( Natural News ) Hiding behind the soft, fuzzy brown peel of kiwi, a small exotic fruit associated with New Zealand, is a wealth of essential nutrients, antioxidants and powerful plant compounds. Here are some of the impressive science-based health benefits of kiwifruit, a sweet, easy-to-eat and highly nutritious superfruit also known as Chinese gooseberry. Supports immune health
A study published in the journal Advances in Food and Nutrition Research indicated that kiwifruit contains vitamins C and E, folate, carotenoids, polyphenols and dietary fiber that provide immuno-nutrition by modulating your immune responses in a positive way and mitigating symptoms of infection .
Another study published in the same journal indicated that the kiwi fruit is one of the premier dietary sources of vitamin C, and one serving (3.5 ounces or 100 grams) delivers the bulk (over 80 percent) of the recommended dietary intake . Supports respiratory health
In a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition , researchers reported significantly reduced severity and duration of head congestion and the duration of sore throat, among other symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections , in community-dwelling participants (? 65 years) who consumed the equivalent of four kiwifruits daily for four weeks. They also reported that gold kiwifruit significantly increased plasma vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol, lutein, zeaxanthin and erythrocyte folate (red blood cells) concentrations and decreased oxidative stress. Supports cardiovascular health
Kiwis are rich in vitamin K: Just one cup of raw kiwi has 72.5 micrograms of this vitamin that helps keep your arteries healthy . They also contain high amounts of potassium, an essential mineral for blood pressure control. It also contains pectin, a type of fiber that helps reduce bad cholesterol levels. Complementing this are two amino acids that help prevent the oxidation of good cholesterol arginine and glutamate. Arginine, a well-known vasodilator, helps promote an increase in arteriolar dilation. (Related: Reduce your heart disease risk with kiwi: Research .)
Another study published in the journal Advances in Food and Nutrition Research reported that consumption of two or three kiwifruits per day for 28 days or more lowered platelet hyperactivity, plasma lipids and blood pressure in human volunteers – suggesting that kiwifruit is a new dietary means to favorably modify risk factors of cardiovascular disease . Supports bone health
A study published in the journal Nutrition reports there is a consistent line of evidence in human epidemiologic and intervention studies that clearly demonstrates vitamin K can improve bone health. The vitamin K in kiwis not only increases bone mineral density in osteoporotic people, but also reduces fracture rates. Supports metabolic health
A study published in the Dove Medical Press journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy indicated that kiwifruit’s phenolic components and flavonoid isoquercitrin and quercetin may play a role in lowering blood glucose . Isoquercitrin exhibited a potency similar to that of 1-deoxynojirimycin, an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. Quercetin demonstrated a positive effect on diabetes by reducing oxidative stress and maintaining pancreatic beta-cell integrity. Supports eye health
Kiwis contain high amounts of two types of carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), which perform the same function as antioxidants. These carotenoids help to form vitamin A, which is not only beneficial to a healthy functioning ocular surface, but is also required for the formation of the photoreceptor rhodopsin – which is especially helpful in allowing your eyes to see at night.
Dr. Sherri Nordstrom Stastny and Dr. Julie Garden-Robinson of North Dakota State University said one cup of kiwi contains 200 micrograms of these two phytochemicals, which can help rebuild your macula as you age and prevent macular degeneration and ultimately vision loss.
Additionally, a cup of sliced kiwi contains 167 milligrams of vitamin C, twice the amount an orange provides, which help repair damaged cells and promote the growth of new cells.
A cup of kiwi also provides about 20 percent of your recommended daily intake for the trace mineral copper, which is important for maintaining an optimal nervous system, thus improving the function of your retina , which contains the nerves that convert images into electrical impulses for your brain to interpret. Supports healthy digestion
A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition indicated that the unique combination of soluble and insoluble fibers, polyphenols and actinidin provides gastrointestinal benefits , improves laxation and reduces abdominal discomforts, both in individuals with either constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and in normal health people suffering from constipation without reported side effects. Supports reasonable weight management goals
Kiwis are low in calories but rich in dietary fiber, beneficial fats and natural sugars. They are great super fruits to snack on pre- and post-workouts. Diets that are high in fiber from fruits and vegetables have been shown to promote weight loss , increase fullness and improve gut health, including another study published in the journal Nutrients .
Kiwis are delicious when eaten raw, peeled or unpeeled, and pair well with other fruits in fruit salads or smoothies. You can also add kiwis to your salsa or breakfast oatmeal for extra nutrient benefits.
Learn more about other superfruits and how they promote overall health at Fruits.news .
Watch this video to learn about eight surprising health benefits of eating kiwi . No compatible source was found for this media. More related stories:
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