Kiwis

kiwi01(And their “Sidekicks:” Strawberry Guavas, Pineapple Guavas, and Brazilian or Lemon Guavas)

A source of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein
Copyrighted Material*

Not so many years ago, kiwis were considered an exotic fruit, at least in the United States. Now they’re available almost everywhere, and that’s a good thing, because they’re actually full of important nutrients. In fact, kiwis are an excellent source of both vitamin C and vitamin E and contain significant amounts of the carotenoid antioxidant lutein, which is good for the eyes. Kiwis have more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of oranges, and this important nutrient is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in our body, boosting our immune system and reducing the severity of problems like arthritis and asthma. Both dietary (as opposed to supplemental) vitamin C and vitamin E are good for the brain, the heart, and the eyes, having been shown to lower the rate of age-related macular degeneration and dementia. Supplement studies of these two vitamins have shown mixed results, and although I strongly support the use of supplemental vitamin C and vitamin E, I believe that it is essential also to obtain these two important nutrients from food sources.

fruits01The British Journal of Nutrition reported that in a study of 32 individuals at least 65-years old, the consumption of four golden kiwis per day reduced the severity and duration of head congestion and the duration of sore throats associated with upper respiratory infections. Since kiwis have the highest density of vitamin C of any fruit as well as significant amounts of vitamin E, the investigators speculated that their findings were related to increased blood levels of vitamin C and vitamin E (along with other substances).

If you rub off the brown fuzz on the surface of the kiwi, you can eat the skin, which is where many of the fruits’ nutrients are stored.

*This brief summary contains copyrighted material from SuperFoods HealthStyle by Steven G. Pratt, M.D. and Kathy Matthews. Copyright © 2006 by Steven G. Pratt, M.D. and Kathy Matthews Inc., published by HarperCollins; and from SuperFoods Rx For Pregnancy by Steven Pratt, M.D. Copyright © 2013 by SuperFoods Partners, LLC, published by Wiley. All rights reserved.