What are the health benefits of kiwifruit?

The kiwifruit, also known as the Chinese gooseberry, was originally found growing wild in China. Kiwis are a nutrient-dense food, meaning they’re high in nutrients while being low in calories.

After returning from China with seeds, a schoolteacher introduced the fruit to New Zealand in 1904. It was given the name “kiwi” after New Zealand’s national bird.

The high vitamin C content of kiwi has earned it a reputation as a health food, but the fruit is also high in other nutrients. These may help lower blood pressure, speed wound healing, and improve bowel health, among other things.

Learn more about the benefits and risks of including kiwi in your diet in the sections below.

Benefits

Kiwis are high in vitamin C, which may help with skin health.

The nutritional content of kiwi and other fruits provides a variety of health benefits. Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber are all abundant in kiwis.

Vitamin C, choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that aid in the removal of free radicals from the body. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules produced by the body during metabolism and other processes.

Excessive levels of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which can lead to cell damage. Heart disease or cancer may result as a result of this damage. By removing free radicals, antioxidants can help protect the body.

What are some other foods that are high in antioxidants?

The nutrients in kiwi can help a person in a variety of ways.

Healthful skin

Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, which is found in cells and organs all over the body, including the skin. The vitamin also helps the body heal wounds faster.

Oral collagen supplements may help boost skin elasticity and hydration while also reducing wrinkles, according to a review of studies published in 2019. Taking vitamin C supplements isn’t the same as eating kiwis, but the fruit can still help keep your skin healthy.

One kiwi weighing 69 grams (g) provides 64 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C. This is equivalent to 71–85% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement.

Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is found in kiwifruit. Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties and ability to protect the skin from sun damage may aid in the prevention of skin disorders.

Better sleep

The effects of kiwifruit on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems were investigated in a 2011 study. According to self-reported measures, eating kiwis improved sleep for the researchers.

The antioxidant and serotonin content of kiwis may be responsible for this benefit, according to the researchers.

Blood pressure and heart health

Fiber, potassium, and antioxidants are all found in kiwis, and they may help to keep your heart healthy.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people increase their potassium intake while lowering their sodium intake.

Potassium helps manage blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, and people with low blood pressure are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

One kiwi has about 215 mg of potassium, which is nearly 5% of an adult’s daily potassium requirement.

The fiber content of kiwis may also be beneficial to cardiovascular health. According to a study published in 2017, people who consume a lot of fiber have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. They also tend to have less low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol.

One kiwi contains about 2 g of fiber, which is about 6–9% of an adult’s daily fiber requirement.

Which foods may aid in the treatment of high blood pressure?

Kidney stone prevention

A high potassium intake, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, may also help prevent kidney stones from forming.

Cancer prevention

According to the National Cancer Institute, high levels of free radicals in the body can damage DNA, leading to various types of cancer.

Kiwis are high in antioxidants, which aid in the removal of free radicals from the body. This is one way that the fruit may aid in cancer prevention.

Furthermore, research has shown that people who consume a lot of fiber, particularly fiber from fruits and cereals, have a lower risk of colorectal cancer than those who consume little fiber.

Constipation prevention

According to a 2019 study, when healthy people eat kiwis, their small intestines are better able to retain water, resulting in more frequent and softer stools.

For people with mild constipation, the authors of the study suggested that kiwifruit could be a natural alternative to medical laxatives.

Anti-inflammation properties

Kiwifruit proteins called kiwellin and kissper may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Kissper may help manage inflammation in the human intestines, according to laboratory findings.

During pregnancy

Kiwifruit contains folate, which is required for cell division during pregnancy. Doctors advise women to take extra folate during pregnancy because it may protect the fetus from developmental issues like neural tube abnormalities.

One kiwi contains 17.2 micrograms (mcg) of folate, which is just over 4% of an adult’s daily requirement.

Find out more about the advantages of folate.

Bone health

Vitamin K, as well as traces of calcium and phosphorus, are all beneficial to bone health. Vitamin K intake may help to prevent osteoporosis.

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting as well.

A single kiwi provides 23–30% of an adult’s daily vitamin requirement.

Learn more about osteoporosis.

Nutrition

The amounts of specific nutrients in a 69 g kiwi are shown in the table below.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, it also shows how much of each nutrient an adult requires per day. Specific requirements, however, differ depending on a person’s age and gender.

NutrientAmount in 1 kiwi (69 g)Daily adult requirement
Energy (calories)42.11,600–3,000
Carbohydrates (g)10.1, including 6.2 g of sugar130
Fiber (g)2.122.4–33.6
Calcium (mg)23.51,000–1,300
Magnesium (mg)11.7310–420
Phosphorus (mg)23.5700–1,250
Potassium (mg)2154,700
Copper (mcg)90890–900
Vitamin C (mg)6465–90
Folate (mcg)17.2400
Beta carotene (mcg)35.9No data
Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg)84.2No data
Vitamin E (mg)1.015
Vitamin K (mcg)27.875–120

Kiwi also contains small amounts of iron, vitamin A, and vitamins other than folate.

Dietary tips

Below are some tips for incorporating kiwis into the diet:

  • Make kiwi cups by cutting a ripe kiwi in half, leaving the skin on, and eating each half with a spoon.
  • Make a fruit cocktail with kiwi, pineapple, mango, and strawberry chunks.
  • Make a green smoothie or juice with kiwi, spinach, apple, and pear.
  • Freeze slices of kiwi and eat them as a snack or dessert on a hot day.
  • Add diced kiwi to a salad of spinach, walnuts, dried cranberries, diced apple, feta cheese, and a light vinaigrette dressing.

Risks

Some of the nutrients found in kiwis may interact with medications or cause other problems.

Beta-blockers

These medications are frequently prescribed by doctors for people who have heart disease.

Because beta-blockers can cause potassium levels in the blood to rise, people who take them should keep an eye on their potassium intake.

Kidney problems

For people whose kidneys aren’t functioning properly, consuming too much potassium can be harmful.

Life-threatening complications can occur if the kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood.

0p thinners

Blood thinners, such as warfarin, are prescribed tp0po people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease (Coumadin).

Vitamin K is abundant in kiwifruit, and it can interfere with the action of blood thinners. Anyone taking these medications should consult their doctor before increasing their vitamin K intake.

Allergy

Kiwi can cause allergic reactionsp in some people. After eating kiwi, anyone who develops hives, a rash, or swelling should see a doctor.

Anaphylaxis, which can be fatal, can occur as a result of a severe reaction.

Conclusion

Vitamin C and antioxidants are abundant in kiwifruit. It can be eaten as a healthy snack, packed easily in lunch boxes, and used to flavor sweet dishes and salads.

Kiwis are also included in the Environmental Working Group’s 2019 Clean Fifteen11 list of pesticide-free foods.

Sources

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  3. Ciacci, C., et al. (2014). The kiwi fruit peptide kissper displays anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects in in-vitro and ex-vivo human intestinal models. 
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927908/
  4. Clean Fifteen: EWG’s 2019 shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce. (2019).
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  5. Folate: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/
  6. Keen, M. A., & Hassan, I. (2016). Vitamin E in dermatology.
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  8. Kiwi fruit, raw. (2019).
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  9. Kunzmann, A. T., et al. (2015). Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer and incident and recurrent adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588743/
  10. Lin, H.-H., et al. (2011). Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems [Abstract]. 
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