[caption id="attachment_4861" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Kiwifruit"][/caption]
The Kiwifruit often also known as kiwi in many parts of the world is the edible berry of the woody vine group Actinidia deliciosa. Packed with enormous Vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright emerald colored flesh of the kiwifruit looks speckled with tiny black beads (seeds) that add a dramatic tropical flair to any fruit salad.
The kiwifruit’s recent rise in popularity reflects a combination of an appreciation for its taste, nutritional value, and unique appearance, surprisingly, it’s changing name. Native to China they were originally known as Yang Tao. In the early 20th century they were brought to New Zealand from China by missionaries. In 1960, they were renamed as Chinese Gooseberries.
In 1961, Chinese Gooseberries made their first appearance at a restaurant in the United States and were subsequently "discovered" by an American produce distributor who felt that the U.S. market would be very receptive to this uniquely exotic fruit. Hence she initiated the import of these fruits into the United States in 1962, but to meet what was felt to be promising demand, changed its name from Chinese gooseberry to kiwifruit, in honor of the native bird of New Zealand, the kiwi, whose brown fuzzy coat resembled the skin of this unique fruit. Currently, Italy, New Zealand, Chile, France, Japan and the United States are among the leading commercial producers of kiwifruit. California kiwifruit is available from November through May, while the New Zealand crop hits the market in June through October making fresh kiwis available year round.
Kiwifruit is a small fruit approximately 3 inches long and weighing about four ounces. Its green flesh is almost creamy in consistency with a bracing taste redolent of strawberries, melons and bananas, yet with its own unique sweet flavor. Kiwifruit can offer a great deal exotic tropical flair in your fruit salad. These emerald delights contain numerous phytonutrients as well as vitamins and minerals that promote your health.
With the growing interest in kiwifruit, other species are now becoming more widely available. These include the hardy kiwi and the silvervine kiwi, two smooth-skinned varieties that are the size of cherries and whose flesh has a golden yellow-green hue.
Kiwifruit are scrumptious exotic fruits and can be eaten as it is. Kiwifruits are excellent and looks colorful when added with other green salads and fruits. Kiwifruits can also be sliced along with strawberries as their flavors complement each other naturally topped with yoghurt.
Kiwifruits are extensively used in western cuisine; sliced kiwifruit, orange and pineapple mixed together to make chutney that can be served as an accompaniment to chicken or fish. Banana kiwi shake is an excellent chilled beverage with a luscious creamy consistency. Kiwifruit have a wonderful flavor and appearance for use in fruit tarts. Sliced kiwifruit has long been regularly used as a garnish atop whipped cream on New Zealand's national dessert, the pavlova. It can also be used in curry. A way to help keep your regularity, while ingesting healthy foods, is by drinking laxative fruit juices especially juices made from scratch, preferably without any sweeteners and with as little water as possible. Kiwi juice tastes and looks excellent and juicy.
The most common of kiwifruit are oval. It has a fibrous, dull brown-green skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a unique flavor, and today is a commercial crop in several countries, mainly in Italy, New Zealand, Brazil and Chile.
This fruit had a long history before it was commercialized as kiwifruit, and therefore had many other older names that include Macaque peach, Vine pear, starfruit, wood berry etc. Gold kiwifruit, "Hinabelle" or "Zespri", with yellow flesh and a sweeter, less acidic flavor resembling a tropical fruit salad, is a new cultivar group produced by the New Zealand and marketed worldwide in increasing volumes. Some wild vines in India, having small yellow fruit, have not been commercially exploited, but are now being successfully cultivated in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Kiwifruit is a rich source of vitamin C. Its potassium content by weight is slightly less than that of a banana. It also contains vitamin E, and a small amount of vitamin A. The skin is a good source of flavonoid antioxidants. Usually a medium size kiwifruit contains only about 46 calories. Kiwifruit is often reported to have mild laxative effects, due to its significant level of dietary fiber.
Specifically, people allergic to latex, papayas or pineapples are likely to also be allergic to kiwifruit. The fruit also contains calcium oxalate crystals in the form of raphides. Reactions to these chemicals include sweating, tingling and sore mouth or throat; swelling of the lips, tongue and face; rash; vomiting and abdominal pain, heartburn; and, in the most severe cases, breathing difficulties, wheezing and collapse. The most common symptoms are unpleasant itching and soreness of the mouth, with the most common severe symptom being wheezing. Severe symptoms are most likely to occur in young children.
Kiwifruit is a natural source of carotenoids, such as provitamin a beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of dietary fiber. It is also a good source of the minerals potassium, magnesium, and copper. In addition, kiwifruit is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
The nutritional values per 100 g of fresh raw Kiwifruit are:
Energy: 255 kJ (61 kcal)
Carbohydrates: 14.66 g
Sugars: 8.99 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Fat: 0.52 g
Protein: 1.14 g
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: 122 μg
Vitamin C: 92.7 mg
Vitamin E: 1.5 mg
Vitamin K: 40.3 μg
Calcium: 34 mg
Iron: 0.31 mg
Magnesium: 17 mg
Phosphorus: 34 mg
Potassium: 312 mg
Sodium: 3 mg
Zinc: 0.14 mg