Kiwi Fruit

kw1Kiwi fruit is exceptionally high in vitamin C, in fact it contains even more vitamin C than an orange.

Kiwi fruit also contains high amounts of vitamins E, A, & K as well as flavonoids, antioxidants, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Kiwi is particularly beneficial for the respiratory system and has been shown to help shorten the duration of colds as well as to help prevent asthma, wheezing, and coughing.

Kiwi fruit contains anti-inflammatory properties which is good for those who suffer with autoimmune disorders such as Lupus, Fibromyalgia, CFS, and Lyme disease.

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Kiwi seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for cognitive function and can help prevent the development of ADHD and autism in children.

Kiwi contains enzymes similar to those in papaya and pineapple which makes them useful in aiding in digestion and elimination.

Kiwi fruit has also been shown to help protect DNA from mutating which is an incredible form of protection against illnesses and diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, osteoarthritis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer.

Kiwi fruit is also known to help remove excess sodium buildup in the body which can help reduce bloating, swelling, and water retention.

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Kiwi is good for promoting eye health and for preventing age-related macular degeneration.

It is also highly beneficial for those who have weak or sensitive immune systems and are useful at keeping ear, nose, and throat infections at bay.

Kiwi is also great for diabetics by helping to keep their blood sugar levels under control and for cardiovascular health as it has been shown to help lower triglycerides or blood fat in the body.

Kiwi contains certain compounds that act as a blood thinner, similar to the way aspirin works which helps prevent blood clot formation inside the blood vessels and can protect the body from stroke and heart attacks.

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Green kiwi is the most commonly available variety found in supermarkets, however a delicious variety called Gold Kiwi (which has a golden color flesh) is a much sweeter, creamier, and less acidic variety that should not be missed.

Kiwi fruit should be left on the counter to ripen until they yield under gentle pressure, like a ripe mango or avocado.

Eat at least 3-4 ripe kiwi fruit a day for ultimate health benefits.

 

Growing

Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) is originally from China and is also known as Chinese gooseberry. It is both edible and ornamental and grows as a vine that is vigorous and strong. If you are keen on growing it at home, be sure to have supporting space.

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Research the variety that will grow best in your area. Purchase a male and a female plant.

You will need both to be able to produce fruit. Cultivar ‘Jenny’ though to be self-fertile – requiring only one plant. ‘Hardy kiwi’ cultivars also self-fertile – yielding smaller, grape sized non fuzzy kiwi fruits.

Plant in full sun in rich soil that is well-drained.  Kiwi fruit do not like having dry feet, so be sure to keep well-watered during the warmer months.

Hardy kiwi are extremely vigorously growing vines that require a substantial supporting trellis.

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Protect kiwifruit plants from strong winds and frost. Provide a sheltered area if this is a problem.

Prune the male plant after it flowers in late spring. Prune the female plant in winter.

The fruit arises from new growth; therefore, it is important to prune back any old wood that has already borne fruit.

Male and female flowers are born on different plants, so both males and females must be planted in roughly a 1:6 ratio of males to females.

The plants often take several years to mature and usually do not bear fruit until they are 5 to 9 years old.

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Although the plants are extremely winter hardy–tolerating temperatures as low as -30°F–they develop shoots early in the spring that are extremely sensitive to frost.

In most years, we see some shoot “burning” due to frost, although the plant usually survives, regrows, and fruits despite some spring shoot removal.

If flowers are frosted, fruit will not develop that year.

For more reading on growing and nutrition:

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/kiwi-growing-guide

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=41

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271232.php

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/14-healthy-reasons-to-eat-kiwi.html

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