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Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Kiwifruit is native to China. They were brought to New Zealand by missionaries in the early 20th century.  Kiwifruit is named in honor of the native bird of New Zealand, the kiwi, whose brown fuzzy coat resembled the skin of this unique fruit. 

Currently, Italy, New Zealand, Chile, France, Japan and the United States are among the leading commercial producers of kiwifruit.

Nutrient Profile: Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as a very good source of copper and dietary fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, folate, and manganese.

Health Benefits:

  • Protection of DNA: Researchers are not clear exactly which nutrients in kiwis provide the most DNA protection. Whether it is vitamin C, beta-carotene, a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids or a combination of the above.

  • Antioxidant Protection: Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C which is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. 

Selection and Storage: When selecting kiwifruits, hold them between your thumb and forefinger and gently apply pressure, those that have the sweetest taste will yield gently to pressure. Avoid those that are very soft, shriveled or have bruised or damp spots. 

Kiwifruits can be left to ripen for a few days to a week at room temperature, away from exposure to sunlight or heat. Placing the fruits in a paper bag with an apple, banana or pear will help to speed their ripening process. Ripe kiwifruits can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. For the most antioxidants, consume fully ripened kiwifruit.

You can also enjoy the skins which are very thin like a Bosc pear and are full of nutrients and fiber; the peachlike fuzz can be rubbed off before eating.

Kiwifruits should not be eaten too long after cutting since they contain enzymes that act as a food tenderizer which will make the fruit overly soft. Consequently, if you are adding kiwifruit to a fruit salad, you should do so at the last minute so as to prevent the other fruits from becoming too soggy. 

Individual concerns:

Kiwifruit and oxalates: Kiwifruit are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates (naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings). When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating kiwifruit.

Increased risk of Latex allergy: Kiwifruit (and avocados) contains substances that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. There is strong evidence of the cross-reaction between latex and these foods.

Recipe Suggestion: Here is a yummy spinach salad with berries and kiwi from Heather Homemade.

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