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All about “Kiwi”

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Nutritional value of kiwi

  Raw kiwi, 1 large (90 g)
Calories 56
Protein 1.0 g
Carbohydrates 13.3 g
Fat 0.5 g
Dietary fiber 2.7g
Glycemic load  : Low
Antioxidant power  : Moderate        

Sources  : Health Canada. Canadian Nutrient File , 2010

Kiwi: understand everything in 2 min

Health profile of kiwi


A single kiwi contains an impressive amount of fiber . Thanks to the antioxidants it contains, consuming it regularly would prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers .


The benefits of kiwi

  • Cancer . Oxidative damage to DNA is one of the possible causes of the appearance of certain cancers. In a study 2 , researchers observed a decrease in DNA oxidation and an increase in the antioxidant capacity of the blood in subjects who consumed 1  kiwi per day for 3 weeks. The researchers also observed that the DNA in the cells of people who consumed 500 ml (2 cups) of kiwi juice was more resistant to oxidation and, therefore, to the damage that could result 3 . This study demonstrated that kiwi extractwas more effective than vitamin C (known for its antioxidant power) in protecting against oxidative damage to DNA. This suggests that the antioxidant power of kiwi is not only attributable to its vitamin C content.
  • Cardiovascular diseases . A human study has demonstrated the cardioprotective potential of kiwi 4 . The researchers observed that the consumption of 2 or 3 kiwis per day for approximately 1 month led to a decrease in platelet aggregation as well as a decrease in blood triglycerides, 2 risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. In hyperlipidemic individuals, regular consumption of kiwis could also help improve the lipid profile (ratio good and bad cholesterol) and increase blood levels of vitamins C and E 9 .
  • Constipation . The kiwi fruit could prove to be effective in patients with constipation disorders thanks, among other things, to its dietary fiber content 10 .
  • Scarring . A study in rats has shown that kiwi would promote wound healing better than applying a traditional antimicrobial cream. With its ability to modulate angiogenesis and its antibacterial properties, kiwi may also be effective in the treatment of chronic ulcers , at low cost 11 .

More studies will be needed to confirm the various health benefits attributable to kiwi before recommending the consumption of this fruit in the prevention or treatment of specific diseases. However, several prospective and epidemiological studies maintain that a high consumption of fruits and vegetables contributes to the maintenance of good health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases , certain cancers and chronic diseases , 6 .

What does kiwi contain?

Kiwi fruit contains many phenolic compounds, including phenolic acids, flavans (epicatechin, catechin), procyanidins and flavonols (quercetin, kaempferol) 1 . These compounds, present in plants, have antioxidant properties . They can help prevent the onset of several diseases, including certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and various chronic diseases by neutralizing free radicals in the body.

Two kiwis provide more than 5 g of fiber , about 15% of the daily recommended serving. We know that a diet rich in fiber, in addition to preventing constipation , can help prevent cardiovascular disease, control type 2 diabetes and appetite.

Main vitamins and minerals

  Vitamin C Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C.
  Vitamin K Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin K for women and a good source for men.
  Vitamin B9
(folic acid)
Kiwi is a source of vitamin B9.
  Vitamin E Kiwi is a source of vitamin E.
  Copper Kiwi is a source of copper.
  Potassium Kiwi is a source of potassium.


The kiwi is a food implicated in the oral allergy syndrome . This syndrome is an allergic reaction to certain proteins from various fruits, vegetables and nuts. It mainly affects people with pollen allergies and is almost always preceded by hay fever . So when some people allergic to ragweed eat raw kiwi(cooking usually degrades allergenic proteins), an immunological reaction may occur. These people suffer from itching and burning sensations in the mouth, lips and throat. Symptoms may appear and then disappear, usually within minutes of the person eating or touching the offending food. In the absence of other symptoms, this reaction is not serious and consumption of kiwi does not have to be systematically avoided. However, it is recommended that you consult an allergist to determine the cause of reactions to plant foods. The latter will be able to assess whether special precautions should be taken.

