Kiwifruit is a nutrient-dense fruit, and substantial study on the health benefits of kiwifruit over the last decade has related consistent consumption to improvements in not just nutritional status, but also digestive, immunological, and metabolic health.
Kiwifruit is high in vitamin C and contains a variety of other nutrients, including nutritionally important levels of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and folate, and also a wide range of bioactive components, such as antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes, all of which contribute to functional and metabolic benefits. Because of an increasing body of data from human intervention research, kiwifruit’s contribution to digestive health is gaining a lot of attention.
Do you know history of kiwifruit?
Kiwifruit has progressed from a natural plant that has been partially utilized by humans to a commercial crop of global economic significance in the twentieth century. Kiwifruit is native to the temperate woods of southwest China’s highlands and hills. In the nineteenth century, missionaries contributed significantly to botany and the dissemination of horticultural plants. Around the 1750s, Jesuit priest Père Pierre Nol Le Chéron d’Incarville and later plant collector Robert Fortune delivered the first botanical specimens of A. Chinensis to Europe. The Horticultural Society of London (1843–1845) despatched Robert Fortune to China to “gather seeds and plants of a beautiful or useful sort,” and one of Fortune’s A. Chinensis specimens is kept in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London. New Zealand is a significant kiwifruit producer today, and all early commercial kiwifruit cultivars in New Zealand and across the world can be attributed to a Church of Scotland mission station in Yichang, China, in 1878.
Hayward Wright, a nurseryman near Auckland, New Zealand, offered the plant in his catalogue around 1922, describing it as “a wonderful fruiting climber” and boosting it as an extremely valuable new fruit because it ripens over a long period in the winter, making it a valuable addition to the limited supply of winter fruits. While the kiwifruit season necessitates winter sowing, the fruit can be kept for a long time after harvesting and is grown in both the northern and southern hemispheres. This implies that kiwifruit is available all year, which is vital for individuals who want to consume it regularly for its health advantages.
The nutritional attributes of kiwifruit
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a rising number of customers are choosing to eat the skin, particularly the gold variants, since it is smoother, thinner, and hairless, according to a recent study. The fibre, vitamin E, and folate levels of whole SunGold kiwifruit (including the skin) are increased by 50, 32, and 34 percent, respectively, when consumed.
The greatest distinguishing nutritional feature of kiwifruit is its total ascorbic acid content. The Hayward green cultivar often has values of 80 to 120 milligrams per 100 g fresh weight. The amount of vitamin C in fruit, especially kiwifruit, varies naturally according to a range of factors, including growing area and circumstances, fertilizer usage, maturity at harvest, harvest timing, storage, and ripening conditions. On an edible flesh weight basis, the SunGold kiwifruit has 161.3 mg vitamin C per 100 g, over three times the amount found in oranges and strawberries.
In comparison to other regularly consumed fruits, kiwifruit has a comparatively high levels of vitamin E. Consumption of both green and gold kiwifruit has been linked to higher plasma vitamin E levels, suggesting that the vitamin E in kiwifruit is bioavailable.
Green and yellow kiwifruit are high in potassium, with normal content of 301–315 mg per 100 g. Potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and green vegetables, are often low in salt and high in potassium. Kiwifruit has a sodium content of about 3 mg per 100 g, making it a naturally low sodium fruit.
Potassium-rich foods or potassium-based therapies have been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure, particularly in those with hypertension.
The dietary fiber content of green and gold kiwifruit was found to be around one-third soluble and two-thirds insoluble, although kiwi gold fruit contains much less total fiber than green kiwifruit. The dietary fibers in kiwifruit are susceptible to fermentation, and many of them provide benefits by producing short chain fatty acids.
The most noticeable change in the fruit’s physiology during ripening is a quick fall in starch content, followed by a rise in fructose and glucose.
From a physiological standpoint, the sugar content of kiwifruit, like that of all fruit, may influence the management of blood sugar levels after consumption; however, current research suggests that the glycaemic response effects of kiwifruit as a whole food may differ from those of individual components.
Various in vitro chemical tests that monitor the quenching, scavenging, or retarding of free radical formation have been used to assess the antioxidant activity of kiwifruit components. Kiwifruit, for example, has a greater total antioxidant content than apple, grapefruit, and pear, but less than raspberry, strawberry, orange, and plum. The in vitro studies demonstrate that antioxidants can prevent or delay some forms of cell damage caused by the unstable free radicals created every day during normal metabolism, but the mechanism of how this translates to effects in vivo that result in physiological changes is still unknown.
The effects of green and gold kiwifruit on several of these metabolic parameters, including glucose and insulin balance, bodyweight maintenance, and energy homeostasis, have been studied in several research. Individuals with metabolic abnormalities associated with major causes of morbidity and mortality, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and dementia, may benefit from regular consumption of green and gold kiwifruit.
Whole green kiwifruit has been used and advocated for many years to keep the stomach comfortable, and they’ve lately been tested in controlled conditions. The components contained in kiwifruit have been demonstrated to improve faecal bulking and softness, as well as lubrication, which aids content propulsion along the colon. Typically, kiwifruit contains about 2/3 insoluble fibre and 1/3 soluble fibre, and kiwifruit fibre retains water extremely well. Two kiwifruits per day were observed to enhance stool frequency, including the number of complete spontaneous bowel movements per week, decrease gastrointestinal transit time, and improve measures of intestinal comfort.
Observations and conclusions
The nutritional qualities and health advantages of green and gold kiwifruit are highlighted in this review. The nutritional profile, notably the high vitamin C content, supports its status as a high-nutrient, low-energy fruit. One feature that distinguishes kiwifruit from the myriad of man-made, processed health foods accessible to the market is that it is a natural, whole food.
An increasing amount of research supports the positive benefits of kiwifruit on gastrointestinal function in both healthy people and people with constipation and other gastrointestinal diseases. Increased scientific data demonstrating the nutritional and health advantages of kiwifruit, as well as expanding public acceptance as a component of a well-balanced diet, will surely provide chances to address some of the world’s most pressing health and wellness issues.