If you want an easy, inexpensive, vitamin-packed way to boost your child's health, look no further than the humble kiwifruit.
Packed with more Vitamin C than an orange, the sweet, tropical tasting flesh of a kiwifruit also yields potassium, folate, vitamins E and K and fibre. This zesty super food is fantastic for all round health.
Brown and furry on the outside with a bright green flesh, the kiwifruit is ready to eat when it is slightly soft to the touch, similar to an avocado or nectarine. The skin should be unwrinkled to ensure flesh is not mushy inside.
Here are ways the tasty green superstar will put your family's health on the right path.
1. Mysteriously fights disease
Chock full of phytonutrients means that the kiwifruit is excellent at fighting disease. According to phytonutrient research, it has the ability to protect DNA. This protective antioxidant capacity intrigues researchers because it appears that these healing properties do not come from the Vitamin C or betacarotene, which are the nutrients commonly associated with kiwifruit; it is the fruit itself.
2. Healthy little hearts
A diet high in potassium is known to aid cardiovascular function. Each kiwifruit has 252 milligrams of potassium, and whilst recommended daily intake is 3800 milligrams, kiwifruit add not only potassium but may also reduce your risk of blood clots and reduce the amount of triglycerides (blood fats) in your blood.
Diets high in fibre can also reduce cholesterol levels so combined, kiwifruits make for happier, healthier hearts.
3. A better night's sleep
Does your child keep you up at night? Alongside antioxidants this power fruit contains high levels of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the most important brain chemicals for regulating our sleep and wake cycles. A study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that kiwifruit consumption may help people to fall asleep easier, and have a better quality of sleep.
4. Lower blood pressure
Our modern diets are high in sodium, which has a detrimental effect on blood pressure; however a low potassium intake can be equally bad. Combining a diet reduced in salt and high in potassium will yield many health benefits, and lowered blood pressure is one of them. Which is where the kiwifruit comes to the rescue.
5. Unbreakable fibre a gift for the gut
Kiwifruit are made mostly of insoluble fibre so human digestive enzymes are not capable of breaking down the fibre in kiwifruit. This fibre acts as a prebiotic food for the probiotic bacteria that lives naturally in the small intestine and colon.
The unique enzyme, actinidin, in the green kiwifruit may aid in digestion by breaking down proteins and easing digestive discomfort.
Kiwifruit can also help with constipation and has offered improved bowel function in people with IBS.
6. Glowing skin
This one is for the mums. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is known to be a crucial nutrient for collagen production, and collagen is vital when it comes to healthy skin. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for adult females is 75mg, and one single kiwi boasts 92.5mgs. Vitamin C helps improve overall skin texture and appearance after it has been damaged by environmental influences such as sun, smoke and pollution.
Kiwifruit is easy to incorporate into your diet by adding it to smoothies, fruit salads, and baking. Here are two recipes to get you started.
KIWIFRUIT ROLL UPS
- 6 kiwifruit (about 2 cups), peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of honey
1. Preheat oven to 125°C fan forced.
2. Blend your fruit with the honey and spread evenly onto baking paper in a 25x40cm, or equivalent, baking tray.
3. Place into the oven for 3.5 hours or longer depending on your oven. If you do not have fan forced it will take longer.
4. Your roll ups are ready when they are no longer wet and sticky but become just tacky.
*Do not over cook or they will turn to toffee.
COCONUT CHIA PUDDING WITH KIWIFRUIT AND LIME
- 8 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup coconut water
- zest and juice of one a lime
- 4 kiwifruit, peeled and finely chopped
1. Toss your chia seeds and liquids into a large container and add your lime zest. You can blitz quickly with a hand blender to ensure there are no lumps or your can simply stir well.
2. Place in fridge over night or at least 5 hours.
3. Place chopped kiwifruit into a bowl and add lime juice. Stir well to combine.
4. To serve, add a couple of spoons of chia to a bowl or glass and spoon in some kiwi before adding another layer of each to complete your pudding.
5. You could add yoghurt or nuts if you wish.