Better known by its shortened name, kiwi, the kiwifruit is a small fruit that packs a lot of flavor and health benefits. It is also known as Chinese gooseberry. The fruit is ovoid in shape, with a fibrous greenish-brown skin. On the inside, it is vibrant green and juicy.
Because of the array of health benefits it is associated with, kiwi is considered a superfood. The little fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals. Kiwis are extremely high in vitamin C, and also provide dietary fiber and antioxidants.
Let’s now look at some health benefits of kiwi (we shall use the terms kiwi and kiwifruit interchangeably).
The Amazing Health Benefits of Kiwi
1. Promotes respiratory health: A study of 6 to 7-year-old children in northern and central Italy showed that the more kiwi children consumed, the less likely they were to have respiratory-related health problems including wheezing, night coughing, shortness of breath, and sneezing.
2. Aids digestion: The kiwifruit promotes digestive health in a number of ways. For one, it supplies dietary fiber that helps with movement and elimination of toxins, as well as helping to lower cholesterol levels. Secondly, it provides prebiotics that promote probiotics or healthy bacteria in the gut. Raw kiwi also contains actinidain, a protein-dissolving enzyme that can help digest a meal.
3. Promotes healthy skin: Kiwi is a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that may promote healthy skin by protecting against free radicals that are associated with aging. Vitamin C in the fruit may your body produce collagen that helps firm your skin.
4. Boosts immune system: Vitamin C in kiwi is an important immune-boosting nutrient. This along content along with other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants may promote immune function. Kiwi has been found to be helpful in reducing oxidative stress as well as incidence and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, perhaps better than vitamin C alone.
5. Protects vision: Kiwifruit may protect you against eye diseases and conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. As many as 11 million people have some form of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Kiwi contains vision-promoting compounds lutein and zeaxanthin.
6. Beneficial during pregnancy: Kiwifruit is a good source of folate, or folic acid, a B vitamin that may help brain and cognitive development as well as protect against birth defects such as spina bifida. Vitamin C and other nutrients in kiwi may also support the health of the mother and the unborn baby.
7. Protects against cancer and DNA damage: Not only does kiwi contain vitamin C and E, which have anti-oxidative properties, but also flavonoids and carotenoids which may protect DNA against oxidative stress.