For the second time in recent years, researchers have found that the small fuzzy kiwifruit could protect people from heart disease. It is already common knowledge that the fruits rival citrus for their vitamin C content, but now we know they may be able to do far more – kiwi fruit benefits really are astounding.
The latest research comes from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. The researchers assigned study subjects suffering from high cholesterol to eat two kiwifruit each day for a period of eight weeks. At the end of the study, the participants were analyzed for several heart disease risk factors.
The researchers discovered those participants to have increased blood levels of vitamin C, and more surprisingly, increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol, decreased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and higher vitamin E levels.
By significantly increasing antioxidant intake, the researchers surmise, the kiwifruit could reduce heart attack risk.
This study comes on the heels of another, which had similar findings in 2004. Then, Norwegian researchers found that those who ate two to three kiwis each day reduces their triglyceride levels by 15 percent. Further, they were able to reduce their platelet aggregation (how sticky the blood is) but 18 percent. Both of these are risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.
The vitamin C within kiwifruit can be credited with multiple benefits. It neutralizes free radicals and can help prevent cell damage and inflammation, potentially preventing things like cancer and heart disease. In addition, vitamin C can reduce the severity of arthritis and asthma, while increasing immune function.
Kiwifruits are also rich in fiber, another nutrient that is very useful in preventing heart disease. But more than likely, the benefits experienced from the fruit are synergistic, meaning they are found in natural combination of compounds and nutrients, not only in separating the beneficial qualities out.
Fortunately, kiwifruits are delicious. They go great in salads and in smoothies. Though they are usually peeled, the outer fuzzy skin is also edible, though a little tough.
About 715,000 Americans suffer a heart attack every year. For more than 500,000 of these Americans, it’s their first cardiac “event”. Generally, a heart patient will have countless pills thrown at them after a heart attack, many of them likely unnecessary when the risk factors are removed from their lives. And removing those risk factors, whether after a heart attack or well beforehand, can be as easy as including natural, whole foods.