Kiwi, the oval-shaped sweet and tangy fruit with a bright green flesh, is adored by many for its unique taste and multiple health benefits, from controlling blood pressure to easing digestive troubles. Given the tag of ‘exotic’, kiwifruit also known as Chinese gooseberry, originated in eastern China but also grows in New Zealand and California. According to National Horticulture Board (NHB), kiwi is grown in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, J&K, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Kerala. High on Vitamin B & C, antioxidants, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, the fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients and loaded with many health benefits.
“Kiwi may not be seasonal or local and is often given the tag of ‘exotic’ but when it comes to DNA repair abilities, post-surgery recovery and wound healing, immunity, metabolic abnormalities, digestion, this fruit has it all,” says Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine and Founder of YouCare – All about YOU by Luke Coutinho.
Coutinho shared some science-based benefits of kiwi with HT Digital.
1. DNA repair
Our DNA is exposed to constant stress due to sun exposure, smoking (active or passive), sheesha, cancer, and related treatment therapies like chemo and radiation, heavy drugs, pollution, pesticides, and so on. Poor DNA health has connections with almost every disease from cancer to Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular, kidney, liver, brain. Everything that involves a cell – be it gut health, obesity, fat gain, or hormones. Kiwis are known to possess powerful DNA repair abilities. Research shows that regular kiwi consumption could lower your risk of colon cancer, making kiwi a food of interest in most cancer plans.
2. Immunity booster
Kiwi is exceptionally high in vitamin C and antioxidants which help boost the immune system that helps ward off diseases.
3. Blood pressure management
According to a 2014 research study on kiwis, around 2-3 kiwis a day can lower blood pressure. In the long term, this could mean a lowered risk for cardiovascular conditions caused by high blood pressure, like strokes or heart attack.
4. Reducing blood clotting
Kiwis are also helpful in reducing blood clotting. As per a study, the risk of blood clotting was lowered by having two to three kiwis a day. The fruit also helped reduce the amount of fat in the blood.
5. Wound healing and post-surgery recovery
If you are recovering from a wound or surgery, you might want to add a kiwi to your nutrition plan. Natural compounds in the kiwifruit, like certain enzymes and antibacterial agents, are known to support the wound healing process. It can also help someone with bedsores, burns, and diabetic foot ulcers.
“While there is too much emphasis given on eating local and seasonal, we must also be open to embracing foods that are global if our body and health will benefit from it. Kiwi is one such fruit. And even if you are healthy and disease-free, this fruit is a great add-on to your prevention plan,” concludes Coutinho.