The kiwi is a small green fruit nestled in a brown fuzzy skin. The center portion of the fruit is a different consistency of and is slightly sweeter than the outer portion. The small black seeds lend a slight crunch. A really good kiwi is at first slightly tangy, then sweet. It is truly a thing of beauty.
Kiwi fruit is available from the local grocery year round. California kiwis are harvested November through May, and New Zealand kiwi crops are available June through October. Kiwi fruit is quite affordable, and is available organically grown from some grocers.
Kiwifruit is a Powerhouse of Nutrition
When you eat a kiwi, you are getting a lot of nutrition in 46 little calories. One kiwi contains more vitamin C than an equal amount of orange. Other nutrients you will find in a kiwi are vitamin A, fiber, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin E, and manganese. And, kiwi seeds contain an omega 3 fatty acid.
Kiwi Health Benefits
Kiwis have been shown to benefit respiratory health. A study conducted in Italy on children confirmed that the more kiwis the children ate, the less likely the were to have respiratory related health problems such as coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
Kiwifruit offers us antioxidant and free radical protection, as well. Scientists believe that phytonutrients in kiwi are responsible for the DNA protecting properties it exhibits against oxygen damage. And the large amounts of antioxidants- including water soluble C and fat soluble E- protect our bodies from free radicals, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and more.
Also, kiwi is a very good source of fiber. Fiber is helpful for many things, including controlling blood sugar levels, reducing cholesterol, ushering toxins out of the system, preventing colon cancer, and reducing heart disease.
To Eat the Peel or Not to Eat the Peel
It is only really common among New Zealanders to eat the kiwi with the peel. But, by doing so, they enjoy extra nutrition- insoluble fiber, extra flavonoids and antioxidants.
However, the peels of fruits and vegetables can contain very high levels of pesticides- and not all will wash off- so unless you know for sure your kiwifruit is organic, you should probably peel it.
Anyone has the potential of being allergic to anything, and kiwifruit is no exception. Kiwis contain a protein dissolving enzyme called actinidin. Some people can be allergic to this. The most common allergic symptom to this substance is itching of the mouth, lips, and palate. However, symptoms can also become severe and may include wheezing or collapsing. To be sure that you do not have a kiwi allergy, try a small bit of kiwi when you eat it the first time.