Kiwi Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Kiwi, also known as the Chinese gooseberry, is a small but delicious fruit with many nutritional benefits. Often referred to as a kiwifruit, the fruits originated in china before a schoolteacher introduced them to New Zealand and eventually spread to the United States and Europe.

The tiny fruits are packed with many health benefits and lots of flavors. Kiwifruits green flesh is tangy and sweet. It’s full of valuable nutrients such as potassium, folate, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Also, they are a great source of fiber and contain many antioxidants. Both the fuzzy brown peel and black seeds are edible, even though most people prefer peeling before consuming it.

Health Benefits

The antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins present in kiwi fruit provide a wide range of essential health benefits. The fruit’s flesh is filled with vitamins that help stimulate the immune system and minimize the risk of disease. Also, the soluble dietary fiber that’s found in kiwis helps promote healthy digestion. Other health benefits that Kiwi Nutrition Facts provide include:

Boosts Immunity

The kiwi fruit contains high amounts of vitamin C that stimulates the body’s immune system. Technically, the kiwi fruit contains about 115% of the daily-recommended intake. This delicious fruit provides essential nutrients to help boost your immune system. Also, kiwis are rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants help remove free radicals in the body and eliminate oxidative stress. Technically, this might protect your body against disease and inflammation.

Promotes Heart Health

The kiwi fruit contains properties that help regulate blood pressure. By helping maintain healthier blood pressure and offering a boost of vitamin C, the fruit reduces heart disease and stroke risk. Moreover, the Chinese gooseberry also contains high levels of fiber. The fiber helps reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease by lowering LDL cholesterol. Additional cholesterol might result in atherosclerosis.[i]

Aids Digestive Health

Both in the fruit’s flesh and tough skin, the fruit has dietary fiber. The fiber helps minimize constipation and alleviates gastrointestinal discomfort and other issues. So, consuming kiwis or combining them with other meals supports healthy digestion in different ways.

First, kiwi is a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber, which are essential, especially with regard to regularity. Dietary fiber reduces the time taken to transport waste, supports the healthy gut bacteria that help in digestion, and increases stool bulk.

Also, kiwis contain the actinidin enzyme. This enzyme is known to improve protein digestion in the small intestines and stomach. For those having irritable bowel syndrome, this low-sugar food can trigger symptoms.[ii]

Reduces The Duration Of Cold

A study of adults found that the kiwi fruit helps reduce the intensity and duration of upper respiratory infections such as the common cold. Adults who consumed four kiwis a day reported less congestion and reduced soar throat pain related to respiratory infections.[iii]

Prevents Iron Deficiency Anemia

Kiwi is a good source of iron. Not to mention it’s one of the best sources of vitamin C. The vitamin substantially increases iron absorption, effectively preventing the deficiency of iron. In a study that compared the intake of iron-rich breakfast cereal paired with two kiwis vs. a banana, the kiwifruit group showed increased serum ferritin levels.[iv]

Speeds Up Healing Of Wounds

Vitamin K and vitamin C are the most prevalent nutrients in kiwis. Both vitamins play a significant role in the healing of wounds. Technically, vitamin C is a collagen precursor. Also, it’s a powerful antioxidant that helps the body’s natural repairing mechanisms. To prevent excessive bleeding of wounds, vitamin K aids in blood clotting.[v]

Nutrition Facts

The USDA for a single kiwifruit weighing 140 grams has provided the nutrition details below.[vi]

  • Calories – 90
  • Protein – 1g
  • Sugars – 15g
  • Fiber – 5g
  • Carbohydrates – 21g
  • Sodium – 2mg
  • Fat – 1g

Carbs

There are 10.1 grams of carbs in one green kiwi, of which 6.2g come from sugars, and 2.1 grams is fiber. Generally, with a glycemic value of 52, the kiwifruit is considered a low glycemic index fruit.[vii]

Fats

Kiwis are considered to be low-fat fruits with about 0.5g of fat per kiwifruit. The kiwis don’t contain saturated fats.

Protein

There is 1g of protein for every kiwi, which means it isn’t a significant source of the essential amino acids.

Vitamins And Minerals

You get 115% of the daily-recommended intake for vitamin C, and about 70% of your vitamin K needs in one kiwi. Also, kiwis provide folate, vitamin E, and potassium.

Adverse Effects

Kiwis are great sources of vitamin K. This vitamin promotes blood clotting and might interfere with blood-thinning medications. People taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin should maintain a consistent intake of foods high in this vitamin. This makes sure the treatment dosage they had been prescribed works as intended.[viii]

Allergies

With regards to allergic reactions, kiwi falls in the same category as apples and peaches. Many allergies to kiwi fruits are associated with allergic reactions to latex, pollen, and other fruits. Mild symptoms include skin itching and rashes, swelling of the throat, lips, and mouth. Anaphylaxis or palpitations are also possible in people with more severe allergies. You should speak to an allergist in case you suspect an allergic reaction after eating kiwi.[ix]

Varieties

There are many varieties of kiwifruit that are indigenous to Taiwan and China. Also, kiwi is commercially grown in New Zealand and California. Some of the most common types include purple kiwi, silver vine, red kiwi, golden kiwi, and the popular Actinidia deliciosa.

Because golden kiwi doesn’t contain any hair, some people also eat the skin. The skin provides more fiber. Also, golden kiwis have more vitamin C as compared to green kiwis. However, the two main varieties of kiwi fruit are the fuzzy kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) and the hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta).

Fuzzy Kiwi

The fuzzy kiwi has bright green flesh and dull brown skin. It’s an oval-shaped fruit with an extremely sweet flavor.

