These days, you might be finding it harder to feel strong and active. We know that our diet and lifestyle can have a big impact on how we feel, and according to a new study, one simple change can make you feel more energized and ready to take on your day — eating kiwis!
The new research, conducted by the University of Otago, sought to determine if increasing vitamin C by eating whole fruits or consuming supplements could improve feelings of vitality or zest for life. For the study, they recruited 167 participants who had low levels of vitamin C at baseline. They were divided into three groups; one group would eat two kiwis per day, one group would take a tablet containing 250 mg vitamin C (about the equivalent of two Sungold kiwis), and one group taking a placebo tablet. The study was conducted over a period of four weeks. The researchers tested vitamin C levels in the blood at baseline, at the two-week mark, and at the end of the study. A questionnaire was also used to assess mood, fatigue, and well-being.
Their results showed that vitamin C levels increased to a normal level for both the kiwi-eating group and those who took the vitamin C supplements within two weeks. However, interestingly enough, the group eating the kiwis reported that their feelings of vitality, or strength and energy, increased more than those taking the vitamins.
Vitamin C has many different functions in the body and brain. It affects hormones like adrenalin, serotonin, and oxytocin which can regulate mood and control stress levels. Vitamin C has also been associated with increased energy levels, better physical performance, and improved immunity. For this study, the researchers chose to use Sungold kiwis (that’s the kiwis with the golden-colored flesh, not the green!) since they contain about three times the amount of vitamin C (about 150 mg) in that of an orange! The results offer even more evidence as to why we should be consuming more vitamin C in our diets.
What’s most interesting about this research is that it also highlights the importance of getting nutrients like vitamin C from whole food sources, rather than supplements. “Whole fruit had a broader range of benefits; lessening fatigue and improving mood and well-being across a wider number of people than we saw in the supplement group,” said lead author of the study, Tamlin Conner, in a press release. “The vitamin C tablet did decrease fatigue and improve well-being to some extent for individuals with consistently low vitamin C levels leading up to the intervention. Interestingly, the benefits from consuming kiwifruit emerged in just two weeks.”
So while it’s a good idea, especially in times like now, to be sure you’re getting enough vitamin C, it may be a good idea to add more of it to your diet with fruits like kiwis. Although they didn’t use green kiwis for this research, those still have about 64 mg of vitamin C in each one, so what ever your kiwi preference, add them to your plate!
Here’s to a healthier, more energized you!