Kiwi, benefits of the fruit named after a bird

Kiwi is a delicious sour fruit named after a bird that has become an essential part of our diet. With a very characteristic acid flavor, it provides us with essential vitamins and minerals for our health.

What is Kiwi?

The kiwi (Actinidia chinensis) is an ellipse-shaped fruit covered with a skin full of villi.

Its skin is dark brown and covers a very juicy pulp, usually green. Also, its flavor is acidic and very pleasant. It also has nutritional properties with various benefits for our health.

Origin of the Kiwi

The origin of this fruit is located in China where according to historical accounts it grew wild. In this eastern country it is known by the name of yang-tao, which means “fruit of the Yang River.”

When in this eastern country it was possible to verify the exceptional nature of these fruits, it began to be cultivated approximately 300 years ago.

It was not until the early 1900s that the cultivation of these fruits was exported to New Zealand. It seems that this country was where techniques were developed to produce the kiwi we now know. As a result, a large fruit with a better taste was obtained.

Likewise, at this time it was given the name by which we know it and due to the certain resemblance to the emblematic bird of this country.

In the mid-1940s, the kiwi made its entry into the world market as a gourmet specialty . The popularity of kiwis among farmers was growing and in 1960 they began to be cultivated in California, entering the American market.

In Spain the first crops date back to the end of the 60s.

Kiwi production

Although the New Zealand kiwi is very famous, it is not the first producing country in the world.

List of main kiwi producers according to FAO:

1. China

It is not very strange when it is stated that the first producing country of these fruits is China. With almost 1,800,000 tons per year, it leads this ranking. It is also true that China, in addition to an ideal climate for its cultivation, has a very expensive land.

2. Italy

Being the largest producer in all of Europe and the second largest in the world with almost half a million tons.

3. New Zealand

Given the popularity of the fruit of this region, we can affirm that with almost 400,000 tons it occupies the third position.

Then we can see countries like Chile, Greece, France, Turkey and Iran.

Spain currently ranks eleventh behind the US or Japan with almost 23,000 tons. The autonomous communities that most produce this fruit are: Galicia, Asturias, the Basque Country and Cantabria.

Kiwi season

Its harvesting season and best time of consumption takes place between the months of October and March . However, the season can be extended depending on the year and including the months of September and April.

Surely, we can see kiwis in our markets throughout the year. Outside of the season described above, these fruits are imported. Normally, from June to October it is imported from Chile or New Zealand.

You can check the calendar of the  fruit season  to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with  more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier , among other advantages.

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Kiwi varieties

There are many varieties of kiwis around the world. From the point of view of its production and consumption, we can highlight these 9 types:

green kiwi

It is the most widespread in the entire planet. Therefore, it is the most consumed. With an acid taste, it gives us a lot of vitamin C.

Kiwi Hayward

It is larger than the previous one, it has the hairs on the shorter outer part. It’s taste is very similar to the previous one.

Kiwi Hayward Clon 8

Its cultivation is mainly centered in Greece . It is a fruit that withstands weather adversities better than Hayward.

Kiwi Top Star

It is a modified variety of the Hayward with the peculiarity that it does not have external hairiness. The size is somewhat smaller.

Summer Kiwi

This type is the result of the crossing of several varieties. It is something sweeter and smaller.

Kiwi Bruno

Of all the varieties, it is that it gives us the most amount of vitamin C. It is not very commercialized.

Kiwi Abbot

Other varieties that we find in our markets and that do not present many differences with respect to the previous ones. Matures faster.

Kiwi Monty

It is smaller than average and less acidic.

Yellow Kiwi

We can say that it is one of the most original. They are sweeter than greens. The pulp has a very striking yellow color. It is gaining more and more popularity in our markets.

Scientific varieties

Leaving the types of kiwis that exist commercially and focusing on scientific varieties, we can highlight the following: Hort 16, Jin Tao, A 19, JB Gold or Kiwi Kiss, Sun Gold and Soreli.

How to buy kiwis?

As with other types of fruits, you have to choose them that are intact and do not have stains.

Very soft or damaged kiwis should be discarded because they have less flavor or the taste may be much worse. Likewise, the size does not influence the quality of the fruit.

Conservation

These foods should be kept in a cool place. In addition, kiwi can be preserved for a long time, we just have to follow some very simple tips.

