7 Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit Backed by Science

The kiwi, or Chinese gooseberries, are nutrient-dense foods with many health benefits. They are low in calories and high in nutrients. For example, kiwi fruit contains vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate and potassium. In addition, kiwifruit is a powerful source of fiber source that may help lower blood pressure, help maintain bowel movement and more.

Kiwi Nutrition Profile

Kiwis have a high nutrient profile. The following is the nutritional profile for a 3.5 ounce (100-gram) serving of raw, green kiwi flesh [1]:

  • Calories: 64
  • Carbs: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0.44 grams
  • Vitamin C: 83% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin E: 9% of the DV
  • Folate: 7% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 34% of the DV
  • Copper: 15% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 4% of the DV

Kiwis are extremely high in vitamin C, with a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) kiwi providing over 80% of the average daily vitamin C requirement. In the body, vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative damage. It also plays a role in immune function and is required by the body to produce collagen and neurotransmitters [2]. Kiwis also have potassium, copper, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient with antioxidant properties and an important role in immune health [3]. Kiwis are low in calories, protein, and fat, and are high in fibre.

Here are 7 health benefits of kiwi.

1. Good for Digestion

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Kiwis have enough fiber, which is perfect for digestion. The proteolytic enzyme in kiwi known as actinidin can help break down protein. One recent study found that actinidin enhanced the digestion of most proteins [4].

2. May Help Treat Asthma

The high content of vitamin C and antioxidants found in kiwifruit will in fact benefit people with asthma. One research found a beneficial effect on the lung function among those who regularly ate fresh fruit, including kiwis. Fresh fruit such as kiwi can decrease wheezing in susceptible children [5].

3. May Strengthens Immune System

Kiwis are rich in vitamin C and other nutrient. Only 1 cup of kiwi offers about 273% of your recommended daily value. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for boosting your immune system to prevent disease. One study found that kiwis could help immune function and decrease the risk of contracting cold- or flu-like illnesses [6]. This is true in people at risk, such as adults over 65 and young children.

4. May Control Blood Pressure

Kiwifruits can help you control your blood pressure. A research found that 3 kiwis a day had better effects on blood pressure than 1 apple a day [7]. This could also mean a decreased risk for disorders such as strokes or heart attacks in the long term.

5. May Decrease Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress will damage your DNA. This can lead to many chronic diseases. Study shows that daily intake of kiwi or kiwi extract decreases the risk of oxidative stress [8]. The oxidation can damage DNA and cause colon diseases. Regular consumption of kiwi may reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

6. May Protect Against Vision Loss 

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, and kiwis may help protect your eyes against it. One study found that eating three servings of fruits a day decreased macular degeneration by 36% [9]. The zeaxanthin and lutein compounds found in fruits and vegetables can contribute to this effect.

7. May Reduce the Risk of Blood Clotting

Kiwis might reduce blood clotting. In addition, it may help you control blood pressure [7]. Research by the University of Oslo found consuming three kiwis a day substantially decreased the risk of blood coagulation [10]. They have also found that it can decrease blood triglyceride levels. Researchers said those results were like those who were taking aspirin to enhance cardiac safety.

Potential Risks

Kiwifruit is safe for most people except allergic people. Kiwi allergy signs include itchy throat, swollen tongue, swallowing problems, vomiting and hives [11]. If you are allergic to hazelnuts, avocados, latex, wheat, figs, or poppy seeds, you should not consume kiwifruit. Kiwis may slow blood clotting, increase bleeding. This could make bleeding disorders more serious. If you experience a bleeding disorder or are about to undergo surgery, avoid eating kiwis.

How to Eat Kiwi

You can eat kiwis as smoothie, or blended. It is best to avoid cooking kiwis, so it can keep its vitamin C content. You can also find kiwis extracts as a supplement. Supplements can be as powder, tablets, or capsules, and are made from kiwi extract. Eating one to three kiwis a day is enough to help most people get the nutrient boost from the fruit. Some kiwi powders have a daily dosage of around 5.5 grams. Follow the advice on supplements you are taking or ask your doctor before beginning a new supplement regimen. They will tell you exactly how much is good for you.

Suggested article: How to tell if a kiwifruit is ripe

Conclusion

Kiwis contain an exceptionally outrageous amount of vitamin C. Because of this, kiwis are good for immune support, controlling blood pressure and can even help with diseases like asthma and macular degeneration. Kiwi contains a special enzyme capable of fighting inflammation and improving digestion.

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