From the digestive system to immunity and metabolic health, an increasing body of research demonstrates how beneficial kiwifruit is for human health, reports Zespri.
In a press release, the New Zealand-based kiwifruit marketing company said some of the latest research was presented by leading scientists at the first-ever International Symposium on Kiwifruit and Health, held in New Zealand in April.
The symposium brought together nearly 200 global health experts to consider the role of fruit, in particular kiwifruit, in a healthy diet. Among key findings presented:
• Kiwifruit regulates sugar highs and lows in the blood stream.
• New results from human clinical trials reinforce that Zespri Green Kiwifruit improves digestive health function and comfort. This is due to its unique combination of actinidin (a kiwifruit enzyme), fibre and other components.
• Kiwifruit boosts immunity. Eating kiwifruit daily is very effective at increasing blood levels of vitamin C as well as levels in other parts of the body.
Another highlight of the symposium was the finding by Dr John Monro from Plant & Food Research on the glycaemic impact of kiwifruit, namely that kiwifruit helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Delegates also were presented with results from Zespri’s New Zealand arm of a new global clinical trial, which shows that eating two green kiwifruit a day significantly improves bowel function.
Keynote speaker Professor Jacob Seidell, an obesity specialist from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam said there is now general consensus that for much of the world, nutrient-poor food is a key driver in escalating rates of obesity and related chronic disease. “Improved health outcomes are associated with diets high in nutrient-rich, low energy-dense fruit – such as kiwifruit,” he said.
Zespri’s Innovation Leader for Health and Nutrition, Dr Juliet Ansell, said there were exciting research results from new scientific studies. “We know that the more people hear about the health benefits of kiwifruit the more they consume,” she said.
With sales revenues of $1.57 billion in 2014/15, Zespri is one of the world’s most successful horticulture marketing companies and the Zespri brand is recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit.
On behalf of its 2,500 growers in New Zealand and 1,200 growers based elsewhere, Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, Zespri Organic, Zespri Gold and Zespri Sweet Green Kiwifruit.