The allergy to kiwi seems to be increasingly common and is often associated with other allergies. Indeed, several cases of cross allergies with latex and pollen have been reported in recent years 7 . People allergic to pollen or latex can show hypersensitivity to kiwi (as well as banana and avocado), and vice versa 8 . The actinidin , a protein contained in the kiwi, is recognized as an allergen. However, other proteins could also be involved 12 . The reactions are diverse, going from hives to anaphylactic reactions. Certain factors that influence the process of digestion of proteins (such as the pH of the stomach) as well as the environment in which individuals live could explain the differences in reactions between two people allergic to kiwi 12 , 13 . Given the potential severity of the reactions, people allergic to latex or pollen should be especially vigilant. It is recommended that you consult an allergist to determine the cause of reactions to certain foods and the precautions to take.

Recipe ideas

  • Simply serve as a starter a few slices of kiwi with fine cheese, nuts or hazelnuts or, as a snack, with a few squares of good dark chocolate .
  • Add it to shakes, breakfast cereals, or sauces, coulis , sorbets, ice cream, and yogurt.
  • In clafoutis, cakes , pies, pancakes, etc.
  • For breakfast, serve a bowl of whole rice sprinkled with orange juice and seasoned with cinnamon, with slices of kiwi.
  • In the chocolate fondue.

Be careful, kiwi fruit can turn milk …

The kiwi can turn milk and other dairy products, and soften other fruits due to its high content of actinidine .
Tip  : add it to preparations that contain milk or fruit just before serving.

The tenderizer kiwi

Thing. To tenderize meat that is a little too tough, cover it with kiwi slices and let it “work” for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Freeze slices of kiwi, then dip them in melted chocolate and return to the freezer.
  • Tropical fruit salad . Mix banana, papaya and kiwi slices, and drizzle with sweetened orange juice with honey.
  • Spring salad . Mix young spinach leaves, fresh strawberries and kiwi fruit. Top with a raspberry vinegar sauce.
  • Avocado salad . Slices of avocado, kiwi and radish, mixed with endive or radicchio leaves and seasoned with grated ginger flavored vinaigrette.
  • Coat a fish, seafood, meat, poultry or grilled vegetables with a sauce made of kiwi puree and lemon juice.
  • Salsa . Chop and mix kiwis, tomatillos, coriander leaves, jalapeño pepper, sweet onion and lime juice. Chill in the refrigerator and serve with yellow or blue corn tortillas. You can also stuff it with avocado halves.
  • Bulgur salad . Sauté mushrooms, add bulgur and water or broth and cook for about fifteen minutes. Let cool and add cabbage cut into thin strips, minced red onion and a vinaigrette flavored with lemon zest and mint or coriander.
  • Salmon and kiwi sandwich . Split a whole wheat baguette and garnish with smoked salmon, kiwi slices, various greens and horseradish sauce.
  • Chicken, kiwi and tomatoes for pasta . Sauté chicken pieces and set aside. Then sauté onions, garlic, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms. Add the chicken, coarsely chopped peeled tomatoes and kiwi slices. Season with a herb of your choice (basil or oregano for example), simmer for half an hour and serve over pasta.
  • In Japan, kiwis are sometimes eaten with salt . They are also served with raw scallop slices . Dice the kiwis and add them to a rice vinegar, soy sauce, dashi , honey and salt sauce . Arrange in a bowl, add the scallops cut into slices, and cover with diced tomatoes and cucumbers.

The little story of the kiwi

Common names: kiwi, Chinese gooseberry, vegetable mouse, monkey peach, kiwai.
Scientific names: Actinidia deliciosa and other Actinidia species .
Family: actinidiaceae.

Miniature kiwis

The term ”  kiwi  ” did not appear in the French language until 1970. It is a New Zealand word which originally meant only the apteryx, the emblem bird of this country. It replaced “  Chinese gooseberry  ”, the expression by which the fruit was first known (because of the tangy flavor of its pulp, akin to that of gooseberry). In France, it has also been called ”  vegetable mouse  “.

In France, the word ” kiwaï  ” is sometimes used  to designate the fruit of another species of Actinidia , but this name is little used elsewhere. We also speak of “  summer kiwi  ” or “  annual kiwi  ”, but these terms are confusing, particularly the second since no species of Actinidia is annual.

Chinese kiwis
The kiwis originate from China. There are all kinds there. The smallest are the size of a grape. They also take different colors – yellow, orange, red, green. As for the skin, it can be smooth, hairy or covered with a fine down which can be removed by simple rubbing.

