Admit it. Kiwis are adorable. No, not New Zealanders—who admittedly have their charm—but those tart little fruits with the green pulp and rows of tiny black seeds inside. Technically, kiwi isn’t a fruit and doesn’t hail from New Zealand. It is, instead, a berry that originated in eastern China. New Zealanders nicknamed it a kiwi because its fuzzy, gray skin resembled their country’s native kiwi bird. Everyone else started calling New Zealander’s kiwis in return. Go figure. What’s more amazing but less well-known is that there are more than 50 different types of kiwis, ranging in color from green to gold. All these egg-sized berries must have health benefits, from aiding digestion to enhancing eye care. Read on.
These big berries are full of low-fat carbohydrates, fiber and water that help discourage kiwi munchers from overeating. One medium-sized kiwi has only 42 calories and less than half a gram of fat.
The fiber in Kiwis not only helps people feel full but also enhances digestion. It is a complete digestive aid, relieving constipation and loose stools and treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The insoluble fiber help relieve constipation, while the berry’s potassium and actinidin support general digestive health and dealing with IBS.
Munching a few kiwis daily over time is a great way to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with Stage 1 hypertension. Kiwi consumption can also lower platelet hyperactivity and plasma lipids, which can both cause high blood pressure.
According to the American Society of Nutrition, a couple of kiwis before bed can significantly boost sleep quality. The society reported that those who gobbled these berries over several weeks increased their sleep time by 13 percent, and their ability to sleep through the night improved by 5 percent.
The zeaxanthin and lutein in kiwi help form vitamin A, which works to prevent macular degeneration. These “eye vitamins” also absorb excess light that can damage the eyes, while the copper in kiwis is essential for supporting the nervous system and general eye health.
The enzyme bromelain in kiwis, these berries help battle inflammation by breaking down inflammatory protein complexes. They also hold significant amounts of vitamin C fights and the peptide kissper, which also work to offset inflammation.
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