Kiwifruit reveals its hidden health secrets
The new season’s ZESPRI kiwifruit from New Zealand hits the supermarket shelves of the UAE this week, backed by the strongest-ever campaign to promote its health benefits and “superfruit” status.
New shipment of the superfruit from New Zealand offers a bumper bundle of benefits
Citing the high levels of Vitamins C and E, low glycemic index (GI) and high fibre content of kiwifruit, New Zealand growers stressed that it is particularly well suited to the UAE due to the help it provides in the management of diabetes, which is so prevalent here.
Hala Barghout, a leading nutritionist and licensed clinical dietician in Dubai, is a big kiwifruit supporter. “Everyone knows that citrus fruit contains vitamin C, but a kiwifruit actually contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange of the same size - and three times as much as a lemon,” she said. “Vitamin C helps strengthen the body’s defences and promotes healthy bones, teeth and blood vessels. Kiwifruit is also a good source of the antioxidant Vitamin E. It provides twice the level of Vitamin E as an apple and is five times more nutritious.”
“Kiwifruit is sometimes seen as exotic and many people know it as sweet and succulent, but not many know how much it contributes to our health and well-being. It’s not only full of vitamin C and vitamin E but it’s also high in fibre, low in calories, full of antioxidants and is a healthy natural source of folic acid. The gold variety has an even sweeter taste and I believe it will be a big hit with people in the UAE.”
ZESPRI green Kiwifruit is also high in fibre, which helps to improve digestion in a natural way. It is also contains a soluble protein enzyme – actinidin – which is a natural laxative. Kiwifruit is the only fruit that contains this enzyme, which helps in digesting proteins from meat and dairy products and stimulates digestion in general. “Making kiwifruit an integral part of a balanced diet, combined with sufficient fluids and exercise, is the easy way to achieve good digestion habits,” Barghout said.
The kiwifruit actually originated in China and was known initially as the Chinese gooseberry when seeds were first transported to New Zealand. However, New Zealand growers became the world’s largest source for the fruit, which became known globally as the kiwifruit after New Zealand’s national symbol: the flightless Kiwi bird.