Kiwi provides more vitamin C than oranges or lemons and at the same time has few calories. The berries also provide numerous other vital substances. The healthy fruit, which is good for diets, became a trend fruit in Central Europe, which was used by New Zealand as a producer.
Table of contents
- Kiwi – an overview
- Vitamins and other ingredients
- Kiwi provides vitamin E
- Kiwi berries – medicinal effects
- Kiwi allergy: side effects and contraindications
- Raw fruits are not compatible with dairy products
- Kiwi plant or kiwi tree?
- The cultivated form of the Chinese gooseberry
- Green, yellow and red kiwi fruits
- Eating kiwi with peel?
- Kiwi jam and kiwi smoothie
- When are the fruits ripe?
- Buy and plant kiwi
- Scientific name: Actinidia deliciosa
- Common names: Kiwi, kiwi fruit, Chinese gooseberry, Chinese ray pen (rare)
- Family: Actinidiaceae
- Distribution: Kiwi is a pure cultivated form; The related wild plant, the Chinese ray pen (Actinidia chinensis), comes from southern China and the fruit is known as “Kiwi Gold” (yellow-fleshed fruits)
- Plant parts used: The berries (fruits, green flesh)
- Ingredients: Vitamins (including vitamin C, vitamin B9, vitamin E), minerals (including potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus), carotenoids (beta-carotene), fiber, lutein, citric acid and acitinidain
- Areas of application: Diet for weight loss, supply of vitamins (especially vitamin C) and minerals, against skin aging and oxidative stress as well as for chronic constipation
Kiwi – an overview
- Kiwi – the name refers to the well-known New Zealand national bird and is also a synonym for the New Zealanders. The name for the kiwi fruit was invented in New Zealand in 1959 for marketing reasons.
- Kiwis grow on climbing vines. In order to grow the berries yourself, male and female kiwi plants are required.
- By far the largest global producer of kiwis is China. But New Zealand and Italy are also other important producing countries.
- The kiwi fruit is a popular type of fruit, especially because of its high vitamin C content.
- The berries are low in calories and offer many vitamins and minerals as well as fiber that promote digestion. This makes them healthy foods, which are also good for losing weight and for diabetics.
- The fruit can be eaten raw or prepared, as jam, in desserts, as a juice or smoothie.
- An allergy to kiwifruit often manifests itself with severe symptoms.
Vitamins and other ingredients
Kiwi is known for its high vitamin C content. 100 grams, i.e. less than two berries, almost cover the daily vitamin C requirement of a healthy adult and, depending on the variety and degree of ripeness, contain between 44 and 90 milligrams of this vitamin. An intake of 95 to 110 milligrams per day is recommended for adults.
Kiwis also provide a wealth of other vitamins, minerals, trace elements and secondary plant substances such as vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin E, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, beta-carotene (provitamin A), lutein and citric acid. Lutein protects the skin from UV radiation.
The additional fiber in the berries promotes digestion, as does the acitinidain they contain – an enzyme that can also lead to allergic reactions.
Kiwis contain little fat and only nine grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. They only have around 54 kilocalories per 100 grams. For an average fruit, that’s around 43 kilocalories.
Kiwi provides vitamin E
Kiwis not only provide vitamin C, but also plenty of vitamin E. Both substances together ensure that regular consumption of the berries counteracts skin aging. With 1.6 milligrams of vitamin E per 100 grams, kiwi provides a little less than half of that of blackberries and raspberries, but around a third more than blueberries and blackcurrants.
Kiwi has an advantage over many other types of fruit when it comes to absorbing the vitamin. In many types of fruit, the majority of the E vitamin is contained in the seeds, and the body can only partially utilize these. However, the vitamin E in the kiwi fruit is mainly found in the pulp and is easily available to us.
The green kiwi fruit is a healthy food and naturally provides many vitamins, nutrients and fiber. Possible allergies should be clarified before consumption. (Image: karolina-kolodziejczak/unsplash/own editing heilpraxis.de)
Kiwi berries – medicinal effects
Kiwis are ideal for supporting a diet. They are low in calories, while the fiber and the enzyme actinidain promote digestion. They also provide valuable nutrients.
