Diabetes is a metabolic condition that develops when the level of glucose in the blood, often known as blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is the primary source of energy, and it is derived from the foods you consume each day. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, aids in the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, where it may be utilised for energy. Sometimes the body does not produce enough insulin or may not use insulin effectively. Sugar then remains in the bloodstream and does not reach the cells. Diabetes is referred to as “a touch of sugar" or "borderline diabetes" in certain circles. These terminologies imply that someone does not really have diabetes or that they have a less dangerous case of the disease, however diabetes is a life-threatening disease in every circumstance.
Having an excessive amount of glucose in the bloodstream might lead to health concerns over time. Despite the fact that there is no cure for diabetes, we may take efforts to manage it and remain healthy. Dietary and physical activity recommendations from the World Health Organization are intended to address the rising worldwide issue of overweight and obesity by adopting a population-wide approach to nutrition and physical activity promotion. To promote a balanced diet, diabetes patients must limit their consumption of foods that are heavy in carbs, sugar, fats and cholesterol, among other things. For such customers, the need to be careful while taking medicine and to adhere to rigorous blood sugar and weight management regulations is a hardship. People with diabetes are certainly wondering how they may enjoy the sweetness of fruits while still maintaining their health.
As a diabetic patient, you are used to ingesting even seemingly nutritious fruits such as mangoes and chikoos with caution due to the high sugar content of these fruits. Kiwi is a fruit that you may include into your diabetic diet right now. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, Kiwi can assist you in managing your condition.
A long distance has been travelled by kiwifruit in the twentieth century, from being a wild plant that was only partly exploited by man to becoming a commercial crop of worldwide economic significance. Kiwi fruits are indigenous to the temperate woods of the highlands and hills of southwest China, where they grow in abundance. During the nineteenth century, missionaries made significant contributions to the growth of botany and the spread of horticulture plants around the world. The kiwi plant was first introduced as an ornamental plant in England in 1900, and six years later it was introduced in New Zealand. Later, it made its way to Europe, where it was first introduced in Italy in 1971, and then soon afterwards in Spain. As a result, the production of kiwis in Europe is a relatively new phenomenon. A member of the family Actinidiaceae, the kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is a member of the genus Actinidia. Kiwi, an oval-shaped fruit with a sweet and tangy flavour and brilliant green flesh, is well-known for its distinct flavour and several health advantages, which range from lowering blood pressure to alleviating digestive problems. The kiwifruit, also known as Chinese gooseberry, is a tropical fruit that originated in eastern China and has been labelled as "exotic." National Horticulture Board (NHB) reports that kiwi is cultivated in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Kerala, among other places.
Kiwis are a nutrient rich meal, which means they have a high concentration of nutrients while being low in calories. In addition to maintaining good skin tone and texture, ingesting kiwis may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to some research findings. The production of kiwi fruits in Indian conditions is one of the problems that should be taken on by those who are concerned about their health, especially if the fruit's availability is even more scarce than it now is. The fibre included in kiwi fruit enhances the fruit's water retention capacity, which further contributes in minimising transit time and maintaining the overall health of the individual's gastrointestinal system.
In addition, studies are being conducted to determine the relationship between kiwi fruit intake and insulin as well as glucose balance, weight maintenance, and homeostatic balance. It is one of the most commercialised fruits on the international stage, and its parts are widely recognised as having beneficial medicinal and therapeutic properties against diseases affecting the cardiovascular system, such as diabetes and kidney problems; cancer; digestive disorders; bone and eye problems; and cancer. The kiwi fruit and its constituents have been shown to possess a wide range of pharmacological qualities, including anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antioxidant activity, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic effects, among many other features.
Kiwis are rich in fibre and have a high water retaining capacity. They have a low Glycemic Index (GI) of 0-55, which means they have a gradual release of glucose into the system. In addition to absorbing and breaking down sugar from other meals, it aids in the digestive process. Patients with diabetes will benefit greatly from include this in their diet. Because of its high water content, a 100g portion of kiwi is equivalent to around 5gm (1 teaspoon) of sugar. As a result, it is completely safe for diabetics. After peeling away the exterior brown covering, kiwis are delicious eaten raw. When ingested on an empty stomach, they may be blended into smoothies or eaten plain. It helps to detoxify the intestines while also providing enough energy to go through the rest of the day.
Kiwifruit are exceptionally high in vitamin C and contain a variety of other nutrients, including nutritionally significant amounts of dietary fibre, potassium, vitamin E, and folate, as well as a variety of bioactive components, including a wide range of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes, all of which have been shown to have beneficial effects on both the functional and metabolic functions of the body. Because of a growing body of data from human intervention research, the role of kiwifruit to digestive health is receiving more attention. In addition to the fibre content and the presence of actinidin (a natural proteolytic enzyme specific to kiwifruit that breaks down protein and aids gastric and ileal digestion), there are numerous additional phytochemicals that may induce motility that are likely to function in conjunction. The seeds of the kiwi fruit are not required to be removed, and the fruit may be consumed in its whole. It may be described as delicate, easily chewed, and delicious when consumed. This is the only way to ensure that it achieves its optimum nutritional potential. The edible skin of the fruit has a high concentration of flavonoids, beta-carotene, and dietary fibre, making it a particularly nutritious snack. The fruit is also low in saturated fat, rich in polyunsaturated fat (omega-3 fatty acids), and it contains no cholesterol, in addition to the other benefits. The fruit contains Actinidin enzyme, which is a protein-dissolving enzyme that is employed in the commercial sector for the tenderization of meat products. The fruit contains calcium oxalates crystals in the form of raphides, which are found in abundance.
Fresh and raw kiwifruit have a high nutritional value, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA (2016) Green Kiwifruit). One hundred grammes of fresh and raw kiwifruit contains: energy 255 kJ (61 kcal), carbohydrates 14.66 g, sugars 1.99 grammes, dietary fibre 3.0 grammes, fat 0.52 grammes, protein 1.14 grammes, lutein and zeaxanthin 120 micrograms, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxant Iron 0.31 mg, Magnesium 17 mg, Phosphorus 34 mg, Potassium 312 mg,Sodium 3 mg, Zinc 0.14 mg, Manganese 0.098 mg, Calcium 34 mg. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 0.027 mg, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 0.025 mg, Niacin (Vitamin B3) 0.341 mg, Vitamin B6 0.63 mg, Folate (Vitamin B9) 25 g
Foods like fruits and vegetables that you consume on a regular basis may help you manage your diabetes while also ensuring that you stay healthy and have enough energy to carry out your daily activities. The lack of awareness about the kiwi fruit and its advantages among the general public is also one of the bottlenecks that prevent the fruit from becoming more popular in India. The government, as well as scientists in the relevant sector, should concentrate on promoting and popularising the kiwi fruit in order to reduce the amount of money spent on illnesses, particularly diabetes, and to make the country healthier and happier in general. Further the apple growers particularly in union territory of Jammu and Kashmir should be more focused on the Kiwi plantation, so as to boost their economy as well as the benefit of health sector.
(The Author is Senior Research scholar of Medicinal/Organic Chemistry. He can be reached on: bhatajmal@gmailcom)