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13 Benefits of Kiwifruit That Make It More Adorable

13 Benefits of Kiwifruit That Make It More Adorable

Did you know that the kiwifruit originally came from the Kang Chiang Valley in China and is also known as the Chinese gooseberry? It was only when New Zealanders saw its potential that it was given the name kiwi. The kiwi bird is the national symbol of New Zealand and the fruit itself is said to resemble it with its brown skin and funny shape.

It is not just a weird-looking fruit. It is also packed with nutrients that put many other fruits in the shade. Read on to discover the many benefits of kiwifruit.

1. Helps with weight loss

One medium kiwifruit contains only 57 calories per 100 grams, so it is an excellent daily addition to your fruit intake. As it also contains a high quantity of fiber (2.1 grams), this helps to make you feel full, so you may eat less. That is great news for weight watchers.

2. Relieves asthma in kids

An experiment involving 18,000 children in northern Italy showed that consuming kiwifruit can play a significant role in reducing asthma attacks. One group of children were given a few kiwifruit every day, while another group were given just one a week. The kids who ate the most kiwifruit found relief (25% to 44% less) from wheezing, nighttime coughing, and a runny nose.

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3. Increases your potassium intake

Potassium is one of the essential minerals involved in pumping your heart and keeping the nervous system healthy. Kiwifruit contains lots of potassium and beats bananas by virtue of a 50% lower calorie count. Just another easy way of warding off heart disease.

4. Protects your vision

Maintaining eye health is essential. Carrots are great but may be tough to chew, so why not take a few kiwifruit instead?

A study at the South Dakota State University has shown that as kiwifruit has plenty of lutein and zeaxanthin, it can play a vital role in helping to reduce the incidence of macular degeneration. This is an extremely common vision disorder from 65 years of age onwards.

5. Relieves constipation

If you suffer from constipation, the kiwifruit is an excellent laxative as its fiber content helps to keep bowel movements regular. Kiwis contain actinidine, which is a key to efficient digestion. Combine that with exercise and plenty of liquids to prevent constipation.

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6. Nourishes your skin

Another key element in this fruit is its plentiful supply of vitamins C and E. These are essential in helping you to regenerate new skin cells. If you are eating the right nutrients, your whole immune system will benefit. Your glowing skin will be a testimony to that.

7. Assists diabetes sufferers

The great thing about the kiwi is its low glycemic load, which makes it a good choice for those at risk of diabetes. In addition, it has only 14.6 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. Please note though, any fruit has to be taken in moderation when diabetes is present, so be sure to consult your doctor.

8. Reduces blood clots

A study at the University of Oslo in Norway showed that kiwifruit was just as effective as aspirin in helping to keep blood from clotting. No side effects either! They were able to show that consuming up to three kiwis a day was effective in preventing these dangerous clots. In fact, the incidence of clots was reduced by 18%.

9. Provides more than enough vitamin C

The kiwi is the king when it comes to vitamin C. It contains one and a half times the recommended daily dose! It even beats the orange (55 mg) as it contains 85–92 mg per 100 grams. It is therefore an essential weapon for keeping everything on track healthwise, such as:

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  • blood circulation
  • healthy bones
  • teeth
  • immune system.

10. Cancer prevention

It is fascinating to learn that the kiwifruit was used as a cancer prevention aid as far back as 700 BC in Asia.

The fact that the kiwi has such a high concentration of flavonoids and carotenoids means that it can have a powerful antioxidant function. This is crucial in keeping free radical activity at bay and also may help to protect DNA.

11. Provides folate

If you are thinking of starting a family, your doctor may recommend that mothers-to-be take more folate, as it has been shown to be an effective way of reducing birth defects. It also helps you to make red blood cells, which is really useful in preventing anemia. The amount of folate in a kiwi is about 10% of the daily recommended dose, which amounts to 17 micrograms. Other sources are dark leafy vegetables, beets, potatoes, and asparagus.

12. Sleep well!

Research reported in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that people who took kiwifruit on a regular basis slept better and longer. Participants were given two kiwis before bedtime for a month. Results showed that the serotonin in the fruit helped the subjects get to sleep more quickly and alleviated sleep disorders.

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13. Reduces harmful cholesterol

One of the kiwifruit’s greatest benefits of all is that it helps to keep your cholesterol levels under control. Researchers at Massey University in New Zealand found that consumption of kiwifruit was a factor in helping to reduce harmful cholesterol. They believe that this is due, in part, to the high levels of polyphenols found in it.

As we have seen, there are innumerable health benefits in eating this great fruit. So the next time you go grocery shopping, why not give the ugly, humble kiwifruit a try?

Whatever you do though, don’t follow Erma Bombeck’s advice. She wrote: “Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwifruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead.”

See also: Top 10 Most Nutrient-Rich Foods in the World

Featured photo credit: Kiwi/ Andreas Dantz via Flickr

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Robert Locke

Freelance writer

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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