‘K’ is for Kiwifruit!Magalies Citrus
by Dr. Marli Botha
The kiwifruit was first found growing in China, where it was known by the name “Yang Tao”. At the beginning of the twentieth century, missionaries brought the fruit to the island of New Zealand, where it received its name “kiwi” after the small flightless bird native to the island.
- Kiwis are small fruits that pack a lot of flavor and plenty of health benefits. Their green flesh is sweet and tangy. It’s also full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and potassium. They also have a lot of antioxidants.
- Medium-sized kiwifruit contains only 46 calories.
- Kiwifruit is also packed with potassium. In fact, a 100-gram serving of kiwifruit—that’s about one large kiwi—provides 15% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of potassium.
- Kiwis have plenty of fibre, which is already good for digestion. They also contain a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin that can help break down protein. One study recently found that kiwi extract containing actinidin greatly enhanced the digestion of most proteins (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20232890).
- Hence, raw kiwifruits are particularly good to cleanse our skin because it contains actinidin, which works to dissolve protein-based dead skin cells and dirt on the skin. This will help leave our skin fresh and clean.
- Not only can kiwi fruits provide an extra boost to our immune system, but they can also help us to manage our blood pressure. A 2014 study found evidence that the bioactive substances in three kiwis a day can lower blood pressure more than one apple a day. Long term, this may also mean a lowered risk for conditions that can be caused by high blood pressure, like strokes or heart attacks (https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25483553).
- A ripe kiwifruit will be plump and smooth-skinned, and free of wrinkles, bruises, and punctures. If you find that your kiwi is a little too firm after buying it, simply let it ripen at room temperature for three to five days. The firmer the fruit, the more tart it will taste. To speed up the ripening process, you can also place kiwis in a paper bag with an apple or banana. If you want to store the fruit longer, you should keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator