note that kiwis ripen quickly when placed in either a paper or plastic bag with a banana. Once they do ripen, however, store them away from other fruit or they will rot rather quickly. Ripe kiwifruit can last in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.
And don’t fear the skin; it’s 100 percent edible, as are the seeds. Most people peel kiwi fruits to avoid the skin’s rough texture. However, if you choose to eat the skin, the fiber and vitamin content will be higher.
For other unique ways to incorporate kiwi into your diet, try blending chopped pieces into a salsa, or using it as a meat tenderizer. Whatever way you consume it, you won’t regret adding kiwifruit!