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Health Food of the month - Kiwi Fruit

May 2017

That fabulous superfood kiwi fruit

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Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

Kiwi fruits were not in average high street shops when we were kids and when they did slowly begin to reach UK mainstream, many thought they came from New Zealand.

In a way they did, but in fact these small furry little green fruits are native to north eastern and central China. It was only when a tourist brought some seeds back from a visit in the early 1900s that the fruit started to grow in New Zealand.

They still had to wait until the Second World War when American servicemen stationed in New Zealand liked the fruit and exported it to California that the fruit began to be known.

Even then it didn’t spread very fast and despite its hardiness, only started being grown in Europe, in Italy, in the 1970s and finally British grown kiwi fruits were harvested just a few years ago.

Now most good shops will stock these little green fruit that are hugely popular not just for their lovely mixed sweet and sour flavour, but also because they are recognised as one of the most nutritious fruits you can buy.

For a start, kiwi fruit are packed full of vitamin C and contain around five times the levels found in an orange….just one cup filled with kiwi fruit will provide nearly 300% of your daily recommended intake.
But that is just the start. Kiwi fruit actually contain around 20 vital nutrients and is also a powerhouse for vitamin K. Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, and also is thought to play a role in keeping bones healthy.

Then there is vitamin E and B…both in good quantities in kiwi fruit. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant, helping to reduce the damage from free radicals, those horrible molecules that can break down healthy cells and lead to heart disease and cancer. Vitamin E can also help to benefit the skin (many of us may have seen face creams with vitamin E). It helps by strengthening the capillary walls and improving both elasticity and moisture too…all good things to help us keep healthy and looking as good as we can.

The B vitamins are of course vital for our health, and you can really help here by eating kiwi fruit….it contains an excellent range from the B group… vitamin B1 (thiamine); B2 (riboflavin); B3 (niacin); B5 (pantothenic acid); B6 and B9 (folate).

Copper, potassium, manganese, Iron – the list of good things in kiwi fruit just goes on. One aspect that could be of particular interest for our age group is that kiwi fruit contains lutein zeaxanthin and zinc, which can be especially useful to help protect our vision.

Oh and of course it is a good source of fibre too.

Researchers have been looking at kiwi fruit for some time now to find out how it packs so much goodness and one thing they have found is that kiwi contains a proteolytic enzyme called antinidin. Evidently this can help break down protein and greatly enhance the digestion of most proteins which could be useful.

Best of all of course is that this fabulous fruit tastes great and is so easy to eat; simply peal it and eat, no annoying pips to fiddle with or inedible pulp inside.

There are two small down sides to kiwi fruit however that need to be considered. One is that it can slow blood clotting so eating kiwi fruit is not a good idea if you have bleeding disorders. The other is that some people can be allergic to kiwi fruit; it seems to affect the same people who are allergic to hazelnuts, avocados, wheat and fig.

So that is something to be aware of; but generally the fact that kiwi fruits have been described as a super food is totally justified.

There is a summary of some of the benefits of kiwi fruit including some more not mentioned at thehealthsite.



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