Kiwi Berries

Similar to the fuzzy kiwi in internal appearance and taste, kiwi berries are the size of a fully-grown grapefruit. The smooth hairless green skin makes eating the entire fruit quite pleasing. They are mainly produced by three varieties, including the silver vine, arctic kiwifruit, and hardy kiwi.

History

The kiwi has a fascinating history. Its increased popularity over the years reflects the appreciation for its unique appearance, nutritional value, and taste. Indigenous to China, kiwis were initially known as Yang Tao. Missionaries introduced Kiwifruits to New Zealand back in the 20th century, but it took many years for them to be commercially grown. The name was changed to Chinese gooseberries in the ’60s.

In 1961, the Chinese gooseberries made the first appearance at a hotel in the US and were ultimately ‘found’ by the American distributor of produce who hoped that the US produce market would be pretty receptive to this amazingly exotic fruit. The produce distributor initiated the importation of the fruits into the US in 1962.

However, to meet the increased demand, the distributor changed the fruit’s name to kiwifruit from the Chinese gooseberry. The fruit’s new name was derived from kiwi, a bird native to New Zealand, because the fruit’s fuzzy skin resembled the bird’s fuzzy coat. Today, kiwifruits are commercially grown in the United States, Japan, France, Chile, New Zealand, and Italy.

The kiwifruit might be eaten raw and used to make juices, baked goods, and garnish or be prepared with meat. The entire kiwifruit, including the skin, is fit for human consumption. But the skin of the fuzzy types is thrown away because of its rough texture.

How To Prepare Kiwi Fruits

Kiwifruits can be eaten raw or even cut to pieces and added to a fruit salad. The vibrant color brightens plates for a very attractive topping or garnish. Add kiwis to mousses, sauces, and smoothies. Furthermore, the actinidin in kiwi is a great meat tenderizer, which makes kiwifruits a useful add-on in marinades.

Storage Tips And Safety

Once kiwifruits are ripe, the fruits can be refrigerated for a maximum of 7 days. Putting the fruits in a plastic bag and placing them in a refrigerator prevents moisture loss, which allows the fruit to stay fresh for up to 14 days. Wash kiwifruits under tap water before eating or cutting them. From the skin to seeds and flash, the fruits are completely edible.

FAQs

When are kiwis best?

Kiwifruits peak season is traditional between November and May. However, the fruits can be found in many supermarkets and grocery stores all year round. When the fruits are fully ripe, the fruit feels soft, appears plump, and smells fragrant. You can buy firm, unripe kiwis and allow the fruit to fully ripen at room temperature. You should avoid kiwifruits that are overripe with wrinkles, bruises, and soft spots.

How to buy kiwifruits?

When buying gold or green kiwis, choose the plump and fragrant fruit that produces gentle pressure. The unripe fruits have a tart taste. If you can only find firm kiwifruits, start by ripening them first.

Is kiwi fruit good for you?

Kiwifruits contain high amounts of dietary fiber and vitamin C that provide a wide range of health benefits. Basically, the tart fruit supports immunity, digestive health, and promotes heart health. Essentially, the kiwi fruit is a great fruit that's rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

Do kiwifruits grow in New Zealand?

Kiwi fruits were introduced in New Zealand from China. The fruit's name was derived from a bird native to New Zealand. 

Can you eat kiwi fruits every day?

Yes, there is nothing wrong with eating kiwifruits every day. With high amounts of antioxidants, the daily consumption of kiwi fruits prevents certain types of cancers and limits the risks of heart disease. 

Is kiwi good for blood pressure?

Kiwifruits contain vitamin C, which might substantially enhance blood pressure readings among people who ate about 500mg of the vitamin each day for eight weeks. Kiwi fruits are good add-ons to smoothies and lunches.

Which countries commercially grow kiwi fruits?

Kiwis are commercially grown across the globe, including Chile, Greece, France, California, Italy, and New Zealand. The fruits are also grown in South Korea, Japan, and China. 

Can you eat kiwi skin?

Yes, if you choose to buy the hairless kiwi without fuzzy skin, you can eat the skin. However, some people choose to throw away the skin because of its rough texture.

What side effects are associated with kiwi fruits?

Kiwi fruits can cause allergic reactions like hives, vomiting, and trouble swallowing (dysphagia) in individuals who are allergic to kiwi fruits.

 

Sources

  1. [i] Corliss J. Folic acid, a B vitamin, lowers stroke risk in people with high blood pressure. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. Updated 2015.
  2. [ii] Richardson DP, Ansell J, Drummond LN. The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: A review. Eur J Nutr. 2018;57(8):2659-2676. doi:10.1007/s00394-018-1627-z
  3. [iii] Hunter DC, Skinner MA, Wolber FM, et al. Consumption of gold kiwifruit reduces severity and duration of selected upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and increases plasma vitamin C concentration in healthy older adults. Br J Nutr. 2012;108(7):1235-45. doi:10.1017/S0007114511006659
  4. [iv] Richardson DP, Ansell J, Drummond LN. The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: A review. Eur J Nutr. 2018;57(8):2659-2676. doi:10.1007/s00394-018-1627-z
  5. [v] Vitamin K: Fact Sheets for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Updated 2020.
  6. [vi] Kiwi fruit, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Updated April 1, 2020.
  7. [vii] Fact Sheet: Glycemic Index. NWAC Diabetes Self-Management Toolkit for Aboriginal Women. Updated 2012.
  8. [viii] Kiwifruit. Food$ense. Utah State University Nutrition, Dietetics, & Food Sciences and USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  9. [ix] Allergenic foods and their allergens, with links to informall. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Food Allergy Research and Resource Program. Updated 2014.