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Kiwifruit
Kiwifruit

Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit speckled with tiny black seeds adds a dramatic tropical flair to any fruit salad. California kiwifruit is available November through May, while the New Zealand crop hits the market June through October making fresh kiwis available year round.

The kiwifruit is a small fruit approximately 3 inches long and weighing about four ounces. Its green flesh is almost creamy in consistency with an invigorating taste reminiscent of strawberries, melons and bananas, yet with its own unique sweet flavor.

Kiwifruit, fresh
1.00 2 inches
(69.00 grams)
Calories: 42
GI: low

NutrientDRI/DV



 copper10%

 fiber8%




 folate4%


This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Kiwifruit provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Kiwifruit can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Kiwifruit, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits

Kiwifruit can offer a great deal more than an exotic tropical flair in your fruit salad. These emerald delights contain numerous phytonutrients as well as well known vitamins and minerals that promote your health.

Kiwi's Phytonutrients Protect DNA

In the world of phytonutrient research, kiwifruit has fascinated researchers for its ability to protect DNA in the nucleus of human cells from oxygen-related damage. Researchers are not yet certain which compounds in kiwi give it this protective antioxidant capacity, but they are sure that this healing property is not limited to those nutrients most commonly associated with kiwifruit, including its vitamin C or beta-carotene content. Since kiwi contains a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids that have demonstrated antioxidant activity, these phytonutrients in kiwi may be responsible for this DNA protection.

The protective properties of kiwi have been demonstrated in a study with 6- and 7-year-old children in northern and central Italy. The more kiwi or citrus fruit these children consumed, the less likely they were to have respiratory-related health problems including wheezing, shortness of breath, or night coughing. These same antioxidant protective properties may have been involved in providing protection for these children.

Kiwifruit Offers Premier Antioxidant Protection

Kiwifruit emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of vitamin C. This nutrient is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, neutralizing free radicals that can cause damage to cells and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. In fact, adequate intake of vitamin C has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma, and for preventing conditions such as colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease. And since vitamin C is necessary for the healthy function of the immune system, it may be useful for preventing recurrent ear infections in people who suffer from them. Owing to the multitude of vitamin C's health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Fiber—Concentrated in Kiwifruit—for Blood Sugar Control Plus Cardiovascular and Colon Health

Our food ranking system also qualified kiwifruit as a very good source of dietary fiber. The fiber in kiwifruit has also been shown to be useful for a number of conditions. Researchers have found that diets that contain plenty of fiber can reduce high cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Fiber is also good for binding and removing toxins from the colon, which is helpful for preventing colon cancer. In addition, fiber-rich foods, like kiwifruit, are good for keeping the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients under control.

Kiwifruit also passed our food ranking test as a good source of the mineral potassium.

Kiwifruit's Potential Protection against Asthma

Eating vitamin C-rich fruit such as kiwi may confer a significant protective effect against respiratory symptoms associated with asthma such as wheezing.

A study published in Thorax that followed over 18,000 children aged 6-7 years living in Central and Northern Italy found that those eating the most citrus and kiwifruit (5-7 servings per week) had 44% less incidence of wheezing compared to children eating the least (less than once a week). Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%, severe wheeze by 41%, night time cough by 27%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%.

Children who had asthma when the study began appeared to benefit the most, and protective effects were evident even among children who ate fruit only once or twice a week.

Kiwifruit's Potential Protection against Macular Degeneration

Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Opthamology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

In this study, which involved over 110,000 women and men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants' consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARMD, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. Food intake information was collected periodically for up to 18 years for women and 12 years for men. While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARM, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but kiwifruit can help you reach this goal. Slice kiwi over your morning cereal, lunch time yogurt or green salads. For a more elegant meal, decorate any fish dish or fruit salad with kiwi slices.

