The kiwifruit is a firm, slightly fuzzy fruit that tastes like a cross between strawberry and cucumber. Native to China, the kiwifruit is now famously cultivated in New Zealand. The fruit’s unique taste and benefits of kiwi make it a popular part of many diets.
Kiwi Nutrition Facts
- Energy (calories): 43.5
- Carbohydrates (g): 10.5, including 6.74 g of sugar
- Fiber (g): 2.25
- Calcium (mg): 26.2
- Magnesium (mg): 12
- Phosphorus (mg): 25.5
- Potassium (mg): 148
- Copper (mcg): 101
- Vitamin C (mg): 56
- Folate (mcg): 19.5
- Beta carotene (mcg): 39
- Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg): 91.5
- Vitamin E (mg): 0.975
- Vitamin K (mcg): 30.2
Health Benefits Of Kiwi Fruit
Most of the kiwifruit’s benefits come from its high concentrations of nutrients and phytochemicals. Eating this fruit can help your body in the following ways:
Improve Skin Health
Collagen is a key player in skin strength and elasticity, making it an important factor in skin health. Kiwi is high in collagen-promoting vitamin C, which contributes to healthy skin (17). Vitamin E found in the fruit nourishes the skin from within, helping to keep it soft and supple.
A Powerful Source Of Antioxidants
Many of the phytochemicals found in kiwifruit are powerful antioxidants (16). Kiwi’s high concentration of vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin help protect your body against harmful free radicals that contribute to the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Promote Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Kiwi contains fiber, which slows the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream (2). This helps prevent blood sugar spikes that can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease.
Promoting Weight Loss
Kiwi’s high fiber content makes it an ideal snack for weight loss (16). Additionally, kiwifruit is low in calories and rich in water, which boosts satiety. Eating this fruit between meals can help keep you full and decrease late-night snacking that results in weight gain.
Due to the of magnesium it contains, kiwifruit can help promote sleep by calming the nervous system and relaxing muscles. Magnesium deficiencies have been linked with insomnia, so consider adding a few slices of this tasty fruit into your diet for sweet dreams (7).
The fiber in kiwifruit may improve heart health by lowering total cholesterol and improving the ratio of harmful LDL to beneficial HDL cholesterol (4). This fruit is also rich in potassium, which helps protect against stroke risk. Additionally, it’s a good source of magnesium, which relaxes the blood vessels to reduce blood pressure (5).
Most people can benefit from kiwifruit’s blood pressure-lowering effects. Research links a higher consumption of fruits with a decrease in blood pressure (6). Kiwi is also rich in potassium, which helps manage blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium.
Diets high in fruits and vegetables like Kiwis help maintain fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance, all of which are important for the health of the kidneys (3). This fruit can also help increase fluid intake, which helps replace any fluid lost to frequent urination that occurs with conditions like diabetes and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Regularly eating kiwi may decrease your risk of certain cancers. The fruit is a good source of antioxidants that can help fight free-radical damage to cells, possibly decreasing the risk for cancer and other conditions (15). Kiwifruit also contains lutein, which has been linked with decreased cancer risk due to its ability to protect cell membranes from DNA damage (1).
In addition to kiwifruit’s many health benefits, it is also sometimes used as a natural remedy for several conditions and disorders.
The antioxidant properties of vitamin C found in kiwi fruit are sometimes used to help relieve arthritis symptoms, although the data on whether or not it works is inconclusive (19). Either way, it probably won’t hurt to try eating a few slices of this fruit to help fight inflammation and ease pain.
For some people, kiwifruit helps relieve gastrointestinal symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and constipation (18). This fruit’s fiber can also promote motility and regularity. Additionally, kiwi contains potassium, which helps balance electrolytes in the body.
Kiwi is rich in vitamin C and the mineral manganese, both of which help support bone health. Vitamin C helps decrease fracture risk by strengthening collagen and promoting healing after a bone injury. Manganese is needed for proper bone formation (13). Kiwis contain both nutrients in a single delicious snack.
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How To Pick A Kiwi Fruit
When choosing a kiwifruit, look for one that is plump with taut skin—avoid shriveled fruits or those with dents or bruises. Kiwifruit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks before cutting and eating. However, exposing the fruit to oxygen speeds up spoilage, so it is best consumed shortly after purchase
Kiwi Side Effects
Although kiwi is considered safe by most major health organizations, there are some minor side effects to be aware of (14).
Interaction With Blood Pressure Medication
Individuals who take drugs for high blood pressure should be aware that eating kiwifruit may cause a decrease in blood pressure. Your blood pressure could potentially go too low if you eat too much kiwifruit in combination with your medication.
