Nutrient-rich kiwi good for the anaemic

Kiwi

Kiwi originated in China and is also called Chinese gooseberry. It was introduced to New Zealand in 1906, where it was renamed after their national bird. A late comer in the international market, until recently, kiwi cultivation was largely confined to China, Italy, Spain, France, New Zealand and California (USA). In India, it was introduced only a few years ago and is still categorised as an exotic fruit. However, now the country has managed to successfully grow several local varieties, The fruit's popularity is also increasing, owing to its unique tart taste and texture.

But unknown to many, kiwi also has several nutritional benefits. Unlike most other fruits, kiwi offers an unusual combination of health promoting substances. Extremely rich in vitamin C, a single Kiwi per day can help meet an adult's daily requirement for the nutrient. Besides this, kiwi also offers several other cardio-protective nutrients including folic acid, potassium and vitamin E and carotenoids.

Kiwi is also rich in fibres, particularly pectin, a type of soluble fibre which helps in cholesterol reduction. It has significant amounts of polyphenols, chlorophyll and glutathione. All this with at only 90 calories makes it an immensely nutrient-dense food. Kiwi consumption can help boost the body's antioxidant status as the fruit is a power-house of nutrients and substances that help neutralize free radicals, which damage the healthy cells of our body.

Kiwis have also been found to promote heart health by lowering triglyceride levels, reducing platelet aggregation and limiting tendency of blood to form clots.

In a recent study done in 2004 in Oslo, Norway, people who ate two or three kiwis per day for 28 days were found to have reduced their potential for clot formation by 18 per cent, as compared to those who ate no kiwis. Kiwi eaters also enjoyed a triglyceride drop of 15 per cent as compared to the control group. Kiwi also scores on its carotenoids (plant vitamin A) content and is a unique non-leafy green source of this group of nutrients. This group of nutrients has been associated with a decreased risk for cataracts, macular degeneration and the development of atherosclerotic plaques.

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