Kiwis are small fruits, typically with a fuzzy brown skin and green flesh with black seeds. Although the skin is edible, many people just eat the sweet and tart fruit inside. These fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, and may be beneficial for heart health as well. You can eat them in salads or as a snack. You can even use them in main dishes to help tenderize your meat.
A medium kiwi fruit without the skin contains only 45 calories and no fat, while providing 1 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. A kiwi contains 120 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamin C, 8 percent of the DV of folate, 6 percent of the DV of magnesium, 4 percent of the DV of phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin B-6, and 2 percent of the DV of calcium, iron, niacin and riboflavin. It is also a moderate source of potassium and vitamin E.
Kiwi and Heart Disease
Eating two or three kiwi fruits per day may lower your triglycerides, as well as your risk for plaque buildup in your arteries and heart disease, according to a study published in "Platelets" in August 2004. These beneficial effects may be due to the high levels of flavonoids, vitamin E and vitamin C present in kiwi fruit.
People describe the taste of kiwi fruit as similar to a mix of melon, peach and strawberry or a mix of strawberry and pineapple. Kiwis are one of the most nutrient-dense fruits commonly available, with more vitamin C than oranges, the second highest amount of the antioxidant lutein per serving after corn and more potassium than bananas. Mangoes, oranges and papayas are almost as nutrient dense as kiwi fruit, so these are good options when kiwi are not in season.
Some people are allergic to kiwi fruit, and although allergic reactions in adults tend to be mild, in children they can be severe and include anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction. If you are allergic to birch pollen or latex, you are more likely to be allergic to kiwi, since they contain similar allergens.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Kiwi
- Utah State University: Kiwi - Key to Nutrition!
- Nutrient Facts: Kiwi Fruit
- Platelets: Effects of Kiwi Fruit Consumption on Platelet Aggregation and Plasma Lipids in Healthy Human Volunteers
- Food Standards Agency: Kiwi Fruit Allergy
- Purdue University: Kiwifruit
- kiwi image by dinostock from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.