Kiwifruit is a Delicious Way to Enjoy Cardiovascular Health

Enjoying just a couple of kiwifruit each day may significantly lower your risk for blood clots and reduce the amount of fats (triglycerides) in your blood, therefore helping to protect cardiovascular health.

Unlike aspirin, which also helps to reduce blood clotting but has side effects such as inflammation and bleeding in the intestinal tract, the effects of regular kiwi consumption are all beneficial. Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, and polyphenols, and a good source of potassium, all of which may function individually or in concert to protect the blood vessels and heart. In one study, human volunteers who ate 2 to 3 kiwifruit per day for 28 days reduced their platelet aggregation response (potential for blood clot formation) by 18% compared to controls eating no kiwi. In addition, kiwi eaters' triglycerides (blood fats) dropped by 15% compared to controls.

Description

The kiwifruit is a little fruit holding great surprises. The most common species of kiwifruit is Actinidia deliciosa, commonly known as Hayward kiwi. Inside of this small, oval-shaped fruit featuring brown fuzzy skin resides a brilliant, semi-translucent emerald green flesh speckled with a few concentrically arranged white veins and small black seeds. Its flesh is almost creamy in consistency with an invigorating taste reminiscent of a mixture of strawberries and bananas, yet with its own unique sweet flavor.

With the growing interest in kiwifruit, other species are now becoming more widely available. These include the hardy kiwi and the silvervine kiwi, two smooth-skinned varieties that are the size of cherries and whose flesh has a golden yellow-green hue.

History

The kiwifruit is a fruit with a very interesting history and whose recent rise in popularity reflects a combination of an appreciation for its taste, nutritional value, unique appearance and, surprisingly, its changing name.

Native to China, kiwifruits were originally known as Yang Tao. They were brought to New Zealand from China by missionaries in the early 20th century with the first commercial plantings occurring several decades later. In 1960, they were renamed Chinese Gooseberries.

In 1961, Chinese Gooseberries made their first appearance at a restaurant in the United States and were subsequently "discovered" by an American produce distributor who felt that the U.S. market would be very receptive to this uniquely exotic fruit. She initiated the import of these fruits into the United States in 1962, but to meet what was felt to be burgeoning demand, changed its name from Chinese Gooseberry to kiwifruit, in honor of the native bird of New Zealand, the kiwi, whose brown fuzzy coat resembled the skin of this unique fruit. Currently, Italy, New Zealand, Chile, France, Japan and the United States are among the leading commercial producers of kiwifruit.

How to Select and Store

When selecting kiwifruits, hold them between your thumb and forefinger and gently apply pressure; those that have the sweetest taste will yield gently to pressure. Avoid those that are very soft, shriveled or have bruised or damp spots. As size is not related to the fruit's quality, choose a kiwifruit based upon your personal preference or recipe need. Kiwifruits are usually available throughout most of the year.

At WHFoods, we encourage the purchase of certified organically grown foods, and kiwifruit is no exception. Repeated research studies on organic foods as a group show that your likelihood of exposure to contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals can be greatly reduced through the purchased of certified organic foods, including kiwifruit. In many cases, you may be able to find a local organic grower who sells kiwifruit but has not applied for formal organic certification either through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or through a state agency. (Examples of states offering state-certified organic foods include California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.) However, if you are shopping in a large supermarket, your most reliable source of organically grown kiwifruit is very likely to be kiwifruit that displays the USDA organic logo.

If kiwifruits do not yield when you gently apply pressure with your thumb and forefinger, they are not yet ready to be consumed since they will not have reached the peak of their sweetness. Kiwifruits can be left to ripen for a few days to a week at room temperature, away from exposure to sunlight or heat. Placing the fruits in a paper bag with an apple, banana or pear will help to speed their ripening process. Ripe kiwifruits can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. For the most antioxidants, consume fully ripened kiwifruit.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Kiwifruit

Kiwifruits are so delicious that they can be eaten as is. They can be peeled with a paring knife and then sliced or you can cut them in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. You can also enjoy the skins which are very thin like a Bosc pear and are full of nutrients and fiber; the peachlike fuzz can be rubbed off before eating.

