Kiwifruit are best eaten when they are firm, but not rock hard. They should give way slightly to pressure. Nutritionally, kiwis are best eaten raw. To benefit from the high fibre content, Kiwis can actually be eaten with their skin on.
Kiwi fruits are rich in many Vitamins, flavonoids and minerals. In particular, they contain a high amount of Vitamin C (more than oranges), as much potassium as bananas and a good amount of beta-carotene.
Studies in Italy, though, performed on 6-7 year old children, have also demonstrated additional health benefits to the respiratory tract. In particular, children that were fed 5-7 portions a week of citrus and kiwifruits had 44% less probability wheezing compared to children eating less than once a week.
Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%,night time cough by 27%, severe wheeze by 41%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%. This results is not only traceable to the content in Vitamin C or Potassium, but in substances which are still largely unknown contained in kiwi fruit.
These substances are most likely flavonoids that help protect our cells from oxidative damage, and are therefore considered very helpful in protecting our DNA from mutations and damage.
Protection from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)
A series of studies published by the Archives of Ophthalmology have proven that consuming 3 or more servings of fruit per day (including kiwi fruits) can reduce by 36% the risk of developing an eye-related disease called ARMD (the primary cause of vision impairment in adults), if compared to people who only consume 1.5 servings of fruit per day.
The study was conducted on 110.000 women and men and lasted several decades. Surprisingly, the study found that while vegetables were not correlated with an improved resistance to the disease, fruits containing high amount of Vitamin C,A and E (the most common antioxidant vitamins) helped significantly in protecting against ARMD.
Anti Oxidant properties of Kiwi Fruit
It is important to note that kiwi fruits contain a remarkable amount of Vitamin C, E and A. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that has been proven to protect our body from free radicals, dramatically improving the health of individuals who consumed it regularly against all kinds of disease, from cardiovascular problems to cancer and obesity.
Vitamin E has been proven to have similar effects, but is fat-soluble and thus is complimentary to Vitamin C in its functions. Kiwi fruits contain both these vitamins in high amount, which help protect our body against free radicals from all fronts.
Kiwi fruits have a high fiber content
The high content in dietary fiber helps improving diseases such as diabetes, by controlling sugar levels, and colon cancer, since fiber binds to toxic compounds in the colon and helps us expel them.
Fiber has also been proven to reduce cholesterol levels, improving the conditions of patients with cardiovascular diseases and lowering the probability of heart attacks.
Summary of Kiwifruit Health Benefits
Eating kiwi fruit is clearly a healthy choice, and it is particularly useful in these cases:
- Prevents Asthma
- Prevents wheezing and coughing, especially in children
- Protects our DNA from mutations
- Provides a healthy amount of antioxidants and vitamins
- Helps prevent colon cancer thanks to a high fiber content