It’s furry on the outside. And then when opened, the kiwifruit’s translucent, bright green flesh and starburst-shaped seed pattern are arresting to the eye. Best of all, the kiwifruit tastes as delicious as it looks. Most people are surprised to find that this fruit (known as Actinidia deliciosa) is loaded with unexpected nutrients. One kiwifruit (without the skin) has more vitamin C than an equivalent-sized orange…nearly the same amount of potassium as a small banana…as much fiber as one cup of cooked oatmeal…and more vitamin E and vitamin K than most other fruits. The skin, which is edible (although not very tasty), contains polyphenols and fiber. If you eat the skin, choose organically grown fruit (which are available but harder to find than conventionally grown).
When to buy. Originally from China (where it is known as Chinese gooseberry), kiwifruit was first cultivated commercially by New Zealanders, who named the fruit in honor of their national bird. Today this fruit is grown chiefly in California, New Zealand, Greece, France and Italy. Although the most familiar variety is the tart green kiwifruit (found year-round), golden kiwifruit are available, mainly between May and October. Golden kiwifruit are similar in nutritional content to green except that they contain slightly less fiber and slightly more vitamin C and E. More good news about kiwifruit: They are among the safest fruits in terms of pesticide contamination, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Ways to use. When unripe, a thinly sliced kiwifruit has a sharp taste (like lemon) that goes well with fish. You can cut ripe kiwifruit in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. It also can be added to fruit salads, salsa and even tuna or chicken salad.
Source: Mark A. Stengler, NMD, is a naturopathic medical doctor and leading authority on the practice of alternative and integrated medicine. Dr. Stengler is author of the Health Revelations newsletter, author of The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies (Bottom Line Books), founder and medical director of the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine in Encinitas, California, and adjunct associate clinical professor at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. http://MarkStengler.com