That kiwis are delicious can be deduced from their scientific name, Actinidia deliciosa , in itself. But the benefit to your taste buds is the least important among the many benefits that kiwis offer to almost every part of your body. Kiwis help the heart by keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar under control and preventing blood clots. These prevent macular degeneration in the eye, can strengthen your bones and even prevent damage to DNA. And with a high content of vitamin C , they are a potent boost of immunity. Before listing the benefits of kiwi, take a look at the nutrition you get from just 100 g of the fruit.
Kiwi Nutrition: Green Gold Versus:
Kiwis, also known as Chinese currants, are rich in vitamin C and are a good source of nutrients such as folate, potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber. In addition to being the highlight of the colorful fruit salads, they also contain phytonutrients such as quercetin, lutein and actinidine and vitamins such as A, E and K. There are mainly 2 varieties of kiwis: green ( Actinidia deliciosa ) and golden ( Actinidia chinensis ), which is the most recent crop. Nutrient levels vary depending on the type. While the golden type has more vitamins (except A and K), green has less sugar and more fiber and lutein. Only 100 g of green kiwi contain 61 Lime, 83% of water and 9 g of sugar, while the same amount of golden kiwi contains 63 Lime, 82% of water and 12 g of sugar. Here is a list of the main nutrients that kiwis offer.
1. Keeps Your Heart Healthy:
You will know that excessive blood clotting is a potential risk to your heart. Blood clots can clog arteries and cause strokes. Kiwis are an excellent anticoagulant. In a 28-day study in healthy volunteers, I conclude that taking 2 to 3 kiwis daily could reduce the risk of blood clotting by 18%. At the same time, it could reduce triglyceride levels by 15% without affecting the cholesterol profile. Isn’t a kiwi a day a better option than aspirins to prevent blood clotting? Many studies show that vitamin C deficiency is related to the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Because kiwis are high in vitamin C, offering more than 3 times the amount required in a day, including only 1 in your daily diet, can keep your heart healthy. In addition, the high fiber content of kiwi can offer many benefits to your heart such as lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
2. Prevents Damage to DNA:
Certain foods you eat the air you breathe and the products you use can release toxins in your body and generate reactive molecules called free radicals. Sometimes, these free radicals can wreak havoc, damaging the walls of your cells, and even your DNA, and overloading your natural immune system. Your body is then under oxidative stress, leading to various diseases, including cancer. The only way to prevent this is to take foods that contain antioxidants that can hunt free radicals and deactivate them. Kiwis offer these antioxidants in the form of vitamin C, vitamin E and other plant nutrients. A study on human lymphatic cells found that kiwi juice made DNA more resistant to oxidative damage.
3. Balances Cholesterol:
Scientists suggest that free radicals may also have a role to play in increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. They oxidize LDL (bad) cholesterol and lead to diseases such as atherosclerosis. The ideal remedy for such situations is something that can deactivate free radicals, as well as balance cholesterol levels by increasing good HDL cholesterol levels. Kiwis can do just that. Researchers in Taiwan asked 43 patients with high cholesterol to eat 2 kiwis every day for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, it was observed that HDL levels were high and the ratio of HDL to LDL was more balanced. In addition, they also saw a reduction in the amount of by-products of cellular damage caused by free radicals. This led researchers to suggest that daily consumption of kiwi can help patients with high cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. Lowers High Blood Pressure:
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But three kiwis a day can keep high blood pressure away, scientists say. They gave people with slightly elevated blood pressure (stage 1 hypertension) 3 kiwis or 1 apple a day for 8 weeks. There was a greater reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the kiwi group than in the apple group. The researchers were not entirely sure how Kiwis could do this exactly. But one reason could be that kiwis have more than 300 times more potassium than sodium. The correct proportion of sodium and potassium is also essential for optimal blood pressure. Another reason could be kiwi antioxidants since oxidative damage is also responsible for hypertension. Another reason, which unfortunately was not measured in the study, is that kiwifruit can inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). The RCT controls the complex renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) system that controls fluctuations in blood pressure.
“The fruits act as standard ACE inhibitors by relaxing the blood vessels by decreasing the activity of the RAAS”.
5. Control Diabetes:
Thanks to its high natural sugar content, most fruits are a no-no for diabetics. But Kiwis have a low glycemic index of 47 and a very low glycemic load, which means they release little sugar and that very slowly. This is because its insoluble fiber delays the absorption of sugar. This can prevent a sudden increase in blood sugar. Researchers have discovered that a 100 g kiwi releases approximately 5 g or 1 teaspoon of sugar, which makes it a good fruit for diabetics. Opt for the green variety, which has less sugar and more fiber. In addition, myo-inositol, an important component of kiwi carbohydrates, can mimic insulin and help patients with type 2 diabetes who have insulin resistance. It has even helped women with gestational diabetes. On days you don’t want to have kiwifruit, eat a grenade for diabetes.
6. Prevents Vision Loss:
Diabetics and the elderly have an increased risk of vision loss due to macular degeneration in the retina. One study found that approximately 3 servings of fruits can reduce the risk of macular degeneration significantly in such high-risk groups. Since kiwi is rich in lutein and vitamin A, the carotenoids responsible for eye health, you should consider consuming at least 1 serving of fruit a day.
7. Aid to Digestion:
Kiwi has a protein called actinidine, which improves the digestion of other proteins, even those that pepsin cannot break. Note that actinidine is present in considerable quantity in the skin of the green variety of kiwifruit and not so much in the golden variety. Mix a green kiwi in a salad, with skin and everything, and take it with a protein-rich meal. Kiwi also increases the production of mucin, a component of the mucous lining of the gastrointestinal tract. A strong mucosal barrier is required to separate the harmful external environment from the internal environment. It also protects the stomach from strong stomach acids.