Kiwifruits should not be eaten too long after cutting since they contain enzymes (actinic and bromic acids) that act as a food tenderizer, with the ability to further tenderize the kiwifruit itself and make it overly soft. Consequently, if you are adding kiwifruit to fruit salad, you should do so at the last minute so as to prevent the other fruits from becoming too soggy.

While sliced kiwi fruit may soften other fruits when combined in fruit salad, a study published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that minimal processing of kiwi and other fruits—cutting, packaging and chilling—does not significantly affect their nutritional content even after 6, and up to 9, days.

Researchers cut up kiwi fruit, pineapples, mangoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, and strawberries. The freshly cut fruits were then rinsed in water, dried, packaged in clamshells (not gastight) and stored at 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

After 6 days, losses in vitamin C were less than 5% in mango, strawberry, and watermelon pieces, 10% in pineapple pieces, 12% in kiwifruit slices, and 25% in cantaloupe cubes.

No losses in carotenoids were found in kiwifruit slices and watermelon cubes. Pineapples lost 25%, followed by 10-15% in cantaloupe, mango, and strawberry pieces.

No significant losses in phenolic phytonutrients were found in any of the fresh-cut fruit products.

"Contrary to expectations, it was clear that minimal processing had almost no effect on the main antioxidant constituents. The changes in nutrient antioxidants observed during nine days at five degrees Celsius would not significantly affect the nutrient quality of fresh cut fruit. In general, fresh-cut fruits visually spoil before any significant nutrient loss occurs," wrote lead researcher Maria Gil.

In practical terms, this means that you can prepare a large bowl of fruit salad on the weekend, store it in the refrigerator, and enjoy it all week, receiving almost all the nutritional benefits of just prepared fruit salad. To ensure kiwi fruit does not "tenderize" the other fruits in your salad, store sliced kiwi in a separate air-tight container and add to the rest of the fruit salad just before serving.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
  • Kiwifruit are so delicious, they can be eaten as is. One of our favorite ways to do so is to peel with a paring knife and slice.
  • Add kiwifruit to tossed green salads.
  • Serve sliced kiwifruit and strawberries, fruits whose flavors are naturally complementary, topped with yogurt.
  • Mix sliced kiwifruit, orange and pineapple together to make chutney that can be served as an accompaniment to chicken or fish.
  • Blend kiwifruit and cantaloupe in a food processor to make a chilled soup. For a creamier consistency, blend yogurt in with the fruit mixture.
  • Kiwifruit have a wonderful flavor and appearance for use in fruit tarts.

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

If you'd like even more recipes and ways to prepare kiwifruit the Nutrient-Rich Way, you may want to explore The World's Healthiest Foods book.

Individual Concerns

Kiwifruit and Latex-Fruit Syndrome

Latex-fruit syndrom is a health problem related to the possible reaction of our immune system to certain proteins found in natural rubber (from the tree Hevea brasiliensis) and highly similar proteins found in certain foods, such as kiwifruit. For helpful information about this topic, please see our article, An Overview of Adverse Food Reactions.

Nutritional Profile

Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as a very good source of copper and dietary fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, folate and manganese.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.

