Add this Chinese origin fruit to your diet for boosting immunity
Kiwi fruit or Chinese gooseberry is also knownas mihoutauand has originated from china. A school teacher introduced the fruit to New-Zealand in 1904, the New Zealanders called it kiwi after their national bird. Presently, it is cultivated worldwide including the United states, Italy, France, Greece and Japan.It is an oval-shaped fruit which has brown rough skin, semi-translucent green flesh with small black seeds. Its flesh is almost creamy in consistency,anhas an enlivening taste of a mixture of strawberries and bananas, with its own unique sweet flavour.
Kiwifruit is rich in nutrients and low in calories, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C, K, E, copper potassium, folate, manganese and dietary fiber.The kiwi fruit approximately one to two inch long and 69 gm in weight contains approximately 85% of vitamin C, 31% vitamin K, 215.28 mg of potassium, 17.25mcg folate. A 100gm of raw kiwi fruit provides 61 calories, 3mg sodium,9g sugar, 312mg potassiumand 3g dietary fiber. The medicinal properties of kiwi fruit  are that it is cytotoxic, anti-hypertensive, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-oxidant, anti-tumour, anti-proliferative, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-spermatogenesis, anti-constipation, anti-asthma, anti-platelet, fibrinolytic, anti-thrombin, anti-atherosclerotic, dermatologic, etc.
Sinceit is a rich source of antioxidants, it helps in betterment of gastrointestinal laxation, lowering of blood lipid levels. Vitamin C is a main component in kiwi (1 cup of kiwi provides about 273%vitamin C of daily recommended value.) hence helpful in improving your immune system and also aids in reducing the severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease. It may be useful for preventing recurrent ear infections in people who suffer from them. Kiwi fruit being rich in Vitamin K, Potassium, iron and magnesium makes it helpful in lowering the risk of blood clots and also protects your heart and blood vessels. Good content of potassium also aids in maintaining blood pressure, and magnesium helps in better nerve muscle function.
The sugar content in the fruit is released slowly because of the low glycemic index. Hence, kiwi helps to regulate blood sugar levels, reducing uneven blood sugar spikes. An average person can have around 2-3 kiwis a day.Some studies have shown that kiwifruit eaten with other foods remarkably slows the update of sugars in the bloodstream  because fibre in kiwifruit has a very high water-holding capacity. When eaten, the kiwifruit fibre attracts water and it swells, thickens like a gel. As the food is digested, it is broken down into smaller sugars which move more slowly through the gel. This results in sugar being taken up at a reduced rate into the blood and energy delivered more slowly. Hence, it forms a part of diabetic diet schedule and has contributed in maintaining the healthy sugar levels.
Kiwifruit is a good source of folate, an essential nutrient required for expecting mothers. Its very beneficial for the pregnant ladies as it helps in the development of the foetus, and is also considered good for growing children.Researchers say it contains a variety of flavonoids, carotenoids that have a great antioxidant capacity and ability to protect DNA from oxygen related damage.Kiwifruit has also good content of serotonin, which aids in insomnia i.e. it helps to induce sleep. Two kiwi fruits one hour before bedtime helps immensely in inducing sleep. It’s an alkaline in nature so it helps to counter the effects of acidic foods.A healthy body needs to have a good pH balance, making us active, full of energy, and keeps our skin youthful. The vitamins prevent in kiwi (C and E) are said to be good for skin as well as they act as antioxidant andprevent skin degradation. Kiwifruit contains an important component called actinidin; a proteolytic enzyme that can help to break down protein, it helps in  digestion of proteins in the body and is known to help patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Kiwi also helps to keep our vision good, some studies have shown that by eating three servings of fruit a day macular degeneration has decreased by 36%.
Kiwifruit has a good content of lutein and zeaxanthin which is required for good vision and healthy eyes. In addition to the above mentioned qualities, kiwi fruits also are rich in  omega 3 fatty acids, benefits of kiwi are innumerable, adding them to your diet will be quite beneficial. Care should be taken only by the patients to avoid eating kiwis, who could have slow blood clotting, or severity of bleeding disorders.
Selecting kiwifruits: Hold them between your thumb and forefinger, gently apply pressure; those that have the sweetest taste will yield gently to pressure. Avoid those that are very soft or have bruised or damp spots. Kiwifruits should not be eaten too long after cutting since they contain enzymes (actinic and bromic acids) that act as a food tenderizer, with the ability to further tenderize the kiwifruit itself and make it overly soft. Consequently, if you are adding kiwifruit to fruit salad, you should do so at the last minute so as to prevent the other fruits from becoming too soggy.

Dr Afsah Iqbal Nahvi, Dr. Abdul Rouf and
 Dr Mustaq Ahmad Beigh.
Associate professors; Division of

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