Ingredients and Uses

Kiwifruit: 12 Powerful Benefits, Including Cancer Prevention And Diabetes Treatment

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and certified Personal Trainer Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN
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Kiwifruit: 12 Powerful Benefits, Including Cancer Prevention And Diabetes Treatment Hyderabd040-395603080 August 1, 2019

Kiwifruits were called Chinese gooseberries. They are native to the northern part of China. These fruits are small but packed with incredible nutrition.

Kiwifruits are low in calories. They are rich in several important nutrients – including vitamins C, E, and K, and potassium and folate.

The fruits are replete with fiber, another nutrient that contributes to your health in a great way. Some research indicates the fruit’s ability to combat heart disease and diabetes.

There is more to the fruit, though. Let’s find out all about it in this article.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Kiwifruits?

Kiwis are powerful sources of antioxidants that boost immunity and help prevent respiratory ailments like asthma. While the fiber promotes digestive health, the lutein and zeaxanthin in kiwifruits improve your vision.

1. Help Improve Lung Function In People With Asthma

Help Improve Lung Function In People With Asthma Pinit

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The high vitamin C content in kiwis may aid asthma treatment. In a study, intake of kiwifruit was found to have a protective effect on children with wheezing and asthma (1).

The vitamins C and E in kiwis can have a complementary effect as well. In another study, fruits rich in these two nutrients were found to enhance lung functioning in children (2).

Kiwis are potent in improving respiratory ailments like asthma. If you want to avail their benefits, we recommend you consume them more than once or twice a week (3).

Kiwifruit also works wonderfully well in boosting your immunity. The fruit helps fight oxidative stress and promotes beneficial immune responses. Studies show that kiwifruit can reduce the severity and incidences of upper respiratory tract infections (4).

Kiwifruit enhances innate and adaptive immune functions (5).

2. Promote Digestion

The fiber in kiwis helps promote digestion (6). Fiber treats both constipation and loose stools – two common digestive issues. Kiwis also contain potassium, an important electrolyte that also helps the digestive system.

Another major contributing factor here is actinidin, an enzyme found in kiwifruit. This enzyme also aids digestion (7).

The actinidin in kiwis also promotes the digestion of food proteins (8). This attribute of kiwis further supports their role as ideal digestive aids.

3. May Aid Cancer Treatment

In a study, kiwifruit extracts showed promising potential against oral cancer cell lines (9). The fruits also reduced DNA oxidative damage (10).

The vitamin C in kiwifruit fights free radicals. An increase in free radicals dramatically increases cancer risk (11).

The fiber in kiwifruit also helps fight cancer – more specifically, cancers of the digestive system.

Other critical groups of compounds in kiwis include sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles. These are known to inhibit the action of carcinogens (12).

4. Promote Heart Health

Kiwifruit is rich in potassium, a nutrient essential for heart health. Studies show that this nutrient alone can have a dramatically protective effect against heart disease. In a study, individuals consuming 4,069 milligrams of potassium a day had a 49 percent lower risk of death by heart disease (13).

Kiwifruit intake also helps lower blood pressure levels (14). Intake of two to three kiwifruits per day may lower platelet hyperactivity and levels of plasma lipids – two factors that can cause cardiovascular issues (15).

5. May Aid Diabetes Treatment

Including kiwifruit in one’s diet can improve the glycemic response, as per research (16).

The fruit also has high water content, making it an ideal addition to a diabetes diet. A hundred grams of the fruit contains only about 5 grams of glucose. Hence, its effect on blood glucose would be minimal (17).

A medium kiwi also contains 11 grams of carbs, which is on the lower side compared to most other fruits. The fiber in the fruit also helps regulate blood sugar levels (18).

6. Fights Inflammation

Kiwifruits contain a peptide called kissper that is known to fight inflammation. In studies, this peptide was found to combat inflammation in the colonic tissues (19).

There is no data yet if the fruit exhibits anti-inflammatory properties against any other form of inflammation, apart from that of the intestines.

7. May Help With Weight Loss

Kiwis are low in calories. They have negligible fat content. Moreover, they are rich in fiber. All this only makes them an ideal addition to a weight loss diet.

There is no direct research on how (or if) kiwis can contribute to weight loss. You can use replace other high-calorie foods in your diet with kiwis. This, when coupled with exercise and the right habits, may aid weight loss.

8. Promote Vision Health

Promote Vision Health Pinit

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Kiwifruits are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. This antioxidant keeps the cells and tissues of your eyes healthy (20).

Kiwis are also great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that boost eye health (21). The bioavailability of these nutrients in kiwis (and a few other foods) is thought to be 100%.

The most important benefit of lutein and zeaxanthin is the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (21).

9. May Promote Liver Health

A specific compound in kiwifruit was found to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD refers to a liver condition caused by the accumulation of excess fat in the liver, and it is something that is not caused by alcohol intake.

This kiwi compound, called pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), was found to prevent the progression of NAFLD in mice whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet (22).

10. May Prevent Blood Clotting

There is limited research here. A study shows that kiwifruit extract contains potent antiplatelet components (23). This may help prevent strokes, heart attacks, and other associated skin conditions.

11. Promote Sleep

Eating kiwifruit before bed can improve sleep quality (24). In a four-week study, 24 men were given two kiwifruits one hour before bed. By the end of the time period, their sleep quality improved by 42% (25).

In addition, their total sleep time increased by 13% and their ability to sleep through the night without waking up improved by 5% (25).

