Food Fact Kiwifruit: Vitamin C, E, & Protection Against Asthma


 

Kiwis are excellent sources of vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. They are rich in phytonutrients that appear to protect human DNA from free-radical damage. They are also a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorous.

Protection Against Asthma

The protective properties of kiwi have been demonstrated in a study with 6- and 7-year-old children in northern and central Italy. The more kiwi or citrus fruit these children consumed, the less likely they were to have respiratory-related health problems including wheezing, shortness of breath, or night coughing. These same antioxidant protective properties may have been involved in providing protection for these children.

Eating vitamin C-rich fruit such as kiwi may confer a significant protective effect against respiratory symptoms associated with asthma such as wheezing.

A study published in Thoraxthat followed over 18,000 children aged 6-7 years living in Central and Northern Italy found that those eating the most citrus and kiwifruit (5-7 servings per week) had 44% less incidence of wheezing compared to children eating the least (less than once a week). Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%, severe wheeze by 41%, night time cough by 27%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%.

Children who had asthma when the study began appeared to benefit the most, and protective effects were evident even among children who ate fruit only once or twice a week.

Incorporate more kiwis in your children’s diet and it will benefit them in the long run.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

  • Kiwifruit are so delicious, they can be eaten as is. One of our favorite ways to do so is to peel with a paring knife and slice.
  • Add kiwifruit to tossed green salads.
  • Serve sliced kiwifruit and strawberries, fruits whose flavors are naturally complementary, topped with yogurt.
  • Mix sliced kiwifruit, orange and pineapple together to make chutney that can be served as an accompaniment to chicken or fish.
  • Blend kiwifruit and cantaloupe in a food processor to make a chilled soup. For a creamier consistency, blend yogurt in with the fruit mixture.
  • Kiwifruit have a wonderful flavor and appearance for use in fruit tarts.

References:

  1. Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A, et al. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Lancet. 2001 Mar 3;357(9257):657-63. 2001.
  2. Kurl S, Tuomainen TP, Laukkanen JA et al. Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke. Stroke 2002 Jun;33(6):1568-73. 2002.
  3. Maillar C. [The kiwi, rich in vitamins C and E and also in potassium]. Servir 1998 May-1998 Jun 30;46(3):160. 1998. PMID:13380.
  4. Sommerburg O, Keunen JE, Bird AC, van Kuijk FJ. Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Br J Ophthalmol 1998 Aug;82(8):907-10. 1998. PMID:13370.
  5. Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.
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2 thoughts on “Food Fact Kiwifruit: Vitamin C, E, & Protection Against Asthma

  1. Hi Strong Jane, can you send me the link to that study with the “70 Chubby Western Kids” you mentioned in your comment? I strongly believe in healthy diets and exercise. They both go hand in hand! American’s are statically overweight, the whole world knows it at this point in time. I don’t know of a healthy diet that makes people gain weight overtime so I’m very interested in reading that study. I appreciate your comment!

    Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Dark Greens | OrganicREADY

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