If we keep it at room temperature, it lasts up to 15 days. Also, if we refrigerate it, one month and if we freeze it, up to 6 months.

On the other hand, if you want them to mature, you have to leave them at room temperature.

As kiwi ripening is very slow, if you want to speed up they can be placed in bags together with apples or pears, which release ethylene.

How do you eat the Kiwi?

We always recommend that the fruit be consumed fresh, raw and in season. In kiwis we are not going to make an exception.

In addition, it is also used for different recipes. It is also ideal for decorating dishes.

Similarly, it is ideal as an ingredient in salad recipes. Therefore, they combine very well with avocado and with shrimp, fish and chicken dishes.

Also, in jams, sorbets, slushies, smoothies and other pastry recipes.

In addition, it can be used as the main ingredient in sauces that accompany other dishes.

How are kiwis peeled?

It is very easy to eat, you only have to count in half and eat the pulp with a spoon. It can also be peeled with a knife to remove the skin.

Do you eat the skin of the kiwi?

The answer is yes, the skin of the kiwi is eaten. Therefore, if we want to eat these whole fruits, we can. We just have to wash it well.

One reason is that vitamins and minerals are concentrated in large quantities just under the skin. By removing it, we avoid these nutrients that are very beneficial for our body.

In addition, it provides us with a large amount of vitamin E, folic acid and, above all, a large amount of fiber.

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Kiwi Properties

This fruit provides us with vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial for our health. It also provides us with a moderate amount of carbohydrates in the form of sugars. It also contains fiber.

With regard to vitamins and minerals, it is worth noting its high amount of vitamin C. In minerals, magnesium and calcium stand out.

Average nutritional value per 100 grams of kiwi

Energy61 kcal
Total fat0 g
Carbohydrates14,7 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium3 mg
Water83,07 mg
Protein1,14 g
Vitamin A87 IU
C vitamin92,7 mg
Vitamin E1,46 mg
Vitamina K40,3 mg
Vitamin B925 mg
Football34 mg
Potassium312 mg
Match34 mg
Sodium3 mg

Kiwi benefits

Kiwi is a fruit that provides us with different benefits for our health. Among its nutrients we can highlight the presence of vitamin C, vitamin K, Vitamin E, folic acid and potassium.

Likewise, it also provides us with antioxidants and is a magnificent source of fiber.

Therefore, we can highlight the following benefits:

1. A digestive fruit

The amount of fiber that this food has is remarkable, which is favorable for proper digestion. In addition, it provides us with a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin that can help break down proteins. [1]

2. Helps our natural defenses

This food gives us up to more than triple the vitamin C of an orange . Also, this nutrient is essential to stimulate our immune system.

In addition, a study carried out shows that kiwis contain ideal nutrients that can strengthen the immune system. [2]

As a result, they can reduce the likelihood of certain illnesses such as the flu or cold.

3. Favorable for the respiratory system

It seems that the large amount of vitamin C it contains along with antioxidants are beneficial for the respiratory system. Also, they can help people with asthma. [3]

4. An ally for our heart

Also, it is a fruit that helps us control our blood pressure. According to the following study it is shown that eating three kiwis a day regularly can control and even reduce high blood pressure. [4]

Therefore, in the long term, consuming these foods regularly can lead to a lower risk of certain diseases related to hypertension.

Likewise, it can also help us reduce blood clotting , as shown by the following study from the University of Oslo. In addition, it is also favorable to reduce the amount of fat in the blood. [5]

5. For the health of our eyes

It provides us with nutrients such as zeaxanthin and lutein such as grape, pear, persimmon or custard apple. These nutrients are ideal for maintaining our eye health. Therefore, they  prevent eye diseases such as maculopathy. [6]

Maculopathy is a disease that affects the macula, the central part of the retina, causing loss of central vision.

Kiwi contraindications

Eating kiwis is very healthy and beneficial for our health. It is also true that certain people may have a certain intolerance or allergy to this food .

As main adverse signs for this group of people, we can highlight the itch in the throat, swollen tongue, difficulty swallowing, vomiting and hives.

Conclusions

To conclude, it is clear that kiwi is an ideal food to incorporate into our daily diet. In addition, it provides us with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that make this fruit an essential food to maintain good health.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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