Kiwifruit, fresh
1.00 2 inches
69.00 grams
Calories: 42
GI: low
NutrientAmountDRI/DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin C63.96 mg8536.5excellent
vitamin K27.81 mcg3113.2excellent
copper0.09 mg104.3very good
fiber2.07 g83.5very good
vitamin E1.01 mg (ATE)72.9good
potassium215.28 mg62.6good
folate17.25 mcg41.8good
manganese0.07 mg41.5good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
Rule
excellent DRI/DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
very good DRI/DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
good DRI/DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, here is an in-depth nutritional profile for Kiwifruit. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Kiwifruit, fresh
(Note: "--" indicates data unavailable)
1.00 2 inches
(69.00 g)
GI: low
BASIC MACRONUTRIENTS AND CALORIES
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Protein0.79 g2
Carbohydrates10.12 g4
Fat - total0.36 g--
Dietary Fiber2.07 g8
Calories42.092
MACRONUTRIENT AND CALORIE DETAIL
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Carbohydrate:
Starch-- g
Total Sugars6.20 g
Monosaccharides5.95 g
Fructose3.00 g
Glucose2.84 g
Galactose0.12 g
Disaccharides0.23 g
Lactose0.00 g
Maltose0.13 g
Sucrose0.10 g
Soluble Fiber-- g
Insoluble Fiber-- g
Other Carbohydrates1.84 g
Fat:
Monounsaturated Fat0.03 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.20 g
Saturated Fat0.02 g
Trans Fat0.00 g
Calories from Fat3.23
Calories from Saturated Fat0.18
Calories from Trans Fat0.00
Cholesterol0.00 mg
Water57.32 g
MICRONUTRIENTS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Vitamins
Water-Soluble Vitamins
B-Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B10.02 mg2
Vitamin B20.02 mg2
Vitamin B30.24 mg2
Vitamin B3 (Niacin Equivalents)0.41 mg
Vitamin B60.04 mg2
Vitamin B120.00 mcg0
Biotin-- mcg--
Choline5.38 mg1
Folate17.25 mcg4
Folate (DFE)17.25 mcg
Folate (food)17.25 mcg
Pantothenic Acid0.13 mg3
Vitamin C63.96 mg85
Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A (Retinoids and Carotenoids)
Vitamin A International Units (IU)60.03 IU
Vitamin A mcg Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE)3.00 mcg (RAE)0
Vitamin A mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)6.00 mcg (RE)
Retinol mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)0.00 mcg (RE)
Carotenoid mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)6.00 mcg (RE)
Alpha-Carotene0.00 mcg
Beta-Carotene35.88 mcg
Beta-Carotene Equivalents35.88 mcg
Cryptoxanthin0.00 mcg
Lutein and Zeaxanthin84.18 mcg
Lycopene0.00 mcg
Vitamin D
Vitamin D International Units (IU)0.00 IU0
Vitamin D mcg0.00 mcg
Vitamin E
Vitamin E mg Alpha-Tocopherol Equivalents (ATE)1.01 mg (ATE)7
Vitamin E International Units (IU)1.50 IU
Vitamin E mg1.01 mg
Vitamin K27.81 mcg31
Minerals
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Boron-- mcg
Calcium23.46 mg2
Chloride26.91 mg
Chromium-- mcg--
Copper0.09 mg10
Fluoride-- mg--
Iodine-- mcg--
Iron0.21 mg1
Magnesium11.73 mg3
Manganese0.07 mg4
Molybdenum-- mcg--
Phosphorus23.46 mg3
Potassium215.28 mg6
Selenium0.14 mcg0
Sodium2.07 mg0
Zinc0.10 mg1
INDIVIDUAL FATTY ACIDS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.03 g1
Omega-6 Fatty Acids0.17 g
Monounsaturated Fats
14:1 Myristoleic0.00 g
15:1 Pentadecenoic0.00 g
16:1 Palmitol0.00 g
17:1 Heptadecenoic0.00 g
18:1 Oleic0.03 g
20:1 Eicosenoic0.00 g
22:1 Erucic0.00 g
24:1 Nervonic0.00 g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
18:2 Linoleic0.17 g
18:2 Conjugated Linoleic (CLA)-- g
18:3 Linolenic0.03 g
18:4 Stearidonic0.00 g
20:3 Eicosatrienoic0.00 g
20:4 Arachidonic0.00 g
20:5 Eicosapentaenoic (EPA)0.00 g
22:5 Docosapentaenoic (DPA)0.00 g
22:6 Docosahexaenoic (DHA)0.00 g
Saturated Fatty Acids
4:0 Butyric0.00 g
6:0 Caproic0.00 g
8:0 Caprylic0.00 g
10:0 Capric0.00 g
12:0 Lauric0.00 g
14:0 Myristic0.00 g
15:0 Pentadecanoic0.00 g
16:0 Palmitic0.01 g
17:0 Margaric0.00 g
18:0 Stearic0.01 g
20:0 Arachidic0.00 g
22:0 Behenate0.00 g
24:0 Lignoceric0.00 g
INDIVIDUAL AMINO ACIDS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Alanine0.04 g
Arginine0.06 g
Aspartic Acid0.09 g
Cysteine0.02 g
Glutamic Acid0.13 g
Glycine0.04 g
Histidine0.02 g
Isoleucine0.04 g
Leucine0.05 g
Lysine0.04 g
Methionine0.02 g
Phenylalanine0.03 g
Proline0.03 g
Serine0.04 g
Threonine0.03 g
Tryptophan0.01 g
Tyrosine0.02 g
Valine0.04 g
OTHER COMPONENTS
nutrientamountDRI/DV
(%)
Ash0.42 g
Organic Acids (Total)-- g
Acetic Acid-- g
Citric Acid-- g
Lactic Acid-- g
Malic Acid-- g
Taurine-- g
Sugar Alcohols (Total)-- g
Glycerol-- g
Inositol-- g
Mannitol-- g
Sorbitol-- g
Xylitol-- g
Artificial Sweeteners (Total)-- mg
Aspartame-- mg
Saccharin-- mg
Alcohol0.00 g
Caffeine0.00 mg

