As we get older, it’s especially important for us to take special care of things like our eyes and our gut. Not only that, immune health is at the top of our list of concerns right now amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Luckily, eating kiwi benefits your body to protect all three.
Kiwis aren’t the most popular fruit, but you’re probably familiar with their bright green center and tiny black seeds. They have a deliciously sweet, tangy flavor, and a soft texture when you bite into them. Kiwis may be one of the lesser-known fruits we come across in the grocery store, but they have so many health benefits (especially for age-related conditions), you won’t want to ignore them any longer.
These little fruits contain so many vitamins and nutrients your body needs, like vitamin C, E, and K, as well as high amounts of folate and potassium. All these nutrients and others combine to make kiwis a great food to incorporate if you’re trying to boost your health.
Kiwi Benefits for the Aging Body
First, kiwis are great for the immune system because as mentioned, they contain a lot of vitamin C — a potent immunity booster. In just one cup of kiwi, you can get as much as 270 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C! To support this, results from one study showed that eating kiwis resulted in better immune function and a reduced likelihood of getting a cold or the flu — and this was especially true for adult subjects older than 65!
If you struggle with any digestive issues like constipation, kiwis can help with that, too. This is mainly because kiwis are also high in fiber — a known gut-boosting nutrient. On top of their fiber content, kiwis contain an enzyme called actinidin, which aids in the digestion of protein. One study showed that the actinidin in kiwis helped stimulate gastric digestion of proteins. Previous studies also showed similar results.
And if that weren’t enough, kiwis may also help you keep your eyesight as you get older! Age-related macular degeneration, also called age-related vision loss, is the leading cause of loss of eyesight in older adults — even more than cataracts. Kiwis contain two compounds that are known for halting vision loss in its tracks — lutein and zeaxanthin. No studies have been done specifically on kiwis and vision loss, but studies have shown that these two nutrients helped to slow down or significantly reduce macular degeneration. Furthermore, results from one study suggest that eating three servings of fruit and vegetables a day reduced vision loss as much as 36 percent!
You can reap all these benefits of kiwis by simply incorporating the delicious fruit into your diet. They can be eaten on their own, in a fruit salad, and they’re a great, refreshing addition to smoothies and salads. We encourage you to try them out in a bunch of ways to figure out your favorite! Personally, we love a Kiwi-Avocado Hemp smoothie — you can find the recipe here!