Some blood pressure drugs (like certain beta blockers) can cause potassium levels to rise in the blood. In this case, consuming too much additional potassium from foods like kiwifruit can lead to potentially dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities.
Interaction With Warfarin
Kiwi interacts with the anticoagulant (blood-thinning) drug warfarin and increases its effects, so those taking this drug should limit their intake of kiwifruit. However, it is possible for some individuals to eat kiwi without experiencing negative effects.
Contact your doctor if you take warfarin and want to add kiwi to your diet, as this may require a dosage adjustment.
Interaction With Diuretics
Kiwi is a natural source of potassium, so those on diuretic drugs that work by removing excess potassium from the body should avoid this fruit. Kiwifruit can cause a dangerous rise in these drugs’ effects, or a decrease in potassium levels that may be already low from the diuretic medication.
The fruit may also cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to latex, various pollens, banana, or avocados.
Kiwi is a great fruit to enjoy year-round. To maximize the nutritional benefits, eat organic varieties that have not been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals.
You can eat this fruit in a variety of ways, including fresh, dried or juiced. Kiwi also pairs well with green tea and mint, which can help to minimize any unpleasant breath odor.
Kiwi Recipes And Meal Ideas
Here are some meal ideas that use kiwi fruit as one of the main ingredients.
Kiwi Coconut Parafit (8)
This vegan parfait can be enjoyed as dessert or be eaten at breakfast.
- 450g coconut yogurt
- 5 kiwis, peeled and diced
- ½ lime, zested
- 3 mint sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
- 20g pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbsp clear honey (optional)
- Line a sieve with 2 sheets of kitchen paper or muslin square, piece over a bowl then pour in the coconut yogurt. Refrigerate for 4 hours to drain off the excess moisture.
- In a blender, blend half the kiwi, then fold through the yogurt with the lime zest. Discard the liquid that has collected in the bowl.
- Layer the yogurt and remaining diced kiwi in glasses.
- Sprinkle the mint and the pomegranate seeds on top and then drizzle the honey. Serve immediately.
Nutrition facts: 163 calories, 26.6g carbs, 6.6g protein, 0.1g fiber
Kiwi Avocado And Tomato Salad With Dressing (9)
This salad makes for the perfect midday snack. If you are on a weight loss diet, take half a serving instead of a full serving.
- 4 kiwi peeled and quartered
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4-6 cups mixed greens
- 2 avocados sliced
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1-2 kiwi peeled, sliced, and quartered
- ¼ cup pepitas
- salt and pepper to taste
To Make Dressing
- Add all the dressing ingredients into a blender then blitz until smooth.
- Place the dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it .
To Make Salad
- Place the greens, tomatoes, kiwi, avocados and pepitas into a large bowl and combine.
- Top with the desired amount of kiwi dressing.
- Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Nutrition facts: 394 calories, 30 g carbs, 5 g protein, 31 g fat, 11 g fiber
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Kiwi Fruit Smoothie (11)
This simple smoothie takes just about 5 minutes to prepare and is perfect for a busy morning.
- 3 peeled kiwi fruit
- 1 mango, peeled, stoned and chopped
- 500ml pineapple juice
- 1 banana, sliced
- Sprig of fresh mint (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour into your smoothie jars and garnish with slices of kiwi fruit. You can add a sprig of mint on top.
Nutrition facts: 163 calories, 36 g carbs, 2g protein, 1 g fat, 3 g fiber
Kiwi Quick Bread (12)
If you love eating bread, try this healthy and delicious kiwi quick bread.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup butter (soften) or 1/2 cup margarine (soften)
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup peeled mashed kiwi fruit (ripe)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees then butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf tin.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time to the mixture. Ensure you beat the eggs properly. Add in the kiwis and combine.
- Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and combine until the batter is smooth.
- Add the batter to the tin and bake for about 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool then serve as desired.
Nutrition facts: 249.5 calories, 35.2g carbs, 4.1 g protein, 94 g fat
Kiwi is a good source of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. The fruit contains a variety of helpful nutrients that promote weight loss, skin health and digestion, while also containing high concentrations of antioxidants. However, if you are on certain medications, need to limit potassium, or have an allergy to latex, speak to your doctor before trying kiwi.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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- Kiwi Avocado and Tomato Salad with Kiwi Dressing (2017, saltedplains.com)
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- Variation in Gastric pH May Determine Kiwifruit’s Effect on Functional GI Disorder: An in Vitro Study (2014, mdpi.com)
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