Kiwi is a highly nutritious fruit packed with vitamin C and plenty of essential vitamins and minerals. These little brown and fuzzy looking fruits have green flesh on the inside, which tastes tangy and sweet with a tropical zing. The kiwi fruit has steadily risen in popularity over the years around the globe for its taste and nutritional content.
What Is Kiwi Fruit?
Kiwi is a type of fruit native to the mountains of southwest China. The seeds of this fruit were first brought to New Zealand in 1904 by a school teacher who was visiting China. Initially, they were known as Chinese gooseberries in the country; however, they were later named Kiwi after the flightless native birds that reside in New Zealand. Although the kiwi fruit’s origin country is China, New Zealand remains the top producer and exporter of this fruit in the world.
Kiwi Fruit Origin In India
The kiwi fruit origin in India can be traced to Arunachal Pradesh, where it grew as a wild fruit in the Ziro Valley. The locals eat the fruit and also feed it to their livestock; however, the demand and its commercial importance were relatively unknown until two decades ago. Ziro Valley’s altitude of 1,500- 2000 meters above sea level, fertile lands and local weather make it an ideal place to grow Kiwi on a commercial scale.
12 Kiwi Fruit Benefits For Seniors
Although it is not considered a “superfood”, Kiwi has plenty of important nutrients that make it beneficial to health in many ways.
1. It can boost immunity
Kiwi has vitamin C, which is needed for the healthy functioning of the immune system. The kiwi fruit vitamin C from one serving contains almost all the daily recommended amounts of vitamin C for the body. Regular consumption leads to better resistance to diseases, such as colds and fever.
2. It can help fight Asthma
People with asthma and lung problems can benefit greatly by consuming kiwi every day. The high vitamin C combined with vitamin E has a complementary effect on improving respiratory conditions.
3. It can promote digestion
Kiwi is rich in plant fibre, which can help ease bowel movement and avoid constipation. It also contains the enzyme actinidin, which is essential for digestive health. The high potassium content in the fruit also maintains a good electrolyte balance in the gut.
4. It promotes heart health
Being rich in antioxidants, kiwi has a protective effect on the heart and reduces the chances of cardiovascular disease. The high potassium content lowers the risk of death by heart disease and also lowers blood pressure in people with elevated levels.
5. It may help in treating diabetes
Kiwi is low in calories and sugars; therefore, their addition to the diet can improve the glycemic response. With its high fibre content and antioxidants, the fruit is a great addition to a diabetic diet.
6. It helps regulate blood pressure
A study showed that consuming three kiwis every day for eight weeks can reduce people’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Lowered blood pressure is beneficial in preventing strokes and heart attacks in people with cardiovascular disease.
7. It can prevent early vision loss
kiwi is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, which can prevent macular degeneration, which leads to vision loss. The fruit also contains plenty of vitamin A needed for the healthy functioning of the eyes.
8. It improves skin health
As we get older, the quality of collagen in the skin declines, leading to wrinkles and pale looking skin. Vitamin C is an essential component in the synthesis of collagen needed by the skin. Therefore consuming kiwi can help skin health as we age.
9. It fights inflammation
Being rich in antioxidants, kiwi fight inflammation and free radicals that damage the body. The peptide kissper, in particular, is effective in reducing inflammation in the colon.
10. It promotes sleep
Kiwi has plenty of serotonin, a compound associated with good sleep and regular consumption of the fruit improves both the quality and duration of sleep.
11. Reduces DNA damage
The free radicals produced in the body due to various metabolic processes can cause significant oxidative stress. It has the potential to damage the DNA and lead to health problems. The antioxidants present in kiwi can fight the free radicals to reduce oxidative damage to the body.
12. It can help in weight loss
Kiwi is an excellent source of nutrition for those exercising to lose weight, and it is low in calories and high in all other nutrients needed for the body.
Kiwi Fruit Benefits Platelets Greatly
Outbreaks of dengue have had unconfirmed reports of patients recovering their blood platelet count after eating the fruit leading many to believe that kiwi fruit increase platelets. Most of the claims remain unproven as there is no sufficient evidence relating to the two. However, kiwi is known to improve the outcome related to cardiovascular disease. Since they are rich in vitamin C, A, and E along with other antioxidants, there is a possibility that they are beneficial to platelet count.
Kiwi Fruit Benefits For Kidney
Kiwi is rich in oxalates, a naturally occurring compound in plants known to increase the risk of kidney stones. Therefore people prone to kidney stones need to cut back on the consumption of kiwi.
Nutrition Value of Kiwi Fruit
The Table below gives the nutrition value of 100 grams of Kiwi.
|Vitamin C||83% DV|
|Vitamin E||9% DV|
|Vitamin K||34% DV|
How to Grow Kiwi Fruit Plant
You can grow kiwi fruit in India in the higher latitude states, such as Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu Kashmir. It is also available in the state of Kerala. Here are the steps:
Climate and Soil Requirements: Kiwi fruit cultivation requires warm and humid environments, and it requires well-drained fertile loamy soil with a good amount of Nitrogen and Potassium in the ground. Protecting the plant from wind and heat is important, especially during the tender stage.