8. Relieves Constipation:
The dietary fiber and certain bioactive compounds of kiwi make the passage of food through the digestive tract smoother and easier. That is why they are often used as a natural laxative, for the elderly and even for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one study, 41 patients with IBS who suffered from constipation were asked to take 2 kiwis a day for 4 weeks. Kiwis could reduce the time it takes for food to pass through the colon and also increase the frequency of defecation.
9. Prevents Asthma and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:
A large-scale survey found that eating kiwifruit (or any other fresh citrus) at least once a week is related to fewer wheezing incidents and fewer relapses. This positive effect can be attributed to the very high content of vitamin C in kiwifruit. Many scientists link low vitamin C intake during winter with symptoms of wheezing and bronchitis, especially in children who have a history of asthma, bronchitis or respiratory problems. This is because vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can counteract free radicals, tobacco smoke or air pollutants, all of which trigger asthma attacks. Another study found that taking 4 golden kiwis a day for 4 weeks reduced the symptoms of upper respiratory infections in people over 65. However, if you have baker’s asthma, you may be allergic to kiwi.
10. Strengthens the Bones:
A recent study in mice whose ovaries had been removed showed that green kiwi could reduce the re-absorption of bone minerals in the blood – resorption can worsen the problem of bone mineral density loss, especially when the body cannot recover the minerals and make up for the loss This experiment is important for postmenopausal women who have low estrogen levels, a factor that greatly contributes to bone loss and osteoporosis. This could be due to a series of minerals that kiwi has, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, all of which are responsible for bone health. With its high vitamin K content, only a couple of kiwis a day can meet your daily vitamin K needs. Vitamin K, along with vitamin D, is an essential vitamin for bone health.
11. Strengthens Immunity:
There are quite a few ways in which Kiwis strengthen their immunity. First, they are packed with vitamin C. They have more vitamin C than oranges and lemons. Kiwis also contain a certain amount of vitamin E. Both C and E are powerful antioxidants that stimulate your body’s natural antioxidant stores. This is how kiwifruit can prevent cold or flu in children and the elderly. Kiwis also have soluble dietary fiber that can nourish healthy intestinal bacteria. Intestinal bacteria play an important role in your immunity.
12. Improves Sleep Duration and Efficiency:
No one can deny that sleep is perhaps the best preventive, as well as the best remedy for a number of health problems. Lack of sleep can even lead to diabetes. But what to do when you can’t catch that dream easily? Well, eat 2 kiwis a day. In one study, taking only 2 (100 g each) green kiwis a day for 4 weeks improved sleep duration by 13.4% and sleep efficiency by 5.41% in 24 adults. They also fell asleep faster. The researchers attributed this sleep-inducing effect to antioxidants and folate in kiwifruit. In addition, kiwis have a high concentration of the hormone serotonin, which is related to REM sleep and whose lack is related to insomnia.
13. Can Help with Anemia:
It is a known fact that iron deficiency leads to anemia, and vitamin C increases iron absorption. So to test whether eating citrus fruits with an iron-fortified breakfast can be a remedy for anemia, the researchers asked women with low-iron stores to eat 2 golden kiwis or 1 banana every day at breakfast for 16 weeks. The kiwi group saw a significant improvement in iron levels, thanks to the higher content of vitamin C and lutein in kiwifruit.
14. Can Keep Obesity Away:
Whether you take kiwifruit for breakfast or as a snack, the main advantage of kiwifruit for weight loss comes from its high content of water and dietary fiber. Both can fill you up and prevent you from eating snacks. They can also help you eliminate toxins and reduce swelling. In addition, kiwis have almost zero fat, and their carbohydrates are mostly in the form of fiber. Fruit sugar is also released slowly. Watermelon is also good for losing weight. So, you can make juice with the two together, or prepare a sweet and sour fruit salad.
15. May Improve Skin Health:
Antioxidants in the form of vitamin A, C and E are the main weapons of the kiwi arsenal against the signs of skin aging. While vitamin C helps produce collagen, the building block of the skin, vitamin E helps against UV damage. Vitamin A, or retinol, and its by-products also help the skin against acne and photo aging or skin damage caused by exposure to light. You can even simply crush the fruit, apply it on your face, and wash after 15 minutes. Green and golden kiwifruit also contain two proteins called thaumatin-like proteins (act d2) and actinchinine, respectively, that act against two different types of fungi. The seeds of the golden variety of kiwifruit also showed antibacterial properties. This can also have a powerful effect to keep away fungal and bacterial skin disorders.
16. Has Anti-Cancer Effects:
Studies have found that the roots of the golden variety of kiwifruit have an anticancer effect on lung and liver cancer cells. This explains why kiwi root is used in folk medicine.
17. Help Pregnant Women:
Kiwis are good for pregnant women. Folate in them can prevent birth defects related to the poor development of the neural tube in the fetus. Vitamins A, C and E can help both the mother and the child. Fiber can help future moms with constipation, a common side effect of pregnancy. The fruit itself offers few calories but serves as a filling snack, and the sugars in the fruit are released slowly enough to avoid a peak of blood glucose. In addition, according to the 2017 guide of the Environmental Working Group for buyers of pesticides in products, kiwis are among the 15 fruits that are relatively free of pesticides.
Do Kiwis Have Side Effects?
Unfortunally Yes. Actinidine protein that aids in digestion can also cause allergic reactions in children and people allergic to latex. This could manifest as skin rashes, tingling in the mouth, swollen lips, abdominal cramps and breathing difficulties in severe cases. Because they delay blood clotting, you should avoid eating kiwifruit before surgery and if you are taking anticoagulant medications.