Food of the Week : Kiwi
Time to get fruity…
This little furry fella packs a nutritious punch. Rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene (the form of Vitamin A), the humble hairy kiwi has a plethora of flavonoids and carotenoids (different types of fruity phytonutrients) which are responsible for awesome antioxidant properties.
And that’s not all. The kiwi flesh is high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin E and Vitamin K as well as a wicked source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper and folate.
The little black edible seeds contain a small dose omega-3 fatty acids, great for brain and heart health. We tend to get a great supply of omega-6 in our diets, but omega-3 is something we needed to take on more of.
Vitamin C is a seriously powerful water soluble vitamin (which means we don’t store supplies, but need a steady income). Free-radicals in the body reek havoc, and can lead to cell inflammation and even cancer, which Vitamin C can neutralise. Yup, powerful stuff 🙂 .
Vitamin C has been scientifically shown to have great results improving the symptoms of arthritis and respiratory disorders including asthma. Let’s not forget how great this antioxidant is for healthy skin too.
Small but mighty, kiwi’s are loaded in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are also present in human eyes. As we age, so does our level of these natural chemicals. Regularly eating kiwi’s has proven to reduce the instance of macular degeneration showing that the kiwi really is a superfood reducing age related vision disorders 🙂 .
Now let’s talk fibre. We know how important fibre is for weight management, and it’s also vital for heart health (reducing our bad cholesterol levels – see you later low density lipoproteins, and rich in heart happy potassium) and digestive wellbeing. High fibre foods like kiwi, bind to toxins in our guts, removing them which could in time lead to serious gut disease including colon cancer.
Evidence suggests the little olde kiwi can help improve adult sleep patterns – helping us to fall asleep, and sleep for longer. Amazing!
Kiwi’s are rich in the protein digesting enzyme actinidain, providing a completely natural digestive aid.
So small, but mighty every part of the kiwi is nutritionally loaded… skin, flesh and seeds.
Be brave, eat the whole fruit, yes – including the skin. Fibre, fibre, fibre. Even the skin itself is rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties. The richest part of the fruit flesh lies just beneath the skin, which we can easily remove if we peel the fruit. Just make sure to choose organic, otherwise that skin will be loaded with chemicals and pesticide nasties, and give it a good wash first as a the fibrous outer surface can hold a lot of dust.
Eat the fruit whole with pro-biotic yogurt for major gut health. The first time you eat the skin may seem a little strange, but I couldn’t imagine peeling a kiwi now 🙂
Wizz up the whole fruit in a blender with an apple and water. A super simple, nutrient rich juice. Chop both fruit into chunks, add a couple of ice cubes, and wiz away with a glass of water. De-lish 🙂
Add to smoothies for added thickness and a creamy texture, adding a kick to smoothies with strawberries, banana or pears, and add kale, spinach, or celery.