The kiwi belongs to the genus Actinidia which includes about fifty species, all originating from the mountainous regions of China . In their natural habitat, plants climb along the trunk of trees, which they sometimes completely cover. Although China is harvesting the fruit for over a thousand years, it will remain virtually unknown in Europe and the United States until the middle of the XIX th  century. Then, travelers will bring back seeds and establish some specimens in the botanical gardens where they will be appreciated for the beauty of their foliage.

However, it was not until the middle of the XX th  century that we began to cultivate large-scale, first in New Zealand , where varieties are selected bur and then California . The fruit appeared on the stalls of our markets in the 1980s, in the wake of new Californian cuisine.

Today, kiwi is grown in many places around the world, the main producing countries being Italy, New Zealand, France, Greece, Australia, the United States, Chile and Japan. Since it keeps well after harvest and is produced in both hemispheres, it is found practically all year round . In addition to the sale in fresh, we transform the kiwi into jelly, jams, marinades, chutneys, ice creams, wine, and we dry it. Because of its richness in actinidine, an enzyme related to papain, it is sometimes used to tenderize meats. In addition, fibers are used from its leaves and trunk for the production of ropes and paper.

Organic gardening

green The green of the kiwi flesh comes from its richness in chlorophyll , as is the case, for example, with tomatoes, before it is ripe. However, the kiwifruit chlorophyll does not degrade during ripening, a relatively rare phenomenon in the small world of fruit.

It is possible, with a little luck and a few precautions, to grow hardy kiwis in the warmest regions of Quebec . They belong to a different species from those found in commerce. They are preferably planted on a slope slightly inclined to the north or even to the north of a house or building. This will delay bud break and prevent the buds from being destroyed by frost.

The trunk is particularly fragile during the first years of the plant’s existence. Also, in winter , it must be protected with burlap, a lengthwise plastic pipe split or any other insulating material. During the summer, it must also be protected from strong winds using a natural or artificial windbreak .

The kiwi is dioecious , that is to say that the male flowers and the female flowers grow on different feet. It is therefore necessary to ensure that you have 1 male pollinator plant for approximately 8 female plants. Males and females are usually well identified in garden centers.

pH: 6.0 to 6.5. Sandy soil rich in organic matter.

The kiwi cannot stand having feet in the water. It is also the main cause of failure of its culture in cold regions. The soil must be enriched with compost or manure before planting.

Spacing between plants: 4.5 m.

During the growing season, it is important to irrigate regularly, even in wet weather.

As it is a climbing plant , it must be provided with support. It can be climbed on an arbor or a pergola, or along metal wires stretched between posts. Whatever the method of guidance used, we will only keep 2 stems per foot, which will be pruned more or less depending on the expansion that we want to give to the plant. A more pronounced pruning, as is done for the vine, will allow to obtain more fruit, but in this case, the plant will not cover as well an arbor or a pergola.

The fruits of the rustic varieties are the size of a grape. They should be harvested in clusters, with their tails, when they barely yield to pressure, and left to ripen in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Few diseases or insects attack the kiwi. Above all, care must be taken to prevent root rot by planting them in soil that drips well. On the other hand, deer appreciate the leaves while cats can damage the plants by rubbing or even digging them up. Protect them with a wire mesh.

Ecology and environment

Cats are crazy about it!
Kiwi leaves have an effect on cats similar to that of catnip (catnip). Gardeners should therefore not be surprised if their cats or those of their neighbors are regularly found at the foot of the plants for a meeting at the top. In Chinese zoos, an infusion is made as a sedative for felines.

The majority of commercial kiwis come not only from one of the 50 botanical species listed, but also from a single selected variety . It is a unique situation in agriculture. Most feet in culture in New Zealand come exclusively from two female plants and a male plant, which were brought from China in the early XX th  century. The genetic pool of cultivated kiwis would therefore be dangerously narrow.

For the time being, this plant, which only recently entered the field, remains immune to insects and diseases. However, there are fears that this situation will change rapidly. World demand has grown in barely 100 years from almost zero to 1 million tonnes. To meet this growing demand, crops are now produced in large areas. It is therefore becoming urgent that new varieties be selected and that other species be used. We want to avoid a similar epidemic to that of Europe, particularly Ireland, was known with potatoes in the XIX th  century.

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