Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vitamin C in Kiwis is Superior to Supplements

The questions of whether or not supplements are good for you, or indeed necessary, are ones that are frequently asked. It is true that certain nutrients are difficult for many to obtain through a healthy, balanced diet and supplements can help correct some deficiencies. However, most people are not deficient in most nutrients, so taking supplements is not only excessive and potentially risky, but it is also a waste of money. And in the case of the possibly the most highly supplemented nutrient - vitamin C - fresh kiwifruits are better than supplements any day.

According to a new study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition using mice, vitamin C from fresh kiwifruit is not only absorbed more efficiently, but it is also retained for longer than a purified version of vitamin C. This gives researchers the impression that other factors present within the fresh fruit enhance the absorption of vitamin C. In order to determine whether these effects have clinical relevance in humans, clinical trials must be undertaken, which are now underway.

In addition to providing you with about 120% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, one medium kiwi also contains about 40% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K along with lesser amounts of vitamin E, folate and potassium. Being so high in vitamin C, kiwis provide your body with premier antioxidant protection. One medium kiwi also provides you with 2g of fibre, but if you eat it with the skin on (which is totally fine and actually recommended, just wash it up really well) you'll get even more fibre and potentially more nutrients. Peeling the fruit removes the nutrients that are sitting just below the surface of the skin and more rapidly exposes the fruit to oxidizing agents that can start destroying nutrients. The difference in nutrients may be small (I don't know of any studies to confirm or deny that), but at least there's more fibre!

So go on, start adding some tropical emerald green flare to your summer fruit salads (and year round) and reap the benefits!