Did you know that the kiwi is not so called until 1958? This fruit is a surprise, not only for its interior —that wonderful green which looks like something out of a kaleidoscope—, also for its many healthy properties. Provides vitamins, antioxidants and calcium. In another article of The Naked Kitchen we talked about the benefits of buckwheat, today we tell you more about the properties of kiwi fruit for health.
History of the kiwi
The kiwi sounds to us a lot to New Zealand, but its origin is in China. Its scientific name is Actinidia Deliciosa, but also in chinese we called it ‘Mihou Tao and Yang Tao’ which translates to ‘peach sunny’. In the TWENTIETH century a missionary named Isabel Frasier brought this fruit from China to New Zealand in one of their trips. In 1906, the first tree of kiwifruit planted in New Zealand in the nursery of Alexander Allison and en 1910 he obtained the first harvest.
Until 1958 the kiwi did not have this name, he was called ‘gooseberry China’, but it was that year when the company packaging of fruit Auckland changed its name to the word maori kiwi. The reason was for the commercial strategy, as bringing ‘china’ in its name that exporter thought the fruit could be rejected in the united States for its feelings anti-communist. Furthermore, the name ‘gooseberry china’ was long and very kiwi was short and sonorous.
The kiwi is a small bird not flying the size of a hen’s small, originally from New Zealand. They have a brown fur and a rounded body (the fruit is gives an air to these birds, and surely that is why they gave it that name). The highest producing countries of kiwis are China, Italy, New Zealand, Chile and Greece. In Spain the season of this fruit, is from January to march and then October to December.
7 properties of kiwi fruit for health
Antioxidants are chemical compounds that our body uses to fight free radicals. A few molecules that accelerate the aging of cells. We find antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, that is why it is important to consume daily these foods. The kiwis provide vitamin A, 6.22 ug that has antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein, and also vitamin C, 43 milligrams that also has antioxidant action.
Studies on fruits with vitamin C such as citrus fruits, and the kiwi revealed that the kiwis had more antioxidant properties than grapefruits. Probably because in its composition has a mixture of phytochemicals in higher proportions than the grapefruit.
Improves the health of the heart
Among the antioxidants that it provides are the polyphenols along with vitamin C and potassium help to improve cardiovascular health. Several studies have shown that kiwifruit help to reduce the formation of triglycerides in the blood.
These fruits are sources of serotonin that promotes sleep. In various researches it has been proved that frequent consumption of kiwi helps to improve the quality of sleep.
Among the flavonoids is naringenin, the routine, the catechins and epicatechins. These substances modulate the receptors sleep inducers, and are considered to be an agent with mild sedative. To the skins of kiwi boiled and taken in infusión also attributed to effects inducing sleep.
Enhances the absorption of iron
The kiwi also helps to improve the absorption of iron. Thanks to nutrients such as lutein, vitamin C and zeaxanthin, the body can better assimilate the iron. A study that compared the kiwi and the banana was found that the consumption of kiwi fruit along with breakfast cereal rich in iron, improving its absorption in front of the consumption of these cereals with bananas.
The consumption of kiwifruit helps to maintain a healthy gut. The dietary fiber found in kiwi fruit (have 2,12 g) helps to maintain good intestinal health. Helps to relieve constipation. This fruit has properties of a mild laxative. The kiwi has an enzyme called proteolytic actinidina, which improves the digestion of proteins.
Beneficial in pregnancy
It is an ideal fruit to consume in pregnancy, provides folic acid and calcium, in addition to vitamins and fiber.
It has a low glycemic index
Foods with low glycemic index are more suitable for people who suffer from diabetes. A study performed with extracts of kiwi, showed that the regular consumption of this fruit helps to regulate adipogenesis is crucial for the prevention of this disease. Being overweight or accumulation of adipose tissue is closely related to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.