Latin name: Actinidia deliciosa
Chinese names: mihou tao, yang tao
Other names: Chinese gooseberry, macaque peach
What is Kiwifruit?
Popularly eaten for its tangy, mildly sweet, green flesh, kiwifruit, also called Chinese gooseberry, is a fruit native to the Yangtze Valley in China, as well as Zhejiang Province in Eastern China.
Missionaries from New Zealand brought seeds from this fruit-bearing vine back to New Zealand with them, where the kiwi became a popular fruit. The Chinese gooseberry was introduced to American cuisine in 1960 and then two years later, was “discovered” by an American produce distributor who changed the name to kiwifruit for marketing purposes, as its fuzzy peel resembles the small New Zealand bird of the same name.
What are the health benefits of Kiwifruit?
Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount found in an orange, kiwifruit has the ability to neutralize free radicals that can cause cell damage and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. In addition to vitamin C, kiwifruit contains a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids that have demonstrated antioxidant activity, offering powerful DNA protection. Its high content of vitamin C makes kiwifruit helpful for boosting immunity, as well as reducing the severity of inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma, and for preventing conditions such as colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease.
Kiwifruit is also a good source of the important fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.
More information about the healing powers of kiwifruit can be found in the Herb section, under Chinese Gooseberry.
Are there any precautions for Kiwifruit?
It is very probable that if you are allergic to latex, you will be allergic to kiwifruit. Also, kiwifruit are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, which, when they become too concentrated in body fluids, can crystallize and cause health problems. The most common symptoms are an unpleasant itching and soreness of the mouth. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating kiwifruit.
Where can I find Kiwifruit?
Kiwifruit can be found at grocery stores and ethnic food stores in the produce section.
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