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With Earth Day celebrated today, ‘green’ is the buzzword. We have always heard that ‘green’ foods have superior health benefits and now we have one more green food, a fruit to be precise, to add to our meal plan – the super fruit, kiwi.

Native to China (and the country’s national fruit), kiwi is also known as Yao Tang or Chinese gooseberry. Not long ago this exotic, fleshy fruit could only be found in glossy food magazines and selected high-end grocery stores. The good news is that kiwi is now widely available at most fruit sellers in Pakistan, although it is a little expensive compared to other fruit such as oranges and apples.

Kiwi has a sweet yet tart taste and plenty of health benefits due to the presence of a host of nutrients.

These include:

protect DNA from cancer causing mutations and damage.

Arginine: a vaso-dilator that treats minor cases of impotence.

Beta carotene: decreases the risk of eye-related diseases, specifically age-related macular degeneration.

Fibre: reduces cholesterol levels and can lower the risk of heart attacks. It also controls sugar levels in diabetics and helps expel toxins from the colon, reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Inositol: believed to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Magnesium: increases energy levels and lowers blood pressure.

Serotonin: reduces stress levels and creates a calming effect.

Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and E help fight the physical signs of aging. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, boosts the immune system and is believed to reduce the risk of hypertension and strokes and promotes healthy teeth and gums. One kiwi fruit fulfils 95% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.

– Dr Samia Khan
The writer is Director, Health Awareness Society.

First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on April 22, 2012.