Kiwi – furry, round, healthy

Kiwi contains more  vitamin C  than  lemons  or oranges and at the same time hardly any calories. This makes the kiwi fruit a real vitamin bomb and a healthy fruit that is also suitable for losing weight. The fruit tastes good in desserts such as fruit salad, as jam, compote or juice. The sweet and sour fruit is also a popular refreshment as a tasty snack between meals. Why are kiwis so healthy, what  nutrients  are in the fruit and how do you recognize a kiwi allergy? You can read that and more here.

Kiwi – calories, vitamins, nutrients

Kiwis are very healthy because they are full of vitamins. Above all, the fruits provide plenty of vitamin C: around 44 milligrams of the vitamin are in 100 grams of kiwi. Depending on the degree of ripeness and variety, it can also contain up to 90 milligrams of the vitamin. For comparison: the daily requirement of an adult is 95 to 110 milligrams.

The kiwi also contains the following healthy ingredients:

Kiwis contain hardly any fat and only about 9 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. Kiwis are also very low in  calories:  there are only 54 kilocalories (kcal) per 100 grams, which corresponds to 226 kilojoules (kJ). One kiwi provides about 43 kilocalories (180 kilojoules).

By the way: The nutritional values ​​of a kiwi are often given per piece. Then you quickly ask yourself the question: How much does a kiwi weigh? On average, a kiwi with its skin weighs around 70 to 90 grams.

Healthy effects of kiwi

Kiwis not only provide the body with valuable ingredients such as vitamin C, which plays an important role in the immune system. Studies show other positive effects of the exotic fruit on health:

  •  One study provided evidence that daily consumption of the kiwifruit could help treat  insomnia .
  • According to a study, the fruit should also have a positive effect on digestion. Many women also take advantage of this effect during pregnancy and eat kiwis to relieve  constipation , for example .

In addition, kiwis are said to help you lose weight by supplying the body with nutrients on the one hand and stimulating digestion on the other hand due to their dietary fiber and the enzyme actinidain they contain.

Kiwi Allergy: Can You Be Allergic To Kiwis?

Some people are allergic to kiwi: they can cause skin irritation and a rash around the mouth. In addition, an allergy  to the proteins contained often  causes  a burning sensation on the tongue , palate and lips, and  itching  and swelling in the mouth area are also possible. Other symptoms are gastrointestinal complaints, allergic rhinitis or cough and shortness of breath.

If you have a proven kiwi allergy, you should refrain from eating it entirely, because the allergic reactions to kiwis are severe in many cases. A kiwi allergy is often accompanied by a  cross-allergy  to pineapple, papaya,  bananaavocado , latex, or birch pollen.

Even if there is no kiwi allergy, the fruit acids it contains can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Redness and burning in the mouth and lips are possible signs. Children in particular are more likely to be affected due to their sensitive skin. In this case, it can help to eat fewer and less frequently kiwis or to avoid them altogether. Processed kiwi fruits are usually better tolerated than fresh ones.

Store kiwis correctly

Kiwi fruits are harvested when ripe and then stored at cool temperatures of just above zero degrees. Theoretically, they can be kept for up to six months. However, if kiwis are actually stored for several months, they lose their flavor and usually have a glassy interior.

High-quality kiwis are therefore brought onto the market relatively quickly and can be stored at home in the refrigerator or in a cool cellar for another two to three weeks. If you want them to ripen faster, simply store them at room temperature for a few days.

Buying kiwis: When are they ripe?

But not all kiwis are still hard when they are sold, some are sold ready to eat or even overripe. When buying kiwis, you should therefore consider beforehand whether you want to eat them soon or whether you want to store them for a while longer.

At best, the kiwis are still hard, with a tight, non-shriveled skin. So they can be stored and ripened well at home. However, you should not eat them too early:  unripe kiwis  have a dull flesh and a sour taste.

As soon as the skin gives way slightly when pressure is applied, the kiwi is ripe and ready to be eaten. Ripe kiwis  are easy to remove from the shell, they taste juicy and aromatic.

Overripe kiwis  give way when you press your thumb and it is better not to buy them, as their glassy flesh is not recommended in terms of taste and, on top of that, has fewer vitamins.

How do you eat a kiwi?

As a rule, kiwis are cut in half and the flesh is then scooped out. Alternatively, you can peel them and cut them into slices or pieces, for example for a fruit salad.

Basically you can  eat kiwi with skin,  it tastes similar to a gooseberry. In this case, however, you should only use unsprayed organic kiwis and wash the fruit thoroughly beforehand. The peel is rich in fiber and vitamins and is therefore also considered healthy.

Do not eat raw kiwis with dairy products

Kiwis contain the enzyme actinidain, which breaks down proteins.  Green kiwifruit should therefore not be mixed in their raw state with dairy products such as  yoghurt or quark, as they would otherwise take on a bitter taste. In contrast to conventional kiwis, however, yellow kiwis contain only little actinidain, which is why they can also be eaten raw with dairy products.

Recipes with kiwi

Kiwis are easy to eat raw as a healthy snack. However, due to their typical sweet and sour taste and appealing colour, there are also numerous kiwi recipes. Popular uses are kiwi punch, kiwi jam or kiwi cake. Kiwi juice and wine are also well known in New Zealand.  The fruits also cut a fine figure as an ingredient in  smoothies or muesli, as well as in compote or chutney.

In all recipes, however, it should be noted that raw kiwis are incompatible with dairy products and  gelatine due to the enzyme actinidain  . It is therefore better to use steamed kiwifruit, canned fruit or yellow kiwifruit for cream or fruit tarts or milkshakes.

Sliced, the kiwi with its dark to light green color and black seeds is also a good decoration for dishes.

The fruit is also used in cosmetics in the form of  kiwi seed oil  for skin and hair.

origin and varieties

The kiwi originally comes from China and is therefore also known as the “Chinese gooseberry”. However, the fruit is now also grown in New Zealand and many other countries with subtropical or temperate climates. In addition to China and New Zealand, Italy and Greece are now the main growing countries for kiwis. Nowadays, kiwis are almost as standard in German supermarkets as apples and bananas.

Botanically, kiwis are  berries . There are different types and varieties:

  • The most common species is Actinidia deliciosa, with the most popular varieties being Hayward, Abbot or Bruno.
  •  The species Actinidia chinensis, known as the  “golden kiwi”  or  “Kiwi Gold”, with its slightly sweeter-tasting, yellow flesh, is also enjoying increasing popularity.
  • There are also the so-called  mini kiwis  or  kiwi berries  (Actinidia arguta), which are about the size of a walnut. Their hairless skin is green and smooth, which is why kiwiberries are eaten with the skin on.
  • There are also rarer varieties such as the red kiwi, which is only grown in China.

Incidentally, kiwis do not grow on a tree, but on liana-like climbing plants. The plants are also popular in German gardens. In order to be able to harvest fruit yourself, male and female kiwi plants are usually required for fertilization.

Kiwi: fruit or bird?

They are both small, somewhat ovoid, and have a tan, hairy exterior. The kiwi fruit and the New Zealand bird kiwi not only have the same name, but also look somewhat similar in some ways.

In fact, the kiwi fruit owes its name to New Zealand’s national animal (by the way, this means “the kiwi”). The term was only coined in the mid-20th century because Europe and North America were importing the fruit from New Zealand and the new name was intended to boost sales.

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