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Discover the autumn delight: Polish mini kiwi, a superfruit rich in myo-inositol and lutein, with digestive and health-boosting benefits.
As autumn sets in, one might think that the season for berry fruits is coming to an end, but not quite! Enter the extraordinary mini kiwi, a close cousin of the well-known kiwi fruit. What sets it apart is that mini kiwi is grown in Poland, making our country a pioneer in cultivating this fantastic fruit. So, what makes mini kiwi so special, what compounds dominate it, and who should take a closer look? Read on to find out.
Mini Kiwi: What is it?
Actinidia arguta, or mini kiwi, is an increasingly accessible and intriguing fruit in the berry category. It shares a close kinship with the familiar kiwi fruit. Originating from distant regions like eastern Siberia, Japan, China, Korea, and the Kuril Islands, it has found its home in Poland and thrives on our soil. Mini kiwi produces fruits similar to the well-known kiwi, but they are several times smaller. These fruits are harvested 2-3 weeks before they hit the store shelves and markets. Look out for them in the second half of September and in October.
According to scientific studies, mini kiwi fruits contain over 20 essential nutrients, including phenolic compounds, carotenoids such as lutein, vitamins (including B-group vitamins, vitamin C, A, and E), myo-inositol, and numerous minerals.
Notably, mini kiwi boasts the highest myo-inositol content compared to other fruits, reaching up to 982 mg per 100 g of fruit.
It also stands out for its high lutein content among carotenoids.
Moreover, mini kiwi impresses with its vitamin C content, which is almost twice as much as that in lemons, commonly considered a good source of vitamin C (100 g of lemons – 100 mg of vitamin C, 100 g of mini kiwi – 93 mg of vitamin C).
Benefits of Eating Mini Kiwi:
Here are four compelling reasons to incorporate mini kiwi into your diet:
- Aids Digestion: Mini kiwi contains a unique enzyme called actinidin, which aids in digesting the proteins in the foods we consume. Ending a meal with mini kiwi not only increases fruit intake but can also prevent indigestion and prolonged food retention in the stomach.
- Protects Against Atherosclerosis: The consumption of fruits and vegetables alone has a preventive effect against atherosclerosis. Opting for sources rich in antioxidants, such as mini kiwi, provides additional benefits. Notably, lutein in mini kiwi protects against the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, thus regulating cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Enhances Insulin Sensitivity: Mini kiwi’s high myo-inositol content makes it a valuable addition to the diets of individuals dealing with insulin resistance, including those with PCOS and obesity. Inositols are known to support glycemic control and increase cell sensitivity to insulin.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Scientific research confirms the antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties of mini kiwi, which are beneficial in the context of various chronic diseases associated with systemic inflammation.
Choosing Ripe Mini Kiwi:
To truly savor the flavor of mini kiwi, choose ripe fruits. They should be soft, similar to ripe kiwis. Unlike other berries that are harvested fully ripe, mini kiwi is harvested slightly underripe. It ripens and reaches its full flavor potential when soft. Enjoy these small fruits whole, just like blueberries, raspberries, or currants, but remember that they must be soft to taste their best.
As the season for one fruit ends, another begins. While fresh blueberries guard our eyesight in summer, mini kiwi takes over in September and October. Mini kiwi boasts the highest lutein content among commonly consumed fruits, offering strong antioxidant protection for our eyes. With its wealth of bioactive compounds, including myo-inositol, mini kiwi offers a myriad of health benefits, making it a superfruit worth including in your diet.