An Egyptian study from 2019 found: Kiwi is one of the fruits that activate the immune system. The berries have strong antioxidant effects, preventing harmful cell changes. According to the study, kiwi has high health value.
A Chinese review from 2019 pointed out the importance of the wild form of kiwi (Actinidia chinensis) as food and for Chinese folk medicine. The review summarized claims from various studies that this type of kiwi exhibits antitumor, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, immunoregulatory, hypolipidemic, antidiabetic and cardiovascular protective effects.
The Chinese gooseberry may be suitable for preventing and treating diseases associated with oxidative stress and aging and against cancer. According to the review, this is primarily due to the triterpenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, polysaccharides, unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin C it contains.
A 2021 study found green kiwis to be effective against chronic constipation symptoms and demonstrated low side effects and high satisfaction with the therapy.
Kiwi allergy: side effects and contraindications
According to a 2013 review, kiwi is one of the most allergenic fruits, and this allergy often manifests itself as a cross allergy to papaya, bananas, pineapple or birch pollen. Thirteen different allergens have been identified in kiwifruit. Proteins are an important allergy trigger.
Symptoms range from oral allergy syndrome (OAS) to anaphylactic shock, which can cause death. Milder symptoms include skin irritation and a rash around the mouth. A burning sensation on the tongue, palate and lips occurs, as well as gastrointestinal complaints, a runny nose, cough and shortness of breath.
If you have a kiwi allergy, you should not eat kiwis. The symptoms of those affected are usually severe. Even those who are not allergic to kiwis can show mild symptoms. The fruit acids irritate the skin and mucous membranes and can redden the skin and cause a slight burning sensation in the mouth.
Raw fruits are not compatible with dairy products
Kiwi berries contain the enzyme actinidain, which breaks down protein. Raw green kiwis combined with dairy products cause yoghurts to taste bitter after a certain time.
Yellow kiwis contain only a small amount of this enzyme and can therefore be eaten raw with dairy products without having a bitter taste.
Kiwi plant or kiwi tree?
Kiwiberries don’t grow on trees. The kiwi plant is a climbing plant whose tendrils grow upwards and become woody. These are dioecious plants that require male and female plants to reproduce. The flowers of the male plants produce pollen and pollinate the females, which then produce the fruits.
The cultivated form of the Chinese gooseberry
Kiwi grows naturally in China and has been collected there for centuries. In 1904, a teacher, Mary Isabel Fraser, brought seeds from the Yangtze to New Zealand. In 1910, the gardener Alexander Allison grew the first fruits on site.
Hayward Wright bred the “Hayward” variety from these. In 1950 these were harvested to such an extent that they could be sold to Europe and North America. The name was, like the wild form, Chinese gooseberry. In order to market the berries as something “typically New Zealand”, they were named after the flightless national bird “kiwi”, a name that New Zealanders also use to describe themselves.
Green, yellow and red kiwi fruits
Actinidia deliciosa with green flesh and Actinidia chinensis with golden yellow flesh are the best known forms of kiwi. Golden kiwi is sweeter and has less actinidain. The cultivated form of the red kiwi is less well known.
There are also mini kiwis, which are also called kiwi berries (all kiwi fruits are berries). Their shells are smooth and hairless.
Eating kiwi with peel?
Kiwi peels are edible, but you should make sure that they come from organic production and / or are well washed.
If you eat the peel, you will be getting valuable fiber. Otherwise, you can also peel or halve the kiwis and spoon them out.
Kiwi jam and kiwi smoothie
Kiwis can be easily made into jam. To do this, peel the fruits, cut them into small pieces and put them in a pot with preserving sugar. You bring everything to the boil and let it cook for four minutes or until you get the consistency you want. Then fill the jam in an airtight container and close the container carefully.
To make a smoothie, puree finely chopped, peeled kiwi berries together with other fruits to suit your taste. If necessary, add a little more water.
When are the fruits ripe?
Kiwis are not only sold hard, but also fully or even overripe. If you don’t want to eat the kiwis straight away, you should buy them when they are hard ripe, with a tight skin. Then you can ripen at home. If eaten too early, they taste sour.
Kiwis are ripe when the peel gives slightly when pressure is applied. They can then be easily removed from the shell and contain a lot of juice and aroma. Overripe kiwis give way, their flesh is glassy, loses flavor and contains less…