Land Preparation: The kiwi fruit tree requires plenty of sunshine to bear fruit. For growing the fruit, the land should face north-south for maximum light, and the sowing of the seeds should occur in January. You can prepare the soil using a mix of 20 kg farmyard manure and 0.5 kg fertilizer with high Nitrogen and Potassium content.
Planting: Kiwi can be grown from seeds, seedlings or grafts. The planting should be done in January, so they get plenty of sunlight in Spring and Summer. In the beginning, the pergola or arbour framework is spaced 6m apart in rows to support the vines. You need both male and female plants for pollination; hence it is important to maintain the 1:5 ratio. In the cold season, the tender vines need protection from the cold wind, and wind machines and water sprinklers can protect the vines during spring and autumn.
Training and Pruning: The kiwi fruit plant is a type of woody vine; therefore, it is essential to train the vines and prune the plant periodically to avoid overloading. Focus on growing the vines straight and robustly into the supporting framework, and clip side branches as it grows.
Irrigation: Regular irrigation with a span of 10-15 days suffices in areas with a wet and humid climate. Irrigation is most critical from September to October when the fruits begin their growth stage.
Harvesting: It takes 4-5 years before the Kiwi tree starts bearing fruit, and commercial production begins after 6 to 7 years. First, the larger fruits are harvested, while the smaller ones need to be left in the tree to grow.
How To Eat Kiwi Fruit
Some essential tips on how to eat kiwi fruit:
- The Kiwi fruit you buy from the market should have smooth and firm outer skins. Soft or wrinkly fruits have gone ripe and cannot be stored for too long.
- Wash the fuzzy skin of the kiwi fruit under running water thoroughly.
- The fruit’s skin is edible, so it can be eaten whole like an apple.
- You can also peel the skin and slice the fruit to use it as a garnish on salads.
Disadvantages of Kiwi Fruit
While it has plenty of health benefits, there are some kiwi fruit disadvantages when its consumption is in excess. Here are some cons of the fruit:
Some people are naturally allergic to kiwi fruit; therefore, eating too much can cause nausea, vomiting, rashes on the skin and swelling in the mouth or face. So, people trying the fruit for the first time should eat cautiously.
Kiwi is high in potassium and oxalates, which are bad for people with kidney disease. Those prone to kidney stones should minimise their consumption as it can aggravate their condition.
Interaction with specific drugs
Kiwi interacts with certain types of drugs, such as anti-fungal medications. People on medication, such as anticoagulants, heparin and aspirin should consult their doctor before eating kiwi.
Affect Of Kiwi Fruit On Neuro Disease
The kiwi fruit contains vitamin C and antioxidants, which fight against oxidative stress, and it is known to alleviate learning and memory deficits by reducing oxidative stress. Since kiwi is a type of berries, they share the same anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as many other berries.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Kiwi is a great fruit to eat during pregnancy as it is full of essential nutrients. It is advisable to eat the fruit after peeling the fuzzy skin. Although the skin is edible, it can contain harmful bacteria that harm pregnant women. So unless you are allergic to it, kiwi is a great pregnancy fruit!
The kiwi fruit health benefits are numerous as these fruits have vitamin C, which is essential for boosting immunity. Kiwi is also rich in antioxidants making them excellent anti-inflammatory food that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers.
One kiwi fruit a day is good enough to gain all the benefits this fruit offers. One serving has 83% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C and 21% DV of dietary fibre.
Kiwi is rich in serotonin, a compound associated with increased sleep quality. People who eat kiwi every day will find significant improvement to sleep in terms of duration and quality of sleep.
Kiwi has low calories while full of other essential nutrients, and they are an excellent nutritional choice over other fruits with higher sugar content. Therefore kiwi can be used in a weight-loss diet.
Yes, Kiwi grows well in a cool and humid environment. Kiwi fruit cultivation in India is seen in Arunachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.
Kiwi is a type of woody vine. Therefore, they can be grown in gardens provided the right support and conditions, and the tree will take 4-5 years before it bears fruit.
A typical Kiwi tree takes about 4-5 years to bear fruit. Commercial production of the fruit takes longer than 6 to 7 years.
No. On the contrary, a daily serving of Kiwi reduces blood pressure in patients who have mildly elevated blood pressure levels. Long term consumption of Kiwi is known to lower blood pressure because of the presence of vitamin C.
Green Kiwi are an excellent source of dietary fibre, and Vitamin C. Kiwi also contains Actinidine, an enzyme that triggers bowel movements. Therefore, the consumption of kiwi can help treat anal fissures.
Dry kiwi contains 23 gms of sugar per serving, so it is advisable to have only half of the fruit with any low-sugar fruit. If you are on a no-sugar diet, it’s better to have fresh kiwi fruit.