Superfood 2: The Kiwi

Well, it looks like my experiment to see how often a medicine resident has time to blog is yielding less than ideal results… but like the blog’s namesake, I’ll keep practicing!  My excuse for the hiatus is that I worked a 28 hour shift, went straight to Mr.B’s parents’ place in northern Indiana, then right back to work for another 28 hour shift.  Needless to say, I took a 6 hour nap yesterday!

We spent Labor Day in Upland, IN, where Mr. B’s grandparents are from.  There is a festival there each year, complete with a parade and a children’s tractor pull (our nephews won, no big deal).  Mr. B has gone to 30 of these in a row, never missed a year!  We had a delicious cookout – my favorite was a fruit salad that had been frozen and was like a delicious smoothie.  It was perfect for the hot weather!

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My neices and a nephew… aren’t they cute!  (the middle one wasn’t allowed to have candy, hence the pout face).

Today is my day off, which always lets me focus more on healthy eating and gave me a chance to take a trip to Whole Foods (only my second time ever… more like Whole Paycheck!).   I started off the day with a protein shake made with almond milk, peanut butter, banana, and vanilla whey protein… with a couple of kiwis on the side.

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I decided to make kiwi the second SUPERFOOD I would investigate.  The first was the avocado.  There must be something about those foods of the green variety!  I found out that the kiwi used to be called Chinese gooseberries, but was renamed by New Zealanders after the kiwi, their national bird.

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How cute is that?   It’s like a procupine mixed with a duck?

I read a few review articles on the kiwi, the most informative being this paper in Food Research International.  Apparently, kiwis have been shown to have an anti-platelet aggregation effect.  Platelet aggregation happens in response to damage to the walls of blood vessels, which is how plaque build up causes heart attacks and strokes, and it is why it is recommended that older people take an aspirin each day.   They are also super-rich in Vitamin C and polyphenols, which are free radical scavengers.   Too many free radicals can interact with DNA and cause mutations that can lead to cancer, and the damage they cause has also been linked to stroke, heart attack, and even Alzheimer’s.   The free radicals in cigarette smoke are what causes lung damage.   I picture the kiwi inside me, chasing down and enveloping all the free radicals, probably wearing a cape (like any SUPERFOOD would!)

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Lunch today was a salad from Whole Foods.  Look at all the nutrients!  I also snacked on some of the delicious tortilla chips from their salad bar.

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Check out some of my haul below!  Now it’s time for a snack of apples and almond butter before meeting some friends for Barry’s Bootcamp.  I wonder what celebrity I will encounter this time…..

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