Kiwi – is it a flightless bird, a fruit or a person from New Zealand

By: Taylor

Kiwi – is it a flightless bird, a fruit or a person from New Zealand? It’s not often a single word represents three drastically different things, but let’s clarify. In New Zealand, the flightless bird is known as a kiwi and the fruit is known as the kiwifruit. As for the third, the word kiwi, as it pertains to natives of New Zealand, is an international nickname for New Zealanders and typically not used within New Zealand itself. It is however used as self-reference, and with pride, when New Zealand residents travel abroad.

It’s the kiwifruit that is a super food and while it may be called the kiwifruit in New Zealand, to avoid confusion, most of the world calls it simply the kiwi. A kiwi is considered a berry fruit which grows on a vine. They are also sometimes called “Chinese Gooseberries”, and are about the size of a large hen’s egg. The skin of a kiwi is a fibrous, greenish brown dull with a bright green or golden flesh inside. Rows of tiny black edible seeds circle the center of the flesh of the fruit giving it a very unusual appearance. Kiwi has a very soft texture and a uniquely sweet flavor. While the kiwi is native to southern China, it is grown commercially in several countries such as France, Greece, Chile, Italy and of course New Zealand.

History of Kiwi

Kiwi is native to southern China and it was declared the National Fruit of China. Cultivation of the fruit spread outside of China when Isabel Fraser, the principal of Wanganui Girls College in New Zealand, was visiting mission schools in China and brought seeds home with her. The seeds were planted in New Zealand by the schools nurseryman in 1906 and the vines bore first fruit in 1910.

Until World War II, the kiwi was known only as (yáng táo) or Chinese Gooseberry, however after the war, New Zealanders discarded the name to avoid associating the name with China. It was internationally marketed under the name “Melonette” at first and finally under the name “macaque peach”. Naming it after the bird because both are small, brown and furry.

Health Benefits of Kiwi

Studies have shown that he high Vitamin C, antioxidants and other compounds found in kiwi are and effective treatment for asthma and other respiratory issues. Improves the general health of the respiratory system.
Kiwi’s contain more Vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is essential for healthy teeth and gums, vision, wards off inflammation, infections and viruses. Protects against heart attack and stroke, promotes vascular health and longevity – among other things.
Vitamin C in conjunction with the antioxidants found in kiwi helps in the prevention of cancer.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals which damage healthy cells and cause inflammation. For this reason, kiwi – which is high in Vitamin C – is excellent for the treatment of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Kiwis are also a good source of potassium, which prevents bone weakening and is beneficial for heart health and in the maintenance of blood pressure. In fact, there is the same amount of potassium in a kiwi as is a banana, and only half the calories.
Kiwi’s contain natural anti-oxidants that improve blood flow and general health.
The fiber in kiwi promote a healthy digestive system and regulates blood sugar absorption, making a great super food for those with diabetes.
Kiwi contains more vitamins and minerals gram for gram against any other fruit, making it a powerhouse of nutrition.
Kiwifruit is a great source of folate (Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid) which women take to help prevent neural defects in their unborn babies.
Blood Platelet aggregation contributes to arterial and blood vessel blocking, and kiwifruit have been shown to reduce it.

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