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The kiwi is a small, sweet fruit indigenous to China, and it’s also known as the Chinese gooseberry. Today, kiwis are grown globally, and they’re most commonly cultivated commercially in New Zealand. Kiwis are oval and measure roughly 5 centimeters in diameter. They have brown, fuzzy, inedible skin that houses juicy, sweet flesh; once the green or yellow flesh is scooped from its skin, the entirety of the kiwi, tiny black seeds and all, is edible. Kiwis are typically eaten fresh and whole and are known by the scientific moniker Actinidia deliciosa; they’re categorized as a berry. Not only are kiwis a tasty nibble, but they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As such, kiwis provide some notable health benefits; check out a few of the reasons you may consider adding kiwis to your diet.
Important Note: Each of the health benefits noted herein is supported by the most current research at the time of this publication.
For starters, kiwis are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Kiwis are high in vitamins C and K, containing 83% and 34% of the daily recommended value of each vitamin respectively. While vitamin C is good for immunity, vitamin K is good for blood clotting and bone health. Additionally, kiwis contain decent levels of vitamin E, copper, folate, potassium, and magnesium. Best of all, one whole kiwi contains just 64 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, and less than 1 gram of fat. Lastly, kiwis are also a good source of dietary fiber which has many positive implications for digestive health and weight management.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Undoubtedly, kiwis are packed with nutritious elements that make them worth the addition to your diet.
Packed With Antioxidants
Kiwis are loaded with antioxidative plant compounds that fight the harmful free radicals that may otherwise lead to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Notably, kiwis are rich in the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene; each has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that fend off disease. Lutein is essential to eye health, and it can protect against blindness, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. Zeaxanthin can protect against some of the same eye diseases as well as mental decline, some cancer types, and heart disease. Similarly, beta-carotene is good for eye health, immunity, and skin health. Lastly, the vitamins E and C contained in kiwis work as antioxidants to reduce your risk for heart disease and some cancers. Furthermore, one study indicated that individuals consuming a carotenoid-rich diet had a reduced risk for depressive disorders. Lastly, kiwis contain trace amounts of caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, both of which function as anti-inflammatories in the gut.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Research suggests that kiwis are richer in anti-oxidative properties than many other fruits.
Good for Heart Health
Research indicates that eating kiwis may reduce your risk for heart disease. One risk factor that kiwis may remediate is high blood pressure. One study showed that individuals who ate three kiwis per week experienced a reduction in their blood pressure at the conclusion of the kiwi intervention. Another significant risk factor for heart disease is platelet clumping. In a study of 102 men, researchers found that consuming three kiwis per week reduced both blood pressure and blood platelet clumping when compared to subjects not given the kiwi intervention. Lastly, eating kiwis has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels, improve good cholesterol levels, and reduce triglycerides, all of which, when controlled, improve heart health.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Multiple scientific studies have concluded that regularly eating kiwis reduces your risk for heart disease.
Not surprisingly, the dietary fiber content in kiwis is good for digestion. Of note, kiwis contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, about two-thirds of the latter and one-third of the former. Soluble fiber contributes to feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut, and insoluble fiber facilitates healthy bowel movements. Moreover, the water retention associated with the fiber found in kiwis improves stool density as well as the movement of food through the digestive system; what’s more, these factors may help to remediate symptoms of constipation. In a study of people who suffered from chronic constipation, researchers found that eating two kiwis per day improved stool consistency and reduced straining during bowel movements.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Kiwis are rich in fiber, and fiber is well-known to improve digestive health.
Rich Source of Vitamin C
Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, containing 83% of the daily recommended value in just one serving. Vitamin C works like an antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress and protect you from some chronic illnesses. A well-known fact is that adequate vitamin C intake is essential to immune health. One study indicated that regular consumption of kiwis improved the functionality of immune cells in subjects with inadequate vitamin C levels. The immune cells are known as neutrophils; they best protect against infection, bacteria, and viruses when saturated with vitamin C.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Kiwis are a rich source of vitamin C which is essential to a healthy immune system.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
May Improve Sleep Quality
General Consensus: 1/5 and here is why. There’s only one study concerning this health benefit; the results were self-reported by subjects, so much more research is needed to confidently claim improved sleep as a benefit of eating kiwis.
Could Prevent Kidney Stones
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. Although adequate potassium intake may stave off the formation of kidney stones, kiwis only contain 4% of the daily recommended value per serving; other potassium sources are required to reap this health benefit.