Being also small, furry and brown, the kiwifruit or kiwi for short is named after the bird that is New Zealand’s national symbol. Use of the name is fairly recent however.
Kiwis (the fruit) are actually native in China. It was in the beginning of the 20th century that seeds of the fruit were brought to and cultivated in New Zealand. One of the Chinese names for it is yang tao which literally means “sunny peach”. New Zealanders called it Chinese gooseberries. When the fruit eventually made its way to the U.S., it was initially called melonette. It was only around the early 1960’s that the fruit’s current common name was finally established.
It’s easy to underestimate such a relatively dull-looking fruit, but the kiwi is actually packed with a lot of vitamins and phytonutrients. Read on to learn the benefits of kiwi and how it can help you reach your Superhuman health goals.
Citrus fruits like grapefruit aren’t the only abundant sources of Vitamin C. 100 grams of fresh raw kiwi can supply you with 92 milligrams of this vitamin, and that’s already a little above your body’s minimum daily requirement.
Other nutrients significantly rich in kiwi are Vitamins B6 (pyridoxine) and K. There is .63 mg of this vitamin to be had for every 100 grams of this fruit. While it may not seem like a large amount, that already fulfills 48% of your body’s daily need for Vitamin B6. This is the vitamin that helps your body produce the chemicals necessary for nerve cells to transmit signals and is therefore essential for a healthy brain and nervous system.
The amount of Vitamin K in kiwi meanwhile provides 38% daily value. The important role of this vitamin is to help your blood to properly coagulate and enable your body to use calcium for building bones.
Besides beta-carotene, the other carotenoids present in kiwi are lutein and zeaxanthin. These substances aren’t converted into Vitamin A retinal like beta-carotene but they are actual components of the eye. Specifically, they are part of the macula and they help block light near the ultraviolet range from reaching the internal structure of the retina. This kind of light can cause oxidative damage to the eyes which is why these two carotenoids are also considered antioxidants.
Kiwi Practical Uses:
As kiwis are cultivated in various regions across the globe, the fruit is available all year round. It is still a better practice to buy from local producers though when the fruit is in season. There’s a better chance that you’re getting fresh and tree-ripened kiwis.
There are some varieties of kiwi that are actually small enough to be uniformly cut with an egg slicer. Then there are types like the Golden kiwifruit whose skin is smooth instead of furry which means you can eat the whole fruit including the skin. One reason why it’s also beneficial to eat the peel is that most of the dietary fiber (3 grams for every 100 g) is found there.
When using the fruit in a dessert recipe, you have to consider that kiwis contain actinidin, an enzyme that breaks down protein. This makes it quite incompatible with dairy products and gelatin mixes. The substance dissolves milk proteins and the collagen in gelatin.
On the other hand, actinidin is commercially used as a meat tenderizer. So kiwis could be handy when preparing meat dishes. Cooking or heating the fruit deactivates this enzyme but take note that this procedure could also burn up the active nutrients and render the fruit less beneficial.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of mangoes that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of kiwi, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of kiwi.