YMCA Healthy Living Magazine winter 2021 - Page 16

ANNA HOWARD Anna Howard is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutrition Scientist working in clinical dietetics within the public healthcare system . Connect with Anna on LinkedIn .


Anna explores the health benefits of the humble kiwifruit .
The kiwifruit ( also known as Chinese gooseberry ), originates from China but is now grown commercially all over the world . Often referred to as ‘ kiwi ’ for short , the kiwifruit grows on a vigorous vine and comes in several varieties , most commonly the fuzzy green and golden varieties . Kiwifruit is known for its fibrous fuzzy skin and soft , sweet , zingy-tasting flesh – with rows of small black edible seeds in the centre .
In Australia , kiwifruits are available to buy for most of the year due to a long growing season and ability to be stored for long periods unripe in cold storage . The peak harvest time is during autumn , from March to May ( before vines drop their leaves for winter ). Kiwis are mainly grown in the cooler southern states of Australia – predominantly in Victoria . We also import some of our kiwifruits from New Zealand .
Kiwifruits are low glycaemic index ( GI ), meaning they provide slow release energy and make a great snack . Kiwifruits , like many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants . One serving of green kiwifruit ( two small , peeled fruit ) provides 100 % of an adults daily Vitamin C intake and are a source of fibre , folate , potassium and vitamin E .
Fibre is important for good health , particularly gut health . Adults should be aiming for at least 30g of fibre from a variety of fruit , vegetable and wholegrain sources daily . A serve of green kiwifruit provides 4.5g fibre and if eaten with the skin – the fibre content doubles ! Yes – the fuzzy kiwi skin is edible , although many people prefer to avoid it by cutting their kiwi in half and scooping out the soft sweet flesh and seeds .
Both green and golden kiwifruits are low in fermentable sugars ( FODMAPs ). Because of their high fibre content and possibly due to a unique kiwi enzyme ( Actinicin ), studies have shown that eating two kiwi fruit daily can be a great tool for managing constipation in those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( IBS ).
Fresh kiwifruits are a great simple snack but are also a versatile addition to any meal . Kiwi can be added to breakfast cereals , drinks , salads , salsas and of course desserts ( they look very pretty on top of a pavlova ). Kiwifruit can also be frozen and added to smoothies or frozen desserts later .
Whichever way you enjoy kiwifruit – skin-on or skin-off , they are a tasty and nutritious fruit you might want to try this winter !