HAVE A GOOD HEALTH Healthy Habits: September 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

KIWI : A Nutritional fruit


Kiwifruit can be medium or small in size, although most are small. They are brown and fuzzy on the outside and bright green on the inside with tiny black seeds. The shell or skin of the fruit can be eaten or peeled. Kiwifruit is available all year. Choose firm, plump, light brown kiwi that gives slightly to the touch. Wash kiwis in cold water before using.

Kiwifruit is a member of the botanical family Act inidia and there are 400 different varieties. The Hayward variety is the most popular U.S. variety. The flavor is a mixture of peaches, strawberries, and melon with a soft and juicy texture. It's one of the most popular fruits today.
Store unripe kiwis at room temperature until skin indents slightly when touched. Place kiwi in a paper bag with an apple or banana, or in a ripening bowl to speed ripening. Ripe kiwis can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Kiwi fruits are rich in many Vitamins, falconoid 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 falconoid that help protect our cells from oxidative damage, and are therefore considered very helpful in protecting our DNA from mutations and damage.

Common Names:

Kiwifruit, kiwi, Chinese gooseberry, Yang-tao.

Kiwi Food Facts:

The kiwifruit is native to the Yangtze River valley of northern China and Zhejiang Province on the coast of eastern China. The first seeds were brought out of China by missionaries to New Zealand at the turn of this century.
Early nurserymen in New Zealand, such as Alexander Allison, Bruno Just, and Hayward Wright, recognized the potential of the fruit and it soon became a popular backyard vine. Several plants were sent to the Chico Plant Introduction Station in California and exist to this date.
In addition to New Zealand and California, kiwifruit is also grown commercially in such areas as Italy, South Africa and Chile.
Did you know kiwifruit could also be used as a natural meat tenderizer? That's because kiwifruit contains an enzyme called Actinidin. Just cut in half and rub kiwifruit over the meat, or peel and mash with a fork then spread it on the surface of the meat and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes or longer. The enzyme Actinidin also breaks down protein in dairy products. That's why when kiwifruit is combined with low fat ice cream, yogurt, or sour cream, it's best to serve and eat it right away.
Like all berries, kiwi pack a big nutrition punch. A serving of green kiwifruit (two medium) is just 92 calories, yet it provides almost double the Daily Value for vitamin C. That's as much C as in two oranges. Kiwi also contains 10 percent of the DV for vitamin E, as well as lute in, an antioxidant that helps protect eyes against age-related macular degeneration and may help prevent certain cancers.
Nutritionally, gold kiwi fruit is slightly different. It contains a little more of vitamins A, C, E and foliate than its green counterpart, but has less potassium and only half the fiber. Its flavor is even different, with a more tropical taste and without the tartness of green kiwi.

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.

General Nutritional Facts:

· Fat free
· Cholesterol free
· Saturated fat free
· Sodium free
· Cholesterol free
· High in fiber
· Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C
· A good source of vitamin E
· A good source of potassium

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

Serving Suggestion:

Kiwi can be used as a tart topping, garnish for seafood and meat entrees and as a salad bar ingredient. You can peel and slice a kiwi, or eat with the skin on! Make a unique salsa with chopped avocado, chilies and gold kiwi. Or cut up and mix with vinegar and sugar for a marinade or dipping sauce for meat or poultry. Or just enjoy out of hand; to avoid having to peel it, simply cut it in half and eat with the skin on, or use a spoon to scoop it out of its own ready-made cup.

Peel and slice some kiwifruit, and mix it with bananas for a potassium-rich fruit salad; kiwifruit's tartness complements the bananas mellow flavor.