As far as favorite fruits go, it goes without saying that kiwis don’t exactly top the list for a large portion of people.
While many enjoy the taste, kiwis are generally seen as a fringe fruit at best.
Currently, kiwis don’t even make the top 20 on the list of the most popular fruits and vegetables in the United States, far behind some of the most heavily sprayed crops including peaches, strawberries, apples and many more.
But if more people knew about the health benefits of this humble fruit, including its potentially dramatic impact on both the quality and duration of sleep in already stressed individuals, perhaps that would change overnight.
The kiwi may not be seen as a superfood, but it can be to the right person in the right situation, especially stressed out people who toss and turn the night before having to get up and go to work early in the morning.
Kiwi is One of the Best Things to Eat for Better Sleep
Similar to consuming honey before bed, the humble kiwi fruit may be able to help improve several different markers of both sleep quantity and quality, according to a 2011 study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study found that kiwi fruit could help in the following areas for sleep:
1. More overall sleep- Kiwi fruit increased total sleep time among volunteers in the study by 13.4% altogether
2. Falling asleep faster- Participants who ate two kiwi one hour before bed dramatically improved their ability to fall asleep in a timely fashion. Overall, the amount of time it took decreased by 35.4%!
4. People were able to resist waking up- Their “waking time after sleep onset” time fell by 28.9%
5. Less sleepless time in bed- Their “sleep efficiency” levels increased by 5.41%
It must be cautioned that the study, undertaken at Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University, included just 22 women and 2 men, a clear sign that more research needs to be done.
Considering that all of the study participants started out expecting “some form of disrupted sleep” according to Dr. Breus, it is well worth noting for people who are stressed from work and life responsibilities and have a hard time getting to and falling asleep on a schedule.
Researchers stated that two compounds in the fruit may account for these remarkable sleep-boosting effects —antioxidants (which block harmful free radicals in the body), and serotonin, a mood-regulating hormone that also functions as a neurotransmitter and helps to prevent depression while regulating our appetite.
In contrast to dopamine, serotonin is more of a long-term mood booster, which may help explain why it’s so beneficial to consume serotonin-rich foods before heading to bed for a full night’s sleep.
Additional Reasons to Eat Kiwi Every Day
Along with the potential benefits for sleep, kiwi provides a highly unique and wide range of health benefits for such an underappreciated fruit.
Originating from China where it was once known by the name “Yang Tao,” which translated into English means “Chinese gooseberry,” the fuzzy fruit is rich in Vitamin C, one of most crucial vitamins our body does not produce that we must get from food.
Kiwi has roughly five times the Vitamin C content of an orange by some measurements (what type of environment the fruit was grown in also factors in and whether it was organic or not does as well). Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and is crucial for the growth and repairing of tissues in your body, adding to the list of reasons why kiwi is a great food to eat before bedtime.
The fruit is also rich in another hard-to-get vitamin, Vitamin K, which is one of the strongest protective substances against many of the leading conditions that may lead to an early death including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis and more.
To round out the fruit’s impressive list of unique health benefits, it also contains Omega-3 fatty acids for brain and joint health, as well as Vitamin B6 and prebiotics to support a healthy gut.
For more information on the most unique health benefits of kiwi fruit, check out this article.
You can also read the full study on kiwi and sleep titled ‘The Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems.’
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a doctor before changing your diet or supplement routine.
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