Kiwi – A Little Fruit with Big Surprises

kiwi fruit The kiwi is a deliciously small fruit that packs loads of nutrition. It contains two times more vitamin C than an orange. Talk about immune boosting power in a small package! Kiwifruit has its origin in China and was introduced to the United States in the 1960s.

Kiwis are a nutrient dense food, meaning they are high in nutrients and low in calories. The possible health benefits of consuming kiwis include maintaining healthy skin tone and texture, reducing blood pressure and preventing heart disease and stroke.

There are several health benefits of kiwis.

Fiber & Vitamins

One cup of sliced kiwifruit provides 5g of fiber. Fiber can help fill you up, keep your digestive system running well and may help lower cholesterol. In 1 cup of kiwi, you get over 270 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals in your body to help prevent disease. They are also a good source of vitamins A (as beta-carotene), B6, E and K as well as folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and dietary fiber. The edible seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Cardiovascular Health

The fiber in kiwifruit may be an effective against a number of ailments. Studies have found that eating a high fiber diet can lower cholesterol levels and in turn reduce the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin C has been shown to lower blood pressure, and thereby lower the chances of developing of hypertension, as well as cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C also ensures proper dilation of blood vessels, which may prevent atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, and angina pectoris. Having a few kiwifruit a day may also reduce the amount of triglycerides in your blood, avoiding blood clots and helping to protect cardiovascular health.

Lowering Blood Pressure: Because of their high potassium content, kiwis can help negate the effects of sodium in the body. It is possible that a low potassium intake is just as big of a risk factor in developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.

Blood Sugar Control
The fiber in kiwis helps move food through the digestive system at an even pace and regulates blood sugar absorption. An excess of sugar uptake all at once can produce an unwanted sugar spike. A lack of simple sugar uptake may produce a rapid blood sugar drop. Either extreme can upset blood sugar balance. The fiber in kiwis helps avoid both extremes.

Cancer Prevention
Excessive oxidative stress caused by free radicals is associated with many different types of cancer, including lung, mouth, throat, colon, stomach and esophagus. The vitamin C in kiwis protects our bodies from this oxidative stress.

Lung Health
Kiwi fruit contains more vitamin C than oranges and is especially effective against respiratory health problems such as shortness of breath, asthma and cough.

Kiwifruit adds a great complementary flavor to many other fruits that you might use in a green smoothie. Blend it with bananas, strawberries, apples, pears and use mild flavored greens like spinach or butterhead lettuce.

Kiwi Cucumber Cantaloupe Green Smoothie Recipe

1 cucumber, with or without peel
3 kiwifruits, peeled
1 cup cantaloupe
1 cup spinach
1 1/2 cups water

Start by adding the liquid to your blender followed by the soft fruit. Add the greens to your blender last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.

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