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By M. Núñez and C. Navarro (health) and Montse Tàpia (kitchen)
The kiwi originates from northeast China, but the people who domesticated and improved the fruit were New Zealanders.
There are more than 400 varieties of kiwi. The gold variety is highly appreciated and is distinguished by its smooth skin and bronze color, golden pulp and sweeter flavor.
A great protective fruit
In exchange for few calories, kiwi offers a surprising amount and variety of nutrients.
Vitamin C. A piece of about 70 g provides even more than is needed per day (69 mg of 60).
Fiber. It provides notable amounts of soluble fiber (0.59 g), which regulates cholesterol, triglycerides and sugar levels in the blood, and above all insoluble (1.53 g), which prevents constipation. It also feeds beneficial flora and together with flavonoids helps control pathogenic bacteria. It also helps prevent colon cancer.
Potassium. It is one of the richest fruits in potassium, which favors the elimination of liquids and balances the effect of salt. That is why it is advisable in weight loss diets, pregnancy, hypertension and heart failure.
Vitamin E. 100 g of kiwi cover almost 10% of the daily needs of this vitamin, which reinforces the antioxidant power of vitamin C and flavonoids.
Magnesium. A single medium piece covers 10% of the daily needs for magnesium, which contributes to nervous balance and muscle relaxation. It is also essential for the bones and promotes the digestion of fats.
Omega 3. One surprising virtue of kiwi is that its seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids. 100 g of fruit provide 48 mg of alpha-linolenic acid (precursor of omega-3s), 3% of which is required per day. Omega-3s, found in few vegetables, are considered the healthiest fats for the heart and brain.
Kiwifruit is a recommended dessert after a copious meal because it contains actinidin, which helps digest proteins, which prevents heaviness, gastritis and gas formation.
Now, this enzyme is also responsible for allergic responses to kiwi. People who suffer from an allergy to latex or birch can sometimes present it to this fruit. The most common symptoms are urticaria and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, although others may appear. If the reaction occurs the first time you eat a kiwi, it should be avoided permanently, but if it is mild and appears after having eaten it before without problems, it can be consumed in smaller doses and less frequently. On the other hand, people with a tendency to form kidney stones should take into account that kiwis contain calcium oxalate crystals.
Exotic and exquisite
The best kiwis are those from New Zealand, with an identification label, and those from organic farming.
To taste a kiwi as a fruit, it is advisable to cut it in half and eat each part with a teaspoon, as it loses vitamins more quickly in slices.
It can be garnished with cinnamon or with ginger, sugar and orange zest.
In salads, combined with fresh and soft cheeses, escarole, avocado or other citrus fruits it is excellent.
Due to its property of helping to digest meat, it is optimal as a garnish.
When cooking it, you have to do it lightly.
In desserts, kiwi is included in fruit salads, carpaccios, juices, cakes ...
M. Navarro (health) and Montse Tàpia (kitchen)