Kiwifruit Powder Background and Benefits
A kiwifruit is the edible berry of woody vines in the Actinidia genus, especially A. deliciosa. It is also known by other common names such as Chinese gooseberry, melonette and kiwi. The Hayward cultivar is the most common variety of kiwifruit that’s commercially cultivated.
A kiwifruit has an oblong shape with a maximum length of about three inches and a diameter of about two inches. It has a greenish-brown skin and bright green or gold flesh when fully ripe. The flesh contains small black seeds that are edible. Kiwifruit has a sweet flavor with variable acidity depending on growing conditions. The major producers of kiwifruit include Italy, China, New Zealand, Chile, Greece and France.
Kiwifruit originates from China, although its commercial cultivation didn’t begin until the early 20th century in New Zealand. It was originally known as Chinese gooseberry due to its origin and flavor and was also marketed as melonette when it was first exported to the United States. Kiwifruit growers in New Zealand began using the term “kiwifruit” in 1962 to improve its market appeal in the United States.
Actinidin, also known as actinidain, is one of the significant components in kiwifruit with respect to its health benefits. This enzyme is a protein-dissolving enzyme, or protease, that breaks proteins into smaller polypeptides.
Additional bioactive components in kiwifruit include flavonoids and carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Kiwifruit is also a rich source of vitamins C, K and E, as well as dietary fiber. Kiwifruit is typically dehydrated to a powder when used as a health supplement to concentrate these components.
Uses of Kiwifruit Powder
The health benefits of kiwifruit primarily affect the digestive system. It may also support healthy circulation, respiration and cholesterol levels.
Some evidence indicates that eating fruits like kiwifruit that are high in vitamin C may help to maintain healthy lung function.
Digestive health support
Early research indicates that the actinidin in kiwifruit may support the digestive system by increasing the frequency of bowel movements. The regimen in this study consisted of two kiwifruits per day for four weeks.
Healthy cholesterol level management
The dietary fiber in kiwifruit may help to maintain a healthy cholesterol profile.
Kiwifruit contains vitamin C, which may help to maintain health blood pressure. One study showed that three kiwifruits per day for eight weeks was more beneficial for blood pressure than one apple per day.
Signs You May Need Kiwifruit Powder
The signs of inadequate protein digestion are usually the most significant indications that you may need the actinidin in kiwifruit powder. These signs primarily include intestinal gas and mild constipation, especially in the elderly.
Damage caused by oxidative stress may benefit from the antioxidants in kiwifruit. These signs include unhealthy blood pressure and breathing problems such as coughing at night, shortness of breath and wheezing. Joint conditions such as arthritis may also mean that you should take kiwifruit powder.
Conditions caused by insufficient dietary fiber may also benefit from kiwifruit powder. These conditions include an unhealthy cholesterol profile and blood sugar levels.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Digesten-K® - Digesten-K® is a proprietary kiwifruit powder produced by New Zealand Extracts Ltd. It is primarily extracted from the flesh of the fruit and is 100 percent natural. Digesten-K® is freeze dried and contains high levels of actinidin, polyphenols and soluble fiber.
Clinical studies show that Digesten-K® provides three digestive effects to relieve mild constipation, setting it apart from other digestive health products. Actinidin’s proteolytic activity is highest at a pH of about 2.0, which is the typical acidity level in the human stomach. The polyphenols in Digesten-K® support beneficial bacteria in the intestines without promoting the growth of harmful species. Soluble fiber helps to relieve constipation by increasing the frequency of bowel movements.