KIWI: Green gobblin’

High nutrition density and low calorie content makes kiwifruit a phenomenal super-food

KiwiKiwifruit is an amazing boon to health and nutrition. It is helpful in reducing the severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and for preventing conditions such as colon cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and heart disease. Kiwifruit has various health gains. Some of them are listed below:

Rich in vitamins

Kiwifruits contain numerous phytonutrients as well as vitamins and minerals that promote our health. Kiwifruit is a good source of important fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E, and water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C. This combination of both fat and water-soluble antioxidants allows the kiwifruit to neutralise free radicals that can cause damage to cells and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. In fact, adequate intake of vitamin C is necessary for the healthy function of the immune system; it is useful in preventing recurrent ear infections in people.

Folic acid - a hard-to-get vitamin - is a key nutrition concern for many nutritionists. Most pregnant women have an inadequate intake of folic acid and there are doubts about whether many growing children get enough of it. In fact, even those who eat a healthy diet, find it difficult to obtain enough folic acid. There are very few foods equal to kiwifruit in folic acid content per serving. Kiwifruit has some 10 per cent, making it a very good source.

Note: Cooking quickly destroys folic acid. It is estimated that as much as 80 per cent of the folic acid content in a food is lost during cooking and a 50 per cent loss is typical. Since, kiwifruit is usually consumed raw; its folic acid content remains intact.

Rich in neurotransmitters

Kiwifruit contains a relatively high level of serotonin and inositol. Serotonin causes a calming effect in most individuals, thus helping relieve stress while inositol can be beneficial in treating depression.

Rich in minerals and fibre

Kiwifruit is one of the most nutrient-rich fruits. It is loaded with potassium and fibre, making it one of nature's healthiest super-foods. In fact, just a couple of kiwifruit each day may significantly lower risk of blood clots and reduce the amount of fats [triglycerides] in the blood, thereby helping to protect our cardiovascular health. Kiwifruit is also rich in magnesium and copper, all of which may function individually or in concert to protect the blood vessels and heart by decreasing platelet aggregation. A serving of kiwifruit has about 20 per cent more potassium than a banana. Potassium is an important mineral that controls heart activity and works with sodium to maintain fluid balance in the body. It loaded of dietary fibre that helps in regulating blood sugar, and is therefore beneficial for diabetics. The high content in dietary fibre helps managing diseases such as diabetes by controlling sugar levels. Since fibre binds to toxic compounds in the colon and helps us expel them, it helps prevent colon cancer.

Fibre also reduces cholesterol levels and thus helps in lowering the probability of heart attacks.

Low in calories

It is low in calories and has no cholesterol. Kiwifruit contains twice as much Vitamin E as an avocado does, but has only 60 per cent of the avocado's calories.

Cook it up with kiwi

Kiwifruits are so delicious; they can be eaten as it is. Add them to tossed green salads or mix them in recipes of fish and poultry. Not only will kiwifruit add extra vitamins, but also give a tangy flavour to cooked fish and chicken, in barbecuing or baking. You can also make chutney of sliced kiwifruit with orange and pineapple together serve as an accompaniment to chicken or fish. Kiwifruit has a wonderful flavour and appearance for use in fruit tarts.

Kiwifruit Tart [Eggless]

Ingredients

  • 1cup of finely chopped nuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4cup of cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 2/3 cups of milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6-8 kiwifruits

Method

  1. Prepare or purchase a 9" pie shell.
  2. Peel 6-8 medium sized kiwifruit and slice them into neat rounds.
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  4. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Stir until mixture comes to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Stir in butter, vanilla, chopped nuts.
  5. Starting from the outer edge of the pie-shell, add kiwifruit roundels until the surface is completely covered.
  6. Fill pie-shell with the mixture and let cool.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Deepshikha Agarwal
Deepshikha Agarwal is a Mumbai-based dietician and sports nutritionist. She writes nutrition-related columns in newspapers and conducts corporate workshops. She also teaches and conducts lectures on diet and wellness isues.

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