KIWIFRUIT HELPS PROVIDE NUTRIENTS FOR RAMADAN FAST
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Dubai-based grower offers advice on staying healthy whilefasting in high summer
Citing its high fibre content, Dubai-based growerMegan Unsworth says that kiwifruit taken as part of the Suhoor pre-dawn mealcan help prepare the body for the day’s fast. “A balanced diet isimportant at all times but especially during the Ramadan fast,” Unsworthsaid. “The body will benefit from the right mix of high-fibre food andliquids to help maintain energy levels and hydration throughout the day untilIftar.”
Unsworth, who has lived in Dubai for 10 years butalso manages a kiwifruit farm in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, advisespeople fasting for Ramadan to include all the major food groups in their diet,to eat small portions and to drink plenty of liquid with Suhoor and Iftar meals– especially as this year Ramadan falls at the height of summer.
“Oats porridge is hard to beat as a Suhoorstaple, because it releases its nutrients and energy gradually during theday,” she said. “I recommend kiwifruit as part of a balancedpre-dawn approach, along with eggs, wholegrain bread, banana, yoghurt andberries. The kiwifruit can be eaten whole or included in a smoothie, whichhelps raise the liquid intake.”
Kiwifruit is also high in Vitamins C and E and hasa low glycemic index (GI) making it particularly well suited to the Middle East due to the help it provides in the managementof diabetes, which is so prevalent here.
Hala Barghout, a leading nutritionist and licensedclinical dietician in Dubai,is a big kiwifruit supporter. “Everyone knows that citrus fruit containsvitamin C, but a kiwifruit actually contains twice as much vitamin C as anorange of the same size - and three times as much as a lemon,” she said. “VitaminC helps strengthen the body’s defences and promotes healthy bones, teethand blood vessels. Kiwifruit is also a good source of the antioxidant Vitamin E.It provides twice the level of Vitamin E as an apple and is five times morenutritious.”
ZESPRI green Kiwifruit also contains a solubleprotein enzyme – actinidin – which is a natural laxative. Kiwifruitis the only fruit that contains this enzyme, which helps in digesting proteinsfrom meat and dairy products and stimulates digestion in general. “Makingkiwifruit an integral part of a balanced diet, combined with sufficient fluidsand exercise, is the easy way to achieve good digestion habits,” Barghoutadded.
New Zealandkiwifruit is now widely available across the UAE, with the traditional greenkiwifruit joined by the newer gold variety, which has an even sweeter taste andis proving to be a big hit with people in the UAE this summer, Unsworth said.
The kiwifruit actually originatedin China and was knowninitially as the Chinese gooseberry when seeds were first transported to New Zealand.However, New Zealand growersbecame the world’s largest source for the fruit, which became knownglobally as the kiwifruit after New Zealand’s national symbol: theflightless Kiwi bird.
ZESPRI Kiwifruit is made availablethroughout the UAE via their distributors Fresh Fruits Company (FFC).