12. May Enhance Skin Health

Research on the effects of kiwifruit as a topical treatment is still ongoing.

Kiwis contain vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production. It produces connective tissue and firms your skin (26).

Kiwis are wonder fruits. They have a unique appearance. More importantly, they are replete with essential antioxidants. We saw a few of those nutrients. In the following section, we will take a deeper look at the nutritional profile of kiwis.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Kiwis?

Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories108 (452 kJ)5%
From Carbohydrate93.5 (391 kJ)
From Fat7.7(32.2 kJ)
From Protein6.8 (28.5 kJ)
From Alcohol0.0 (0.0 kJ)
Carbohydrates
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Carbohydrate25.9 g9%
Dietary Fiber5.3 g21%
Starch0.0 g
Sugars15.9 g
Protein & Amino Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Protein2.0g4%
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A154 IU3%
Vitamin C164 mg273%
Vitamin D~~
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)2.6 mg13%
Vitamin K71.3 mcg89%
Thiamin0.0 mg3%
Riboflavin0.0 mg3%
Niacin0.6 mg3%
Vitamin B60.1 mg6%
Folate44.2 mcg11%
Vitamin B120.0 mcg0%
Pantothenic Acid0.3 mg3%
Choline13.8 mg
0.9mg~
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calcium60.2 mg6%
Iron0.5 mg3%
Magnesium30.1 mg8%
Phosphorus60.2 mg6%
Potassium552 mg16%
Sodium5.3 mg0%
Zinc0.2 mg2%
Copper0.2 mg12%
Manganese0.2 mg9%
Selenium0.4 mcg1%
Fluoride~

Source: USDA

Eating kiwis is easy. The simplest way is slicing them up and scooping their insides. If that sounds too boring, there are other ways you can include this fruit in your diet.

How To Incorporate Kiwis Into Your Diet

• You can freeze slices of kiwifruit and eat them in place of your regular dessert.
• Slice the kiwifruit into cubes and drizzle some honey over them. You can have this delicacy as a sumptuous afternoon snack.
• You can blend kiwis with other fruits (like apples and pears) and have a nice soothing smoothie.

Try experimenting with other methods as well. With food, the options are limitless! But before you do, there is something else about kiwis you must know.

Potential Side Effects Of Kiwis

For most people, eating kiwifruit is healthy. But if you have latex allergy, you must take care. Latex allergy is a condition in which the individual is allergic to certain proteins found in the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree.

Kiwifruits contain similar proteins. Hence, when you consume them, you may experience a cross-reaction. The symptoms include skin rashes, itching, dizziness, fainting, diarrhea, and swollen lips and tongue (27).

If you do not have this allergy, there is nothing to worry. You can enjoy the goodness of the fruit. Eating one to three kiwifruits a day should be enough.

Conclusion

If you do not have latex allergy, you can have kiwifruits every day. They are terrific sources of vitamin C and fiber. Their mushy texture and tangy-sweet taste make them an amazing addition to your diet.

Do you already include kiwis in your diet? How do you like them? Do share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Can you eat kiwis every day? What is the best time to eat the fruit?

Yes, you can eat kiwis every day. You can include them in your breakfast. You can even have them at night (for better sleep).

Can you eat kiwi skin?

Yes. In fact, we recommend you eat the skin as well. The skin of the fruit contains a higher concentration of antioxidants than its flesh (28).

References

  1. Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C…” British Thoracic Society, British Medical Journal.
  2. Children’s lung function and antioxidant…” American Journal of Epidemiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  3. Asthma clinical tool” Whole Health: Change the Conversation.
  4. Effects of kiwifruit on innate and…” Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Gold kiwifruit for immune support” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  6. Kiwifruit” Utah State University.
  7. Kiwifruit” Purdue University.
  8. Influence of kiwifruit on…” Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  9. Cancer prevention and therapy with kiwifruit…” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  10. Kiwifruit protects against oxidative DNA damage…” Nutrition and Cancer, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  11. Kiwi fruit the powder packed fruit” Texas A&M Agrilife.
  12. Phytonutrients: paint your plate with the…” Harvard Medical School.
  13. Sodium and potassium intake and morality…”JAMA Internal Medicine.
  14. The effect of kiwifruit consumption on…” Blood Pressure, Taylor & Francis Online.
  15. Cardioprotective properties of kiwifruit” Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  16. Kiwifruit non-sugar components reduce…” Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  17. Kiwifruit, carbohydrate availability…” Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  18. Low carb fruits – 15 grams or less…” Michigan State University.
  19. The kiwi fruit peptide kissper displays…” Clinical & Experimental Immunology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  20. Look to fruit and vegetables for good…” New York State Department of Health.
  21. Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin…” Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  22. Pyrroloquinoline quinone prevents developmental programming…” Hepatology Communications, Wiley Online Library.
  23. Inhibitory effects of kiwifruit extract on human platelet aggregation…” Platelets, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  24. Effects of diet on sleep quality” Advances in Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  25. Effects of kiwifruit consumption on…” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  26. “Inside out: creating beautiful skin, hair…” Ogle School.
  27. Latex allergy information” New York State Department of Health.
  28. Characterization of physiochemical and…” Food Chemistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a Senior Content Writer who specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the field for well over 4 years now. His work involves extensive research on how one can maintain better health through natural foods and organic supplements. Ravi has written over 250 articles and is also a published author. Reading and theater are his other interests.