Note:

The nutrient profiles provided in this website are derived from The Food Processor, Version 10.12.0, ESHA Research, Salem, Oregon, USA. Among the 50,000+ food items in the master database and 163 nutritional components per item, specific nutrient values were frequently missing from any particular food item. We chose the designation "--" to represent those nutrients for which no value was included in this version of the database.

References

  • Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92. 2004. PMID:15197064.
  • Collins BH, Horska A, Hotten PM, et al. Kiwifruit protects against oxidative DNA damage in human cells and in vitro. Nutr Cancer 2001;39(1):148-53. 2001. PMID:13330.
  • Duttaroy A, Jørgensen A. Effects of kiwi fruit consumption on platelet aggregation and plasma lipids in healthy human volunteers. Platelets 2004 Aug;15(5):287-292. 2004. PMID:15370099.
  • Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California. 1983.
  • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.
  • Forastiere F, Pistelli R, Sestini P, et al. Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children. SIDRIA Collaborative Group, Italy (Italian Studies on Respiratory Disorders in Children and the Environment). Thorax 2000 Apr;55(4):283-8. 2000. PMID:13360.
  • Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York. 1996.
  • Gil MI, Aguayo E, Kader AA. Quality changes and nutrient retention in fresh-cut versus whole fruits during storage. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Jun 14;54(12):4284-96. 2006. PMID:16756358.
  • Ikken Y, Morales P, Martinez A, et al. Antimutagenic effect of fruit and vegetable ethanolic extracts against N-nitrosamines evaluated by the Ames test. J Agric Food Chem 1999 Aug;47(8):3257-64. 1999. PMID:13350.
  • Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A, et al. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Lancet. 2001 Mar 3;357(9257):657-63. 2001.
  • Kurl S, Tuomainen TP, Laukkanen JA et al. Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke. Stroke 2002 Jun;33(6):1568-73. 2002.
  • Maillar C. [The kiwi, rich in vitamins C and E and also in potassium]. Servir 1998 May-1998 Jun 30;46(3):160. 1998. PMID:13380.
  • Sommerburg O, Keunen JE, Bird AC, van Kuijk FJ. Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Br J Ophthalmol 1998 Aug;82(8):907-10. 1998. PMID:13370.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.

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