It may look repulsive from the outside with its fuzzy brown appearance but upon peeling this fruit gets transformed into an exotic green translucent flesh with a tangy, somewhat creamy taste intercepted by small black crunchy seeds.
Native to China, kiwi was initially called Yang Tao. Later, when brought to New Zealand; it was known as Chinese gooseberries. In 1962, a scientist from USA coined the term ‘Kiwifruit’ in honour of the native bird of New Zealand, the kiwi, whose brown fuzzy coat resembled the skin of this unique fruit.
Health benefits of Kiwi
- Kiwi contains large amounts of vitamin C which increases the body’s disease fighting ability (immunity).
- Study has shown that children who consumed more servings of citrus and kiwi fruits had lesser respiratory problems compared to children consuming least amounts.
- Kiwi eaters may tend to have lower triglyceride (bad fat) levels than non-kiwi eaters.
- Kiwi fruit is rich in Vitamin C and polyphenols, thereby preventing clotting of blood and protecting against heart disease risk.
- Kiwi fruit also contains vitamin E, which is again a powerful anti-oxidant.
- Kiwi is a good source of fibre and can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Other minerals in Kiwi are potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus.
Some interesting ways to use Kiwi
Kiwi Punch: Kiwi pulp can be mixed with soda and served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to make an exciting new flavour of ice-cream soda.
Kiwi slush: Kiwi pulp can be mixed with freshly squeezed black grape juice. To the mixed juices one may add generous amounts of crushed ice to obtain a refreshing drink during summers.
Kiwi salad: This tangy fruit can blend well with sweet lime, pomegranate and oranges to give a colourful fruit salad. It can be topped with a large scoop of low fat yoghurt to improve its nutritional value. It is important to remember that Kiwi should be added to a salad in the end to prevent the other fruits from becoming soggy.
Kiwi chaat: To prepare a mouth watering chaat, Kiwi fruit can be mixed with sprouted moong (steamed) cucumber and tomato. Some sweet imli chutney and little sev (bhujia) can be sprinkled on top to give it the true ‘chaaty’appearance.
Kiwi Sandesh: Slightly overripe kiwis can be mashed and blended with some homemade chenna (paneer) to enjoy a healthy low fat and low sugar sweet dish.
Kiwi delight: Once in a while, a creamy dessert can be planned with this exotic fruit. Put a layer of frozen kiwis at the bottom. Then put a layer of ground Marie biscuit, followed by a layer of low fat cream with some strawberry crush added topped by a layer of sponge cake. Again spread out a thick layer of Kiwi on it, refrigerate and serve cold.
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Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.