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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Which foods may aid in the treatment of high blood pressure?
Kidney stone 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.
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.
Kiwifruit proteins called kiwellin and kissper may have anti-inflammatory properties.
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.
Find out more about the advantages of folate.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting as well.
A single kiwi provides 23–30% of an adult’s daily vitamin requirement.
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.
|Nutrient||Amount in 1 kiwi (69 g)||Daily adult requirement|
|Carbohydrates (g)||10.1, including 6.2 g of sugar||130|
|Vitamin C (mg)||64||65–90|
|Beta carotene (mcg)||35.9||No data|
|Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg)||84.2||No data|
|Vitamin E (mg)||1.0||15|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||27.8||75–120|
Kiwi also contains small amounts of iron, vitamin A, and vitamins other than folate.
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.
Some of the nutrients found in kiwis may interact with medications or cause other problems.
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.
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.
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.
Anaphylaxis, which can be fatal, can occur as a result of a severe reaction.
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.
- A primer on potassium. (2018).
- Choi, F. D., et al. (2019). Oral collagen supplementation: A systematic review of dermatological applications.
- 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.
- Clean Fifteen: EWG’s 2019 shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce. (2019).
- Folate: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
- Keen, M. A., & Hassan, I. (2016). Vitamin E in dermatology.
- What are the health benefits of kiwifruit? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271232
- Kiwi fruit, raw. (2019).
- 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.
- Lin, H.-H., et al. (2011). Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems [Abstract].
- McRae, M. P. (2017). Dietary fiber is beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: An umbrella review of meta-analyses.
- Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations.
- Palacin, A., et al. (2008). Immunoglobulin E recognition patterns to purified Kiwifruit (Actinidinia deliciosa) allergens in patients sensitized to Kiwi with different clinical symptoms.
- Phaniendra, A., et al. (2015). Free radicals: Properties, sources, targets, and their implication in various diseases.
- Potassium: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
- Richardson, D. P., et al. (2018). The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review.
- Rodriguez, A. P. J., et al. (2008). Immunoglobulin E recognition patterns to purified Kiwifruit (Actinidinia deliciosa) allergens in patients sensitized to Kiwi with different clinical symptoms.
- Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
- Vitamin K: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
- Wilkinson-Smith, V., et al. (2019). Mechanisms underlying effects of kiwifruit on intestinal function shown by MRI in healthy volunteers.
- Wu, P, et al. (2013). Dietary intake and risk for reflux esophagitis: A case-control study.