It is widely thought that Kiwi fruit are from New Zealand. While much of the Australian supply is often imported from New Zealand, Kiwi fruit actually originate from China and were brought to New Zealand by missionaries in the early 20th century. They were referred to as the Chinese gooseberry and were given the name Kiwi fruit by New Zealand growers. The scientific name of green Heywood kiwi fruit is Actinidia deliciosa
Kiwi fruit can be grown in moist temperate climates. In Australia the majority of production occurs in Victoria and New South Wales as well as some parts of Queensland and South Australia. They are grown on a vigorous climber and the fruit is picked by hand to avoid damage. The main varieties in Australia are green Heywood, Yess golden and Kiwiberry.
The Green Heywood kiwifruit provide 219kJ per 100g, 3.8g of fibre. Whereas gold kiwifruit provide 244kJ per 100g and 1.8g of fibre. Kiwifruit is a great source of Potassium, Folate, Vitamin E and Calcium and has a modest Beta-Carotene content.
There is approximately 135% more Vitamin C in 100g of kiwifruit than the same quantity of orange, and 100g of the green kiwifruit provides approximately 160% recommended daily requirement of Vitamin C.
There is approximately 210% more Vitamin C in 100g of gold Kiwi fruit than the same quantity of orange, and 100g serve of gold Kiwifruit provides 245% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble Vitamin and Antioxidant in the body. It works to neutralize free radicals that can cause damage to cells and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. In fact, adequate intake of Vitamin C has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions like Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Asthma, and preventing conditions such as heart disease. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the function of a healthy immune system.
Kiwi fruit, like other fruits such as papaya, pineapple and figs, all contain enzymes called Proteases. Proteases speed up the breakdown of proteins. Scientific research has shown that eating green Kiwifruit with a protein-rich meal helps improve digestion of several food proteins. This confirms beliefs that have existed for some time – that Actinidin (Proteases) in green kiwifruit can break down proteins for better absorption in the digestive process.
Kiwi fruit can be enjoyed fresh, simply cut in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, or peel and slice. They can become bitter if cooked, so they are best to eaten raw and heat can also cause Kiwi fruit to lose some of their colour and nutritional value. Eat Kiwi fruit on their own, in a fruit salad, with cheeses, with breakfast cereals or with ice cream for a quick dessert.
Check out this recipe for Strawberry Hotcakes with Kiwi Fruit!
Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: Fruits & vegetables in season may vary depending on where you live. Check with your friendly greengrocer.