Kiwifruit turns up everywhere these days.
Once considered an exotic fruit, this furry brown nugget with brilliant and juicy green flesh dresses many a fruit salad across the globe. No wonder its scientific name is Actinidia deliciosa. It is often called just kiwi but that more accurately describes a flightless bird of New Zealand as well as the self-chosen nickname for people there.
Kiwifruit packs a nutritional punch with fiber and pectin as well as lots of potassium and Vitamin C. Each one has barely 50 calories and not a speck of fat or cholesterol.
Could kiwifruit be a prebiotic feeder for our colonies of bacteria?
- Researchers in Singapore designed a study to see how kiwi would impact microbes, namely Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Clostridium, Bifidobacterium,and Enterococcus.
- Six healthy Chinese females were given freeze-dried kiwi (equal to two fresh kiwis) daily for four days. For two weeks before the study, yogurt, cheese, and other fermented foods and beverages were not allowed.
- Results? The kiwifruit enhanced the growth of intestinal lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) within 24 hours and disturbed the population of Clostridium and Bacteriodes.
- The effect lasted only as long as the kiwi was consumed. Read more about the process and conclusions in Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease.
Though New Zealand supplied the kiwi for the experiment, Italy edges them out in production.
How to get more kiwis into your life? Try this popsicle recipe created in a YouTube video. It’s refreshing and easy. Ripen kiwi on the kitchen counter, but not in direct sun. Speed up the process by putting the kiwi in a paper bag with apples or bananas.