Everything You Need To Know About Kiwi Fruit

(Chinese gooseberry)

Nutritional Profile

  •   Energy value (calories per serving): Low
  • Protein: Moderate
  • Fat: Low
  • Saturated fat: Low
  • Cholesterol: None
  • Carbohydrates: High
  • Fiber: High
  • Sodium: Low
  • Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C
  • Major mineral contribution: Potassium

About the Nutrients in This Food

The kiwi fruit is a high carbohydrate food, a good source of soluble dietary fiber (pectins), and an excellent source of vitamin C.

One raw, peeled three-ounce (76 g) kiwi fruit has 2.3 g dietary fiber, 71 mg vitamin C (95 percent of the RDA for a woman, 79 percent of the RDA for a man) and 237 mg potassium, 127 percent as much as three ounces of fresh orange juice.

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food

  • Fresh sliced.
  • Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food

Buying This Food

  Look for: Fruit with firm, unblemished skin. Ripe kiwi fruit is soft to the touch; those sold in American markets generally need to be ripened

before eating.

Storing This Food

Set unripe kiwi fruit aside to ripen at room temperature, preferably in a brown paper bag. Do not store the fruit in a plastic bag; moisture collecting inside the plastic bag will rot the fruit before it has a chance to ripen. Refrigerate ripe kiwi fruit.

Preparing This Food

Peel and slice the fruit. Because kiwi fruits are very acidic, you can slice them in advance without fear of having the flesh turn dark.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits

Antiscorbutic. Foods high in vitamin C cure or prevent the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy, whose symptoms include slow healing of wounds, bleeding gums, and bruising.

Protection against heart disease. Foods high in antioxidants such as vitamin C appear to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, foods high in pectins appear to lower the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood, perhaps by forming a gel in your stomach that sops up fats and keeps them from being absorbed by your body.

Enhanced absorption of iron from plant foods. Nonheme iron, the form of iron in plant foods, is poorly absorbed because natural chemicals in the plants bind it into insoluble compounds. Vitamin C makes this iron easier to absorb, perhaps by converting it to ferrous iron.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food

Latex-fruit syndrome. Latex is a milky fluid obtained from the rubber tree and used to make medical and surgical products such as condoms and protective latex gloves, as well as rubber bands, balloons, and toys; elastic used in clothing; pacifiers and baby-bottle nipples; chew- ing gum; and various adhesives. Some of the proteins in latex are allergenic, known to cause reactions ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. Some of the proteins found natu- rally in latex also occur naturally in foods from plants such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts,

kiwi fruit, tomatoes, and food and diet sodas sweetened with aspartame. Persons sensitive to these foods are likely to be sensitive to latex as well. NOTE: The National Institute of Health Sciences, in Japan, also lists the following foods as suspect: Almonds, apples, apri- cots, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, buckwheat, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, cherries, coconut, figs, grapefruit, lettuce, loquat, mangoes, mushrooms, mustard, nectarines, oranges, passion fruit, papaya, peaches, peanuts, peppermint, pineapples, potatoes, soybeans, strawberries, walnuts, and watermelon.