Friday, February 8, 2013

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HEALTH BENEFITS OF KIWI FRUIT




Kiwifruit may not be one of your first choices when it comes to buying fruit, but when you read this you might think again.

 

Kiwi fruits are rich in many Vitamins, flavonoids and minerals. In particular, they contain a high amount of Vitamin C (more than oranges), as much potassium as bananas and a good amount of beta-carotene.


Studies in Italy, though, performed on 6-7 year old children, have also demonstrated additional health benefits to the respiratory tract. In particular, children that were fed 5-7 portions a week of citrus and kiwifruits had 44% less probability wheezing compared to children eating less than once a week.


Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%,night time cough by 27%, severe wheeze by 41%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%. This results is not only traceable to the content in Vitamin C or Potassium, but in substances which are still largely unknown contained in kiwi fruit.


These substances are most likely flavonoids that help protect our cells from oxidative damage, and are therefore considered very helpful in protecting our DNA from mutations and damage.

 

Protection from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) :  A series of studies published by the Archives of Ophthalmology have proven that consuming 3 or more servings of fruit per day (including kiwi fruits) can reduce by 36% the risk of developing an eye-related disease called ARMD (the primary cause of vision impairment in adults), if compared to people who only consume 1.5 servings of fruit per day.

 

The study was conducted on 110.000 women and men and lasted several decades. Surprisingly, the study found that while vegetables were not correlated with an improved resistance to the disease, fruits containing high amount of Vitamin C,A and E (the most common antioxidant vitamins) helped significantly in protecting against ARMD.


Anti Oxidant properties of Kiwi Fruit:  It is important to note that kiwi fruits contain a remarkable amount of Vitamin C, E and A. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that has been proven to protect our body from free radicals, dramatically improving the health of individuals who consumed it regularly against all kinds of disease, from cardiovascular problems to cancer and obesity.


Vitamin E has been proven to have similar effects, but is fat-soluble and thus is complimentary to Vitamin C in its functions. Kiwi fruits contain both these vitamins in high amount, which help protect our body against free radicals from all fronts.


Stress Reduction: 

Kiwifruit contains a relatively high level of serotonin. Serotonin causes a calming effect in most individuals.

 

Diabetes:  

· Inositol, a sugar alcohol naturally occurring in kiwifruit, may play a positive role in regulating diabetes. Inositol supplements may improve nerve conduction velocity in diabetic neuropathy.

· Inositol plays a role in intracellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters. It acts as a second messenger in cell signalling processes.

 

Weight Control:


Calorie for calorie, kiwifruit is one of the most nutrient-rich fruits. You get the best balance of nutrients per calorie (the most nutrients for the fewest calories) from kiwifruit, cantaloupe, papaya and lemons.

 

Kiwi fruits have a high fibre content

The high content in dietary fibre helps improving diseases such as diabetes, by controlling sugar levels, and colon cancer, since fibre binds to toxic compounds in the colon and helps us expel them.


Fiber has also been proven to reduce cholesterol levels, improving the conditions of patients with cardiovascular diseases and lowering the probability of heart attacks.


Eating kiwi fruit is clearly a healthy choice, and it is particularly useful in these cases:

 

· Prevents Asthma

 Prevents wheezing and coughing, especially in children

· Protects our DNA from mutations

· Provides a healthy amount of antioxidants and vitamins

· Helps prevent colon cancer thanks to a high fibre content

· Carcinogenic nitrates are formed during the smoking or barbecuing of foods. When nitrates are ingested, a process called nitrosation can occur, in which free radicalsónitrosaminesóare formed that may lead to the formation of gastric or other cancers. Kiwi has been demonstrated to aid in the prevention of nitrosation.

· In another in vitro test with cultured mammalian-cell lines, kiwifruit extract was found to inhibit melanoma, or skin cancer.


· Lutein, an important phytochemical found in kiwifruit, has been linked to the prevention of prostate and lung cancer.

· The amino acid arginine, present in kiwifruit, is being looked at by cardiologists to improve postangioplasty blood flow and actually prevent the formation (or reformation) of plaque in the arteries.

· Kiwifruit is ranked as having the fourth highest natural antioxidant potentialónext to the red fruits containing high levels of beta carotene.

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