Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit:
Kiwi fruit has a much greater role to play than making the salads more attractive. Since ancient times, it has been considered a health tonic in China and was given to women after childbirth and children to improve immunity. It is a power food which provides the following health benefits.
1. Improves Digestion:
Kiwis are a very good source of dietary fiber which improves digestive health and binds and removes toxins from the colon, thus preventing colon cancer. It also prevents constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. Actinidain is a protein dissolving enzyme in raw kiwi which aids digestion and is similar to papain in papaya or bromelain in pineapple.
2. Improves Immune Function:
The high content of vitamin C along with several other antioxidant compounds in kiwi fruit has proven to be effective in beneficially modulating the immune system. It also contains vitamin E which can strengthen the immune system and lower cholesterol. Thus, consumption of kiwi fruit is a great way to ward off the effects of inflammation, stress and attack by bacteria and viruses.
3. Blood Pressure Management:
The high level of potassium in kiwis plays an important role in body cells by maintaining the balance of body fluids and electrolytes. It controls heart rate and blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium.
4. Cardiovascular Health:
Kiwifruit is as effective as aspirin for heart health minus the side effects like inflammation and bleeding in the intestinal tract. A study conducted at the University of Oslo in Norway observed that people who ate 2 to 3 kiwis in a day for 28 days reduced their blood clotting by 18% and triglycerides by 15%. Regular consumption of kiwi fruit prevents the build-up of plaques and deposits in the arterial walls, thus protecting against cardiovascular diseases.
5. Anti-cancer Properties:
The flavonoids and carotenoids in kiwifruit exhibit antioxidant effects. These phytochemicals protect your DNA from damage by free radicals and oxidative stress. By preventing DNA damage, they inhibit and prevent the growth of cancer cells.
6. Beneficial in Diabetes:
Kiwifruit has a low glycemic index which means that it does not raise blood sugar quickly. The glycemic load of 4 in kiwis is safe for diabetics.
7. Eye Health:
Kiwifruit helps in increasing the rate of vision. This is because it contains high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, the natural chemicals found in the human eye. Lutein prevents age related macular degeneration and the development of glaucoma and cataracts by filtering out the damaging blue light. Zeaxanthin also works hand in hand with lutein, thus contributing to eye health. A study has proved that eating 3 or more servings of kiwi fruit can decrease macular degeneration by 36% which is primarily responsible for vision loss in older adults.
8. Maintains Alkaline Balance:
Kiwifruit falls in the category of the most alkaline fruits which means that it has a rich supply of minerals that can replace the excess of acidic foods consumed by individuals. It helps to maintain the acid/alkaline balance in the body which results in several benefits such as deeper sleep, physical energy, fewer cold symptoms, and reduced arthritis and osteoporosis.
9. Treatment of Male Impotency:
Kiwifruit contains the amino acid arginine which is a well-known vasodilator and has been used to treat impotency in men. It is also a good source of zinc which helps to enhance testosterone in men.
10. Facilitates Weight Loss:
The low glycemic index and high fiber content of kiwifruit prevent a strong insulin rush unlike other fruits with high sugar content. This prevents the storage of fat, thus making this fruit beneficial for weight loss.
11. Beneficial in Pregnancy:
Kiwifruit is a rich source of folic acid which is vital for a healthy pregnancy and baby, and prevention of birth defects. The amount of folate contained in kiwifruit is equal to that of four peaches. Folate plays an important role in the development of blood cells for the baby in the womb.