Kiwi, Kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry is an edible berry. It is a fibrous fruit with green or golden flesh and tiny black rows of edible seeds.
The fruit is native of China but has become more popular with Americans. It is now a commercial crop grown in several countries. The fruits are harvested when firm so as to keep them in storage for a longer time, say up to eight weeks, and to export to other countries.
China is the largest producer of Kiwi followed by Italy and New Zealand.
Both green and golden flesh varieties are available with almost similar nutritional value, differing in small percentages of some nutrients.
It is estimated that 100 gm. of raw fruit provides 251 calories of energy, 14.23 gm. carbohydrates, 10.98 gm. sugar, 2 gm. dietary fiber, 0.56 gm. fat and 1.23 gm. protein.
It contains many vitamins like, vitamin C 105.4 mg. (127% -RDA –Recommended Daily Amount), pantothenic acid 0.5mg (10%RDA), vitamin E 1.49mg (0%RDA), folate 34 microgram (9%RDA), vitamin K , 5.5microgram (5%RDA) and small percentages of lutein. Zeaxanthin, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and choline.
Minerals present in Kiwi fruit are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc in quantities ranging from 1% RDA to 7% RDA.
What is Dengue fever?
DENGUE is a mosquito borne disease but found out only after substantial lapse of time from the time of infection of the person concerned. Symptoms of dengue are high fever, headache, vomiting, pain in the joints and muscles in addition to skin rashes characteristic of dengue.
Dengue is a global problem affecting millions of people every year across the world. It is a serious disease which may even require blood transfusion in acute cases.
Antiviral drug to cure dengue quickly and completely is yet to be formulated though the disease is treated with multiple remedial measures. There are attempts to prevent, control and to cure the disease by deployment of various measures starting from controlling the growth of mosquitoes.
Symptoms of dengue
Primary symptoms of Dengue fever
- High fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint and muscle pain
- Rashes on the skin
In sever cases, dengue might also cause:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Pleural effusion which is basically build up fluid in the pleural space
In either case, the platelet count drops to a low due to the fever. Therapeutic diets can be followed to overcome the tiredness due to dengue.
A very serious symptom of dengue is profuse bleeding due to lowering of the platelet count. Reduction of platelet count starts well before the onset of the fever.
The stage of dengue fever at which the bone marrow is infected, circulation of blood in the blood vessels decreases. Consequently the blood pressure lowers leading to insufficient blood supply to vital organs. Due to infection, dysfunction of the bone marrow occurs and reduction of platelet count speeds up. Platelet count level has to be maintained at the desired level as it is necessary for effective blood clotting and to avoid bleeding. Since bleeding is a major complication developed during dengue, it is key to stop bleeding by increasing the platelet count.
Diet therapy to cure dengue
A detailed research published in the International Journal of Mosquito Research shows how diet can be used to cure dengue and regain strength post this fever. The underlying principle of diet therapy is to use soft foods and a liquid diet to make it easily digestible.
A few of the liquids which are suitable for dengue patients are:
- Tender coconut water
- Lemon water
- Fruit juices
- Tender soups
Important – All spicy or oily foods should be avoided during the period of recovery.
Kiwi fruits to treat and cure dengue fever
Since development of appropriate remedy is ongoing, some home treatments are suggested. One such suggestion is consumption of Kiwi fruit or Kiwi fruit juice.
How does Kiwi treat dengue?
It is at this stage of helplessness that Kiwi fruit works like a miracle. It is the experience of people affected by dengue that consumption of whole Kiwi fruit or the fruit juice rapidly and instantaneously increases platelet count. Kiwi acts as a food substitute because it gives 250 calories in just 100 gm. of fruit. The fruit is also more palatable than other foods. This is because, for a person affected by dengue who also suffer from food aversion at that point in time. The fruit reduces fatigue due to dengue is addressed besides boosting the energy level in addition to the increase in platelet count which is all the more important.
The underlying concept is that, any food that is filled with anti-oxidants can stop the platelet count from falling further. Kiwi which is high in Vitamin C is a great source of anti-oxidants and can hence help to stop the count of platelets from falling further due to the fever. It can further increase platelet count due to the presence of vitamin C and Potassium in the fruit.
Doctors advocate the consumption of kiwi fruits sometimes even as a substitute for blood transfusion (2).
How to consume kiwi to treat dengue?
You breakfast should consist of idli (made of rice and lentils), poha, seva or plain bread. Along with this breakfast, consume 1-2 kiwi fruits and a glass of milk. In the evening, you can consume 1 kiwi fruit with milk blended into a smoothie. In addition, pomegranate juice and coconut water should be consumed to help regain the lost strength.
After dietary therapy, patients who were suffering from imbalance in electrolytes and low nutrition showed good signs of recovery. Gradually over a period of time, with added protein intake and nutrition, their appetite increased and they regained strength. This is due to the gradual increase in RBC which leads to better immunity.
Recipes using Kiwi for dengue patients
Kiwi and oats porridge
- Chop two kiwi fruits and keep aside.
- Take 500 ml milk in a vessel.
- Switch on the stove and let the milk warm up.
- Add 3 tablespoons flaked oats to the milk.
- Keep stirring for a minute.
- Add a tablespoon of palm sugar.
- Mix well and keep stirring for a few more minutes till the oats is cooked well.
- Add the chopped kiwi fruits to the porridge.
- The porridge is done.
You can consume this porridge for breakfast. It contains good amounts of fiber and other essential nutrients including anti-oxidants which can help in speedy recovery.
Similar to kiwi fruits, flax seeds are also known to have properties that can help with faster recovery from dengue.
- Take two or three kiwi fruits.
- Add two tablespoons of flax seeds.
- Pour 200 ml of cow’s milk.
- Blend all the three ingredients together into a smoothie.
Kiwi and papaya salad
- Peel and chop two fresh kiwi fruits.
- Take about 8 – 10 pieces of papaya fruits.
- Add half a teaspoon of honey, one teaspoon of chia seeds and mix the fruits together.
- This is a healthy salad that can consumed daily for increasing the platelet count.
Is this treatment clinically proven?
The theory of Kiwi fruit as a remedy for dengue fever has not been clinically proved yet. But patients who have gained by consumption of the fruit have come out with their beneficial experiences.
However, kiwi has many nutrients which have the potential to enhance immunity. Hence the capability of kiwi in treating dengue can be safely assumed.
Even as other remedial measures are undertaken, consumption of Kiwi fruit can ensure speedy recovery from dengue.
There are studies which show that papaya leaves and kiwi can help to increase platelet count in patients affected by dengue (1).
With a proper diet consisting of soft foods and fruits such as kiwi and papaya, recovery from dengue could be much faster than expected. This could also help to build immunity and more resistance against various diseases.