- view all thumbnails
The Cleveland Clinic, a premier U.S. heart hospital, has recommended kiwis as one of the 40 most powerful foods for heart health.
Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey ranked the kiwifruit No. 1 in nutritional value (followed by papaya, cantaloupe, and strawberry) among 27 of the most popular fruits.
"A serving of two kiwifruits gives you as much potassium as a banana and twice the vitamin C of an orange," says Karen Brux, North America general manager of Zespri International, the world's largest marketer of kiwifruit.
Preliminary small research studies suggest that eating about two kiwifruits a day may help:
-- thin the blood and reduce blood clotting (similar to the effects of daily aspirin)
-- lower triglycerides (blood fats)
-- maintain regularity (even if eaten without the skin)
-- support your immune system
-- protect against cancer
Read on to gain confidence and knowledge in shopping for, storing, peeling, eating, and cooking with kiwifruit.
Kiwifruit is a good source of fiber and antioxidant vitamins C and E. Plus, it has substantial amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, two plant-base nutrients important for eye health.
"Eating kiwifruit may help reduce cardiovascular disease risk through the beneficial combination of fiber, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, and other plant-base nutrients," says Metin Guldas, Ph.D., a food science researcher at Uludag University in Bursa, Turkey.
Per serving: 46 calories, 0 g fat, 11g carb., 2 g fiber, 237 mg potassium, 70.5 mg vitamin C, 1.5 IU vitamin E
There are more than 40 varieties of kiwifruit (and more are being developed).
The three most popular types of kiwi are:
1. Green Kiwi: Its light brown fuzzy skin and year-round availability makes green kiwi the most recognizable. It has tiny edible black seeds and a tart-sweet flavor.
2. Gold Kiwi: Has golden yellow flesh with smooth, edible skin (similar to a pear). The flavor is tropical-sweet and mellow.
3. Baby Kiwi: Only available in early fall, baby kiwi is about the size of a grape. It has a more intense flavor and sweetness than the green kiwi.
Peeling a kiwi is simple and requires just two steps.
Step 1: First, wash the kiwifruit. Place it on its side and cut off both ends.
Step 2: Turn the kiwifruit upright and cut off the skin in long strips, following the curve of the fruit. Slice thinly to preserve many nutrients near the skin.
Tip: Eating the kiwifruit skin triples the fiber, researchers say. Also, the highest concentration of vitamin C in kiwifruit is right below the fruit's skin. You may prefer to eat the skin of the fuzz-free gold kiwifruit rather than the skin of the fuzzy green variety.
Ready to eat? As with any fruit, start by washing the kiwi. Then try one of these methods:
Option 1: Cut the kiwi in half and scoop out fruit with a spoon.
Option 2: Slice the kiwi into coins (peeled or not).
Option 3: Cut the kiwi into whole quarters lengthwise (peeled or not).
Toss kiwi, apple juice, and honeydew melon in your blender for a delicious, heart-healthy shake.