It’s named after New Zealand’s fuzzy brown flightless bird, but the fruit known as kiwi is actually native to China where it is that country’s national fruit. While many studies show kiwi to be a powerful boost to the digestive system, this delicious fruit offers many other health benefits.

For example, eating kiwi daily may help keep bowel movements regular.  It's high in fiber and rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that can relieve constipation. Including a kiwi in your daily diet is easy; they are readily available, and their sweet-tangy taste is quite refreshing.

Five big reasons to enjoy kiwi

  1. Kiwifruit offers a larger amount of antioxidants compared to other fruits, including citrus.  In fact, if you need some extra vitamin C to keep your immune system strong, consider reaching for a kiwi instead of a glass of sugary (processed) orange juice.  In addition to containing as much vitamin C as an orange, kiwi is also an excellent source of phytochemicals that nourishes the cells and minimizes the threat of oxidative damage.
  2. If you love to indulge your sweet tooth with fruit but are worried about spiking your glycemic response, kiwi makes a great snack. Because it's high in water and fiber, kiwifruit actually has a low glycemic impact.
  3. The protective polyphenols, potassium, vitamin C and E in kiwi helps maintain heart health.
  4. Kiwi is a rich source of the phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin. Not only are these compounds important for maintaining eye health, they also help improve iron absorption.
  5. Many diseases and disorders have been linked to inflammation, and dietary changes can be an effective way to reduce the swelling of joints and tissues.  Keep in mind, Kiwifruit is an excellent anti-inflammatory food and may help in your effort to rid yourself of inflammation - naturally.

How to select and eat a kiwi

If you’re not familiar with this peculiar looking fruit, it’s rough exterior can look intimidating. Ripe kiwi should be firm but still yield to gentle pressure.

Avoid fruit with bruises or spots. To enjoy it raw, simply slice off the top and scoop out the pulp with a spoon as if you’re eating ice cream from a cup.  You can use kiwi in fruit salads, baked goods or in chutneys and salsas to accompany meat.  And, yes, the enzymes in kiwi make a natural tenderizer for tougher meat cuts.

Is kiwi safe for everyone?

Allergic reactions are rare.  But, people prone to kidney stones may not want to consume large amounts of this fruit due to its oxalate content.  Of course, generally speaking, conventional (toxic) dairy products and processed foods are far more dangerous for kidney health. 

By the way, Kiwi has been shown to be a natural blood-thinner - similar to aspirin.  Therefore, moderate consumption is advised for those already taking blood thinners or those who suffer from bleeding disorders.  Ultimately, it's best to talk to a qualified, healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet.

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