The Kiwi(Actinidia delicacy) is a fruit of the Actinidiaceae family. It is an exotic fruit, with an extravagant taste, and whose bright green flesh is perfect for garnishing any dish.
Origin of the Kiwi
Kiwi originates from southeastern China, but in the history of this country there are few records of it.
It was thanks to a New Zealand missionary that this fruit gained the prominence it has today in the world. He took the fruit to his home country and made improvements through crossings with other varieties, until he reached the kiwi as we know it today.
It is named after the kiwi bird, which is the national symbol of New Zealand.
The tree responsible for producing kiwis is the kiwi tree. In fact, these trees are vines, usually with a single stem, where the fruits appear.
With large leaves, up to 20 cm, dark green on the upper side and light green with brownish tones on the inner side, oval and with serrated edges.
Its flowers are born in groups of 2 to 8, and are white or cream and very fragrant. In just one tree we found female and male flowers, which facilitates crossing, which is made possible through the action of bees and some other insects and birds.
It is a typical plant of temperate or subtropical climates, withstanding temperatures down to -15ºC. They need a few hours of cold, however, they should be grown in partial shade.
The fruits appear only 3 to 5 years after planting. The ideal planting time for cuttings is from July to August, and for planting formed seedlings it is from September to October.
Ideal soils are deep, well-draining, and fertile. Fertilization should be applied 30 to 60 days before planting. Irrigation should be done once a week. In conditions with hot temperatures, the frequency should be increased to keep the soil always moist.
The harvest, in Portugal, takes place in autumn, between October and December.
The benefits of Kiwi for health
Kiwi is not only delicious, it is also a very beneficial fruit for health!
Rich in beta-carotene, compounds with antioxidant properties that fight excess free radicals and protect the skin against damage caused by the sun's UV rays, preventing premature aging.
In addition, kiwi is also rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that increases the absorption of iron present in food, helping to prevent and fight anemia.
The main benefits of kiwi are:
- Prevents high blood pressure: Because it has good amounts of potassium, a mineral that promotes relaxation of the arteries and helps eliminate excess sodium from the body, kiwi helps to prevent high blood pressure;
- Fighting constipation: Kiwi fruit fights constipation because it is rich in pectin, a type of fiber that absorbs water into the stool, hydrating it and facilitating evacuation;< /li>
- Helps with weight loss: Because it is a good source of fiber, kiwi increases the digestion time of food in the stomach, prolonging satiety throughout the day and helping with weight loss;
- Prevents diabetes: Kiwi is a fruit with a low glycemic index, which increases the absorption time of sugar from food, balancing blood glucose levels, preventing insulin resistance and diabetes;
- Decreases cholesterol and triglycerides: Kiwi is rich in fibers that reduce the absorption of fat from food at the intestinal level, reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. In addition, kiwi is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, bioactive compounds with antioxidant action that fight excess free radicals, preventing oxidation of fat cells and balancing blood cholesterol levels;
- Maintains bone health: Kiwi is rich in vitamin K, a vitamin that helps in the production of an important protein for the fixation of calcium in the bones, maintaining bone health and helping to prevent osteoporosis;
- Strengthens the immune system: Kiwi strengthens the immune system as it is rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, nutrients that protect the cells of this system against free radicals, preventing the onset of colds and allergies, for example;
- Improves muscle recovery: Because it has good amounts of potassium, kiwi helps balance muscle contractions, improving muscle recovery after training and preventing the onset of cramps;
- Fights anemia: Kiwi has great amounts of vitamin C, a nutrient that facilitates the absorption of iron present in food, helping to fight anemia, since iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that is normally reduced in anemia;
- Prevents premature aging: Kiwi is rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that participates in the formation of collagen, a protein that helps maintain the firmness and elasticity of the skin, preventing premature aging. In addition, the vitamin C and carotenoids present in kiwi also have an antioxidant action, helping to protect the skin against damage caused by free radicals and preventing the formation of wrinkles and sagging.
How to consume kiwi?
A very common question is whether kiwi can be eaten with the skin: the answer is yes, the kiwi can be eaten with the skin and, in fact, the skin is rich in vitamin C, which benefits the immune system and reduces stress!
However, if the texture of the skin is not to your liking, you can cut the kiwi in half and eat just the pulp with a spoon, or peel and cut into slices or small cubes.
The most popular ways to consume kiwi are:
- In cakes and desserts (as a main ingredient or as a filling or topping);
- In juices and smoothies;
- In fruit mousse;
- In jams, like our Kiwi Extra Jam with Douro Muscatel. Fruit jams are one of the most popular ways to consume kiwi in New Zealand!
What to do for the kiwi to ripen?
As a general rule, kiwis, when at room temperature, ripen in about 3 to 5 days. If you want this process to go faster, you should put them in a paper bag, along with an apple or a banana.
The best Kiwi Jam
Kiwi Extra Jam with Douro Muscatel, with a unique, sweet and slightly acidic taste, the result of mixing kiwi with Moscatel do Douro wine, with a sweet and smooth taste, made exclusively with grapes from the Galician muscatel variety, with an intense aroma .
Accompanying ice cream, desserts and scones. Easy to spread, ideal for spreading chocolate biscuits, cereal bread, wholemeal toast, vegan biscuits. Ideal for Cocktail with Moscatel, and accompaniment to game meat dishes.
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