6 top reasons to eat kiwis

Kiwis may be small but they certainly  pack a mighty nutritional punch.  While they were originally known as a Chinese gooseberry, they were first grown commercially in New Zealand. These fuzzy little fruits were then named after New Zealand’s  national bird, the kiwi.  It’s hard to believe but they only started appearing  in most North American produce aisles back in the 1980s.

Considering their nutritional profile, kiwis definitely deserve to be considered a superstar fruit.

Here are 6 top reasons to make them a regular on your menu.

    Kiwis are low in calories.
Two kiwis clock in at only 90 calories. When you put that together with the amounts of various nutrients contained, they’re even more of a caloric bargain.

•    They provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power.
The various phytonutrients contained may protect against a range of illnesses. Research shows that kiwis not only defend against certain cancers but also appear to decrease the likelihood of developing blood clots which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

•    Kiwis give oranges a run for their vitamin C content.
Just one small kiwi provides the same  amount of vitamin C as an orange – the fruit that comes to mind most people consider their vitamin C options.

•    Calorie for calorie, kiwis outrank bananas for potassium.
Potassium is one nutrient that’s in short supply in our diets and is a key player in regulating blood pressure. If you ask someone what they would choose if they were trying to boost their potassium intake, chances are pretty good that they’ll say a banana. It’s time for the banana to move over and make way for the kiwi.

•    Kiwis are top notch sources of fibre and have a low to moderate glycemic index value (GI).
With 4 grams of fibre for a 2-kiwi serving, these fruit are a super way to boost your fibre intake – both soluble and insoluble varieties.  Research shows it’s a remedy to consider if you suffer from constipation.  Its fibre also contributes to its GI value of 52.

•    Kiwis rank as the fruit with the highest lutein content
Lutein a known as an important carotenoid or pigment in preventing the risk  and slowing the progression of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.  To add to lutein’s reputation is new research showing it also plays a role in preventing cognitive decline.
Up next: Kiwi recipes from New Zealand

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Categories: Research Roundup, Superfoods, Whole Foods

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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