Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit

KiwifruitMany people are attracted to kiwi because of its bright green colour. While the green colour is definitely one of the characteristics that distinguishes the fruit from other fruits, its uniqueness comes from the health benefits they provide. This article will address the positive effects the fruit has on cardiovascular health and the human eye. This article will also provide tips on how to store and prepare the fruit.

Description

The official name of the fruit is kiwifruit, however most people refer to the fruit as kiwi. Kiwifruit is a small fruit, but it holds great surprises. There are many different types of kiwifruits. The most common species is the actinidia deliciosa, which is known as the Hayward kiwi. The oval fruit is a bit bigger than a chicken’s egg. The skin has a brown-greenish colour and has a fibrous texture on the outside. The colour of flesh is green but can also have a golden colour. The flesh of the fruit contains tiny black edible seeds. The tiny black seeds are surrounded with small white veins. The fruit has a unique sweet flavour and its texture is soft. The taste of kiwifruit is sometimes described as being a mixture of the tastes of bananas and strawberries. While the taste of the fruit can be compared to the flavour of these two fruits, it still has a unique sweet flavour to it. Another popular type of kiwifruit is the actinidia chinesis, also referred to as the golden kiwifruit. This type of fruit has a bronze skin and is smooth on the outside compared to the Hayward kiwi, which has a fibrous texture. The golden kiwifruit has a beak shape at the attachment of its stem. The colour of the fruit can vary from yellow to bright green. With regards to its flavour, it is sweeter compared to the Hayward kiwi. However, the golden kiwifruit had a limited storage life. It is for this reason that they are not commonly found in supermarkets.

History

Kiwifruit is said to have an interesting history. The origins of the kiwifruit can be found in China where they were known as Yang Tao. Missionaries transported kiwis from China to New Zealand in the beginning of the 20th century. A few decades later after they had been transported, the commercial plantings started. They were later renamed as Chinese Gooseberries. The first time the fruit appeared in the United States was around the 1960s. During this time an American distributor first saw the fruit in a restaurant and felt that the fruit would be appreciated by the American people. The American distributor initiated the import of the fruit into the United States from New Zealand. Shortly after the import had started it was decided to change the name from Chinese Gooseberries to kiwifruit. The name was changed to kiwifruit in honour of the native bird of New Zealand which is also called kiwi. The brown coat of the animal resembles the skin of the fruit. While the fruit was first found in China, China is not the leading producer of the fruit. In some parts of China the fruit is still produced. The fruit mainly grows in mountainous areas. For example, the area around the Yangtze River is one of the main areas where kiwis grow in China. The leading commercial producers of the fruit are Italy, New Zealand, Chine, France and the United States. New Zealand used to be the main producer of kiwis for a long period of time. The kiwifruits which are produced in New Zealand are now sold under the label called Zespri. However around the 1980s, many other countries started to produce kiwifruits. Italy, for example, had infrastructure and techniques in place to support the production of grapes. They adapted their material in order to be able to produce kiwifruits. This, together with the fact that the country has direct access to the European market, led to Italy being one of the main producers of kiwi in the world.

Cardiovascular benefits

It has been proven that kiwifruits provide many health benefits to the human body. One of the health benefits is that it improves the cardiovascular system. By eating one or two kiwis a day, you lower the risk of blood clotting and you significantly reduce the risk of a stroke. Moreover, you also lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Thus, only one or two kiwis a day can help to protect cardiovascular health. While there are other products which help to reduce blood clotting, these products usually are paired with side effects. For example, aspirin is one of these products. While aspirin is known for reducing blood clotting, it unfortunately can have negative side effects on the human body. Long-term use of aspirin could lead to bleeding in the intestinal tract and could cause inflammation. Kiwi, on the other hand, only has positive effects on the body. This is also because the fruit is a source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and polyphenols. These nutrients can function independently or together to protect the heart and blood vessels. Potassium is known for lowering blood pressure and relaxing blood vessels in the human body. Fiber, in combination with vitamin K, prevent the body from building up calcium in the arteries. This could eventually reduce the risk of heart attacks.


Benefits for the eye

It is often said that in order to keep your eyes bright, you should carrots. However, it seems that with age it becomes more important to eat fruits. Fruits play an important role for keeping your eye sight. A study which was published by the Archives of Opthamology concluded that eating three pieces of fruit a day could lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. This disease is known for being the primary cause of loss of vision amongst older adults. The participants showed a reduced risk of over 35% compared to those people who only consumed 1,5 pieces of fruit a day. While three servings a day might sound like a lot of fruit to eat on a daily basis, kiwifruit can easily be added to other dishes. For example, you can add pieces of kiwi to your breakfast if you are having cereal or oats. Kiwi can also be added to green salads, or you can add them to your morning smoothie or to a healthy fruit-salad. Another compound present in the kiwifruit which helps to protect the eyes is called lutein. Lutein is not only known for protecting the skin, but it can also prevent many diseases of the eye. Lutein can protect the eye by filtering out damaging wavelengths from UV light. An average size kiwi contains about 170 milligrams of lutein, which is higher than any other fruit. Moreover, kiwi is also a source of vitamin A. Vitamin A also provides benefits to the eye.

How to select and store

When buying kiwis in the supermarket or at the market there are a few things you should pay attention to. When picking kiwis, select those which are a bit soft. You can hold them between your forefinger and your thumb and softly apply pressure. Those which are a bit soft will have the sweetest taste. Thus, try and find those which are not too soft and not too hard. Avoid kiwis which have damp spots, have bruised or those which are incredibly soft. When the fruit is too soft it means that it is overly ripe and it will not taste sweet but rather bitter. The size of the fruit does not tell you much about the quality of the fruit. Thus, pick the size of the fruit according to your personal preference and judge your basement on how soft the fruit feels. The growing season for kiwis is very long since it can last up to 240 days a year. It is for this reason that the fruit can be found in supermarkets almost all year round. If a kiwi if not soft yet, this means that the fruit has not reached its peak of sweetness. The fruit might be ripe, but it will not necessarily have a sweet taste. Before the fruit reaches its peak of sweetness, they usually taste a bit bitter. Kiwis can be left to ripen for a few days at room temperature, away from sunlight or heat. To speed up the ripening process, you can place the fruit in a paper bag together with a banana. Once the fruit is ripe it can be stored in a refrigerator or it can be left at room temperature. If you want to consume kiwis with the most antioxidants, eat those which are fully ripened. 

Tips for preparing kiwifruit

Since kiwis are rich in flavour, they can be eaten as they are. You can peel the fruit and slice it up to add to your fruit-salad, or eat them just like that. You can also cut the fruit in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. While it is not common to eat the skin of the fruit, they can be eaten if they skin is very thin. The thin skin is full of fiber and nutrients. When you have cut the fruit in smaller pieces, you should not wait too long before consuming the fruit. This is due to the fact that the fruit contains enzymes which can serve as food tenderizer. This means that it can tenderize the fruit itself and make it incredibly soft. The same holds for when the fruit is in contact with other fruits. Thus, when you want to add kiwifruit to a fruit-salad, it is recommended to only add kiwifruit at the last minute to prevent the other fruits from becoming soggy. A research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that minimal processing of the fruit does not affect the nutritional content of the fruit. This means that it is possible to cut a kiwi in slices on the weekend and enjoy it all week, and still receive all the nutritional benefits of the fruit.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 862x
Added: 13-10-2016 17:36
Last modified: 02-11-2016 16:59

Relevant links

Categories

There are already 325 articles added to this website.
The copyrights of infowiki.com apply!