Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dee Woods: Kiwi full of taste, antioxidants

Mixing it up for good health
By Dee Woods

Question: What delicious fruit is actually from the berry family and considered to be one of the most nutritious and wholesome foods?

I didn’t know the answer until recently, so I suspect many of you may not. This wonderful fruit is known as the kiwifruit. I’ve only been hooked on it from the first time I tried it about 10 years ago and I had no idea of the wealth of benefits of this beautiful tasty, once rare, treat. It’s probably one of the very few foods I know of that is good for you and tastes scrumptious at the same time. The only downside was its cost.

The good news is that not only is it exceptionally nutritious, but it is in season from November to May. Many of them come from New Zealand and California is now beginning to grow them. It was originally imported into New Zealand because of its beauty. The plant itself looks ornamental and the fruit has a hair-like fuzzy texture with a gorgeous multi-green fruit within. I use it as a garnish on my fruit salads and watermelon bowls.
Kiwifruit is actually from the berry family, although it’s quite a large fruit. Naturally, because berries contain so many antioxidants, the kiwifruit is exceptionally healthful.

Kiwifruit holds so many vitamins and minerals, it nutritionally resembles a vegetable more so than a fruit. When I purchased my first fruit, it was about $2 a piece. Now that they are growing more abundantly in the California area, the price has come down quite a bit and the growing season may expand.

Kiwifruit has soft, digestible seeds that contain tremendous nutrients. They even enhance the taste. Because the fruit is larger than berries, the plentiful seeds naturally contain many hundreds of times the antioxidants of other berries. In fact, small studies in Taiwan and Norway showed the small fruit, when eaten twice daily, reduced bad cholesterol and increased good cholesterol. The Norwegian study showed kiwifruit reduces triglycerides. Even the skin contains nutrients, but I haven’t been able to eat that just yet.

I ate it because I loved the taste, but now I’ll eat more because of the nutrition too.

That brings me to the recent FDA attacks on the large pomegranate company, Pom Wonderful. When I heard about the government coming down on the company, I went back and looked at the studies. Yep, the studies were legitimate and initially came from the National Academy of the Sciences, among others.

Everything I wrote about the benefits of pomegranate were correct. It seems that no company has the right to make such health claims about foods and put those claims on labels. The only people who can make such claims are FDA approved pharmaceuticals that can be advertised on television. You know, those drugs like Avandia, Fosamax and the others that are now coming under scrutiny because they apparently have caused harm to a number of patients.

So, drink that pomegranate juice and eat kiwi fruit. They are both exceptionally excellent sources of nutrition that offer tremendous health benefits that companies can’t advertise.

Dee Woods is available to give presentations about alternative health treatments and healthy living. She can be reached at


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