Kiwi

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 25. Aug. 2020

Kiwis are more than their unique, sour-sweet taste and beautiful green flesh-- they have a slew of health benefits as well.

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Kiwis...

  • ...help the body digest protein. Those who don’t tolerate protein-rich foods well should try nibbling on kiwis for dessert. The flesh of the fruit contains the enzyme actinidine, which can facilitate the digestion of protein.
  • ...have a gentle draining effect. Especially interesting for women with fluid accumulations in the body (for example during menstruation): kiwis contain hardly any sodium, but plenty of potassium, a combination which can help the body shed excess water.
  • ...help strengthen the bones and nerves. Kiwis contain minerals such as copper, magnesium and potassium. 100 grams of kiwi cover around 10 percent of your daily requirement of these three minerals.
  • ...are packed with vitamin C. Just 1 large kiwi (100 grams) provides around 50 milligrams of vitamin C, almost your full daily requirement.
  • ...are good for dieters. Kiwis consist of almost 85 percent water, contain hardly any fat, relatively high levels of fruit acid and relatively little sugar. This makes them a super slim fruit.
  • ...boost digestion. The small black seeds in the green flesh of kiwis contain plenty of soluble fibre and can therefore help with digestive problems.
  • ...might interact badly with some medications. The intrinsically positive effect of the quinic acid in kiwis can have a negative effect with certain medications including SSRIs. If you’re on such a medication, it’s best to consult with your doctor before consuming kiwis.

What You Should Know About Kiwis

The name kiwi does not have a botanical origin: in 1959, New Zealanders named the fruit, until then known as the Chinese gooseberry, after its own nickname and the national symbol of the island, a small bird called the kiwi.

Origins

Many people think that the kiwi originates from New Zealand, due to its name. However until around 1900, the fruit grew exclusively in China, which earned it its first name, the Chinese gooseberry. Today, however, New Zealand and Italy are the kiwi's main producers.

Season

Fresh kiwis can now be bought all year round at roughly the same price.

Flavor

The flesh of green kiwis has a pleasantly sweet and sour taste, while yellow and golden kiwis have a sweeter flavor more reminiscent of mangos and bananas. 

Our Favorite Kiwi Recipes

Find all our kiwi recipes here.

How Healthy Are Kiwis?

A moderate calorie content with very little fat and relatively high fiber content makes kiwis extremely popular with those who want to lose weight or look after their figure. 

Kiwis are also a great source of vitamin C-- a larger kiwi around 150 grams will cover around half your daily requirement of the vitamin.

Some people react to kiwis with allergic stomach and intestinal complaints such as nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. Those who notice more mild symptoms such as swelling of the lips, tongue and face after eating kiwis are better off not eating the fruit at all. In rare, very severe cases, it can even lead to asthma attacks or shock.

KIWI Nutritional INFO (100 g)  
Calories

70

Protein 1 g
Fat 0.6 g
Carbohydrates 9.1 g
Fiber 2 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

It's best to buy kiwis only after a careful finger test: if the skin yields slightly under gentle pressure, it's at perfect ripenes. The relatively new yellow kiwi usually arrives in the shops when it is at its optimum ripeness and can usually be eaten immediately. Both green and yellow kiwis are now also available from organic farms.

Storage

A kiwi in its optimum state of ripeness stays fresh for one or two days at room temperature. After that it quickly becomes too soft. However, it can be better to leave unripe kiwis for a few days - preferably with apples. Green kiwis stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, while yellow kiwis should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of one week.

Preparation

If you simply want to spoon out the flesh straight, you only need to cut the kiwi in half crossways. On the other hand, if you want to cut slices or cubes out of the kiwi or puree the flesh, simply peel it with a peeler and then process it according to the recipe. 

Anyone who has ever tried yogurt with kiwi knows that it can sometimes yield a surprisingly bitter tatse. This is due to an enzyme in the kiwi flesh which breaks down the protein from dairy products, yielding the flavor. There are two ways of avoiding this effect: you can add the kiwi to the yogurt or cottage cheese at the very end and eat it immediately, so that the enzyme cannot even act, or you can briefly boil water over the whole kiwi. This will destroy the enzyme, however some of the healthy vitamin C will also be lost.

What To Make With Kiwis

Fresh kiwi always looks great and generally goes well with almost everything that sweet cuisine has to offer. Whether as a topping for a tropical fruitcake or rice pudding, slices of kiwi add a fresh, delicious tartness and beautiful emerald hue. Kiwis also taste delicious made into a puree or jam and combined with yogurt, oatmeal or muesli for a yummy tropical breakfast. They're also delicious as the base for a cocktail or nutritious smoothie. 

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