In late October, I posted about kiwi’s incredible immunity-boosting effects, especially as a defense against the common cold. Since then, kiwis have been a part of our daily diet.
And we can vouch for their cold-fighting powers! The colds my two youngest children have caught this season amounted only to a few days of sniffles and a little coughing.
And despite being together 24/7, no one else has experienced cold symptoms for longer than one day. What makes kiwis so incredible?
Kiwifruit and Vitamins
Well, one possibility is their off-the-charts Vitamin C. In a meta-analysis of over 160 studies, researchers for kiwi mega-producer Zespri International included a graph comparing the Vitamin C content of 15 fruits.
The graph’s data show each fruit’s milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 grams:
- gold kiwifruit: 161.3
- green kiwifruit: 92.7
- papaya: 61.8
- strawberries: 58.8
- oranges: 53.2
- pineapple: 47.8
- mango: 27.7
- mandarins: 26.7
- melon: 18
- blueberries: 9.7
- bananas: 8.7
- watermelon: 8.1
- apples: 4.6
- pears: 4.2
- grapes: 4
Based on those figures, an average 70-gram gold kiwi provides about 112 mg of vitamin C. That’s about 40% higher than the European Union’s RDA!
But kiwis have even more going for them. They’re also rich in Vitamin E and folate (Vitamin B9). Another graph from the Zespri study ranks them 2nd and 4th among all fruits as a folate source. Its data measured ug DFE (dietary folate equivalents) per 100g:
- papaya: 38
- gold kiwifruit: 31
- oranges: 30
- green kiwifruit: 25
- strawberries: 24
Green kiwifruits and papayas are the only fruits to exceed 15 percent of the EU’s RDA for folate.
Kiwis are nutritional powerhouses. Study after study has confirmed kiwi health benefits. In addition to boosting our immune systems, they combat gut and metabolic problems:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- stomach aches
- heart disease
Kiwifruit and Cancer
A further report – published last year in Nutrition and Cancer – reviewed eight studies on kiwi’s direct and indirect cancer-fighting properties. Its vitamin C seems to play a direct role in reducing oxidative damage to DNA.
And its fiber encourages increased bowel moments and promotes gut-bacteria health, indirectly lowering the risk of colorectal cancer. The Italian researchers’ blunt assessment?
“The increased research data and growing consumer awareness of the health benefits of kiwifruit provide logical motivation for their regular consumption as part of a balanced diet.”
They go even further, calling the little fruit a critical weapon in the worldwide fight against poor health and disease:
“Kiwifruit should be considered as part of a natural and effective dietary strategy to tackle some of the major health and wellness concerns around the world.”
As I wrote this post today, my 12-year-old son sat next to me watching his online class and devouring a kiwi fruit, fuzzy brown peel included! Wondering what the other kids might think, I asked, “Should you be eating a kiwi in front of your class?”
Pointing out that his camera was off, he humorously gobbled the rest of his healthy snack like a starving caveman!
We laughed at his antics. But just in case his classmates eventually see him eating a kiwi, skin and all?
Tomorrow’s post will focus on the question, “Will eating kiwifruit skin harm you?”