Kiwifruits or simply kiwis are small fruits packed with flavor and essential nutrients. This fruit has a soft texture and a sweet and unique taste. These fruits can be commonly found in Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece, and France.
Kiwis are good sources of a lot of essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and minerals like copper, potassium, and calcium. They also contain antioxidants and are good sources of fiber. They benefit the human body in many ways – helping with better digestion, improving the immune system, managing blood pressure, and reducing blood clots are a few.
Kiwis can also benefit the eyes as they contain certain nutrients that can protect your eyes from a number of eye-related diseases. Let’s examine these nutrients in detail and how they can help protect the eyes.
4 Nutrients In Kiwifruit That Can Protect Your Eyes
1. Lutein And Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that are located in the eye. Unfortunately, the human body cannot produce these naturally and they must be obtained from external sources like fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.1
Kiwifruits have been found to have these two antioxidants in abundance. These fruits have a higher percentage of these nutrients than green leafy vegetables.2 100 grams of the kiwifruit contains 0.12 grams of lutein and zeaxanthin.3
2. Vitamin C
Kiwis are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C and it supports the health of the blood vessels present in the eye. A cup of sliced kiwis (approximately 180 grams) contains 167 milligrams of vitamin C, which is higher than a cup of raw orange that contains only 120 milligrams.
Results of certain studies show how vitamin C can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts.4 The daily recommended intake of vitamin C for men is 90 milligrams per day and for women, it is 75 milligrams a day.5
Kiwis also contain traces of copper. A cup of sliced kiwi, approximately 180 grams, contains 0.2 milligrams of copper. Copper cannot be produced by the body, so it should be obtained from external sources.
Copper binds with zinc and acts an antioxidant removing the free radicals that damage the cells. Copper also improves eye health and can help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
The recommended daily intake of copper for adult men is 1.7 milligrams per day whereas, for adult women, it is 1.2 milligrams a day.6
There are certain types of dry eyes that are associated because of the deficiency of potassium. Kiwifruits are also rich sources of potassium. A cup of sliced kiwi (180 grams approximately) contains 562 milligrams of potassium.7
Potassium is also important for heart health and normal digestive and muscular function. Potassium is also important for bone health, particularly for elderly women. Studies also show that those with a high potassium diet may be at a lower risk of stroke, especially ischemic stroke.
The daily recommended intake of potassium for adult men is 3800 milligrams per day and for women, it is 2800 milligrams a day.8
Kiwi is also good for microcirculation (circulation of the blood in the smallest blood vessels) of the eye. You may eat one or two kiwis a day. However, have a variety of other fruits along with kiwis so that the body gets enough nutrients.
If you observe any swelling and itching of the tongue, lips, and pharynx after eating kiwi or any other kiwifruit-containing food product, then you may be allergic to the fruit. Stop eating kiwis immediately and consult a doctor to be on the safer side.
|↑1||Lutein & Zeaxanthin. American Optometric Association.|
|↑2||Sommerburg, Olaf, Jan EE Keunen, Alan C. Bird, and Frederik JGM van Kuijk. “Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes.” British Journal of Ophthalmology 82, no. 8 (1998): 907-910.|
|↑3||Coates, Paul M., M. Blackman, J. M. Betz, Gordon M. Cragg, M. A. Levine, Joel Moss, and Jeffrey D. White. Encyclopedia of dietary supplements. No. Ed. 2. Informa Healthcare, 2010.|
|↑4||Valero, María Pastor, Astrid E. Fletcher, Bianca L. De Stavola, Jesús Vioque, and Vicente Chaqués Alepuz. “Vitamin C is associated with reduced risk of cataract in a Mediterranean population.” The Journal of nutrition 132, no. 6 (2002): 1299-1306.|
|↑5||Vitamin C. American Optometric Association.|
|↑6||Copper. National Health and Medical Research Council.|
|↑7||Full Report (All Nutrients): 09148, Kiwifruit, green, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑8||Potassium. National Health and Medical Research Council.|