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Kiwi Food Talk Friday

Kiwi Food Talk Friday

KIWI VS KIWIFRUIT?

Kiwifruit (a.k.a kiwi) is a fruit that originated in the valleys of China, where it went by the name Chinese Gooseberry. It wasn’t until 1904 that these “berries” came to the US. They were around for quite a while with no excitement, until 1962 when California imported kiwifruits to the US. It was renamed kiwifruit because of its doppelganger the kiwi bird, New Zealand’s national bird. North America is the only place that calls it kiwi, most other places call it a kiwifruit.

Kiwi Bird

WHERE DO KIWIS COME FROM?

California Kiwifruit is the kiwi expert in the United States. California has been producing kiwi for the US since the 1960s. There are over 40 kiwifruits around the world, but California supplies 95% of the United States with Hayward kiwifruit, which is the most popular variety. The harvest season for kiwifruit begins in late September, and most of the fruit is harvested in October-November. They are readily available in winter and spring seasons.

SELECTING A KIWI

When purchasing a kiwi how do you know which one to pick? Each is unique like a snowflake, but how do you know which to choose? To tell if a kiwi is ripe, apply slight pressure to the outside of the fruit. If it gives a little it is ready to eat. If it remains hard it still needs more time to ripen.

NUTRIENTS

Don’t be fooled by these small fruits, they are high in several vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

  • Vitamin C
    • Helps the body heal cuts and wounds and build the tissues
    • Also known as ascorbic acid, helps the body absorb the iron in foods
    • An antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage  
  • Electrolytes
    • Keep the bodies fluid in balance
    • Sodium the most abundant cation in extracellular fluid and is involved in active transport across cell membranes. 
    • Potassium the most abundant cation in intracellular cation where more than 90% of is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Fiber
    • Helps lower cholesterol and improves GI function
    • Eat the skin for more fiber each fruit has 2g fiber.
  • Antioxidants 
    • Decrease oxidative stress induced by carcinogens.
    • Vitamin E a tocopherol one of the least toxic vitamins.
    • Vitamin C the most easily destroyed vitamin, whose primary function is to produce collagen.
    • Lutein an antioxidant that aids in eye health.
  • Low Glycemic Index
    • A test to determine the effect of glucose on blood sugar levels.
    • Slowly releases sugar into the blood, no spikes.
    • 1 with skin has a GI of 58.
  • Folate (Vitamin B-9)
    • prevents neural tube defects and is a coenzyme essential to DNA synthesis.



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