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The kiwi fruit has rich, emerald-colored flesh with a brown, fuzzy peel. It has a white pulp in the center which is surrounded by black seeds that are edible. The fruit has an exotic sweet taste, akin to a mixture of bananas, pineapples, and strawberries. This fruit is a native of China, originally from the Yangtze valley, where it was called 'Yang Tao'. Between 1800 and 1900, the fruit spread to other parts of the world as well. When the seeds were shipped to New Zealand, it was re-named as Chinese Gooseberry. The Americans then named the fruit as kiwi, after New Zealand's national bird - the kiwi.

The kiwi not only has an exotic flavor, but is rich in vitamin C, and it contains potassium as well. It is also said to be rich in vitamin A and vitamin E. Kiwi fruit oil can be produced by crushing its black seeds, which are rich in Alfa-Linoleic acid, and Omega-3 essential fatty acid.

Health Benefits

It would not even occur to many of us that the kiwi can be eaten with the skin. But it is worth giving a try. Don't bother about the fuzz, it just adds to the tangy taste. The flesh of the fruit is sweet, whereas the fruit skin has a sourish, lemony flavor to it. So, eating the skin gives a sweet and tart experience. The skin may not look very appealing, with its brown color and fuzz, but it is a powerhouse of nutrients. The health benefits of eating kiwi skin are many. It is said to be high in phenolic compounds like flavonoids. These have properties of antioxidants. These flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-cancer properties. It has a high content of insoluble fibers. These substances really prove beneficial for the metabolic functions of the body and the body's cardiovascular setup as well. It also contains dietary fibers in high amounts. The fiber content of the skin is extremely beneficial to the digestive system.Most of the vitamins, minerals, and fibers are stored immediately under the skin of this fruit. Thus, eating the skin increases the amount of nutrients as compared to eating it peeled. If the fuzz really bothers you, you can either peel it partially or rub it gently with a dry cloth to remove it.

If you are planning on eating the skin of the kiwi, then make sure you wash the fruit thoroughly before consuming it. The pesticides and dirt on it may prove to be harmful. Some of the dust and dirt may get caught in the fur of the skin, so be sure you wash it really well. Also, kiwis can cause allergies in some people. This is because it contains an enzyme called 'actinidin'. The most common symptoms are itching of the mouth, lips, and palate. Considering the benefits, the kiwi can be eaten whole, added in fruit salads, and can also be used as a natural meat tenderizer.

There's nothing comparable to the kiwi, with its exotic and tangy flavor. Brown and fuzzy on the outside, green and savory on the inside, you can enjoy the pleasures of the fruit while taking in all the health benefits. Enjoy one of nature's many treasures.