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Kiwi: The Nutritious and Surprising Fruit

Kiwi: A Nutritious and Intriguing Fruit

OriginĀ 

Originating from China, Kiwi was initially known as the “Chinese gooseberry”. It was relished in ancient times for both its taste and nutritional value. Its Spread around the globe began in the early 20th century, and now it’s cultivated in places ranging from New Zealand to Italy.

Botanical Classification

Kiwi, scientifically named Actinidia deliciosa, is part of the Actinidiaceae family. This classification is key to understanding its growth and fruit production.

Nutrient Ingredients of Kiwi

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin C: It is very high in Vitamin C, surpassing oranges in some cases.
  • Vitamin K: Essential for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Vitamin E: Important for immune function and skin health.
  • Vitamin A: Crucial for vision and immune function, though in smaller amounts.

Minerals:

  • Potassium: Regulates blood pressure and is vital for heart health.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): Key for cell division and DNA formation, essential during pregnancy.
  • Calcium: Contributes to bone health, albeit in smaller quantities.
  • Magnesium: Plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions, including nerve and muscle function.

Dietary Fiber:

It is a good source of dietary fiber, aiding in digestion, maintaining bowel regularity, and supporting weight management.

Antioxidants:

It contains antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids, reducing oxidative stress and potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

Other Nutrients:

  • Phytonutrients: ItĀ has several phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Enzymes: Actinidin, unique to it , helps in breaking down proteins and aiding digestion.
  • Low Glycemic Index: Suitable for blood sugar management.
  • Water Content: High water content makes it hydrating and low in calories.
  • Amino Acids: Contains small amounts of essential amino acids.

Surprising Facts about Kiwi

  • Kiwi fruit is named after New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi, for its similar appearance.
  • Despite being synonymous with New Zealand, it actually originated in China.
  • It gained popularity in New Zealand post-World War II.
  • The largest recorded kiwi fruit weighed 7.25 pounds (3.28 kg).
  • It may improve sleep quality due to its high serotonin content.
  • It plants can grow up to 9 meters in length.
  • It vines are either male or female, with only females bearing fruit.
  • NASA has researched growing it in space.
  • Kiwi fruit is high in DNA, making it interesting for genetic research.
  • There are green, golden, and red varieties of kiwi, each with a unique taste.
  • It acts as a natural meat tenderizer.
  • New Zealand is its major exporter .
  • The gold kiwi was developed over about 15 years through natural crossbreeding.
  • Honey bees can affect its color during pollination.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, it was used to treat stomach and liver ailments.

Do read about Micro-irrigation as well.

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