Are kiwis good for you? You might be surprised to learn that this beloved fruit contains more Vitamin C than an orange and more fiber than apples and bananas combined!
Keep reading to find out more about why kiwis could be good for you.
What Is Kiwi?
Kiwifruit, commonly known as kiwi or Chinese gooseberry, is a nutrient-dense fruit native to China. The fruit is sweet and tangy with a thin, fuzzy, and fibrous light brown skin. It’s known in the health and wellness community as a great source of vitamin C, a great antioxidant, and an immune booster.
Kiwifruit is a nutritional powerhouse. According to Nutrition Data, a medium-sized, fresh kiwi without skin contains:
- Protein: 0.9 gram
- Calorie: 56
- Carbohydrate: 11.1 grams
- Fiber: 2.3 grams
- Fat: 0.4 gram
- Copper: 0.1 mg (5 percent of daily requirement)
- Potassium: 237 mg (7 percent of daily requirement)
- Folate: 19.0 micrograms (5 percent of daily requirement)
- Vitamin E: 1.1miligram (6 percent of daily requirement)
- Vitamin C: 70.5 milligrams (117 percent of daily requirement)
- Vitamin K: 30.6 micrograms (38 percent of daily requirement)
Why Are Kiwis Good For You
Kiwis are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, and there are a number of health benefits of kiwis to prove it. Not only do they taste great, but kiwis are packed with vitamins and minerals essential to good health, from vitamin C to potassium to fiber. Here are impressive reasons why kiwis are good for you.
1. Kiwis may aid digestion
Eating kiwis can help reduce gas, promote regularity and provide relief from occasional constipation. The fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants in kiwi all aid digestion. They also help stimulate appetite and food absorption.
It also contains actinidin, an enzyme that helps break down a wide range of proteins more quickly and effectively than the digestive enzymes in the gut. This aids gastric digestion and prevents digestive issues.
Eating kiwi after a large meal may help break down the tough protein that may cause bloating or gas.
Also, kiwi contains a good amount of dietary fiber, which aids digestion and improves gut health. Kiwis may also act as a natural laxative for mild constipation. Read More.
2. Kiwis can help in the treatment of asthma
Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airway associated with inflammation, narrowing, and swelling of the airways with extra mucus production making it difficult to breathe. Read More.
The high vitamin C and antioxidants in kiwi can improve lung function and help control asthma symptoms.
In one study, the researchers evaluated the effects of consuming fresh fruits rich in vitamin C on children with wheezing symptoms. At the end of the study, the group that consumed kiwi recorded less wheezing.
3. Kiwis may help regulate blood pressure and improve heart health
According to research, eating three kiwifruits every day for eight weeks may lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressure more than eating an apple a day. Reduced high blood pressure may lower the risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of vitamin E, which helps prevent heart disease by preventing the hardening of arteries. Kiwi is also rich in fiber and potassium, which also help improve blood flow to your heart. This can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing coronary artery disease. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables like kiwi can help you protect yourself from heart disease, including stroke, high blood pressure, sudden cardiac death, and coronary artery disease.
The potassium in kiwi helps relax the blood vessel walls causing the blood pressure to drop. Adequate potassium in the body also helps get rid of excess sodium through urine. Sodium is a mineral associated with an increase in blood pressure.
The fiber in kiwi may lower bad cholesterol, thus lowering the risk for cardiovascular conditions. Read More.
In addition, kiwi is rich in vitamin K, an essential fat-soluble nutrient that promotes blood clotting processes. The body needs vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein compound required for blood clotting processes. Vitamin K also promotes heart health by reducing arterial stiffness, preventing valvular and vascular calcification, and lowering the risk of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular mortality.
4. They may help fight inflammation
Kiwi fruit contains vitamins E and C, both potent antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a leading cause of many health issues, including heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. The worst part about inflammation is that it often causes pain before any physical signs are apparent.
High vitamin C and E levels in kiwi help fight against inflammation by curbing free radicals that may cause an inflammatory response in the body. This may help improve arthritis symptoms and lower the risk for heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.
Maintaining a diet that includes kiwi fruit and other antioxidant-rich foods can reduce inflammation and keep your body strong and healthy.
Kiwis are also high in bromelain, an enzyme that gives pineapples their health benefits. Bromelain is essential for breaking down inflammatory complexes.
Also, kiwi contains Kiwellin and Kissper, types of protein with anti-inflammatory effects. Read More.
5. It improves bone health
For your body to use calcium in bone formation, it needs vitamin K. So vitamin K is essential for building stronger bones. Without it, you’ll develop weak and brittle bones and increase the risk for osteoporosis. In fact, vitamin K has been shown to be effective in treating and preventing osteoporosis.
Your body needs at least 90 micrograms of vitamin K daily to maintain strong bones and reduce your risk for fractures. Just one kiwi can provide you with up to 94 micrograms. So a regular inclusion of kiwis in your daily nutrition can meet your daily recommended values.
While kiwis are rich in vitamin K, they are also very high in vitamin C, making them an excellent combo for strong and healthy bones.
6. It may protect against cancer
One of kiwi’s most impressive health benefits is its ability to fight cancer. Just one cup of kiwi fruit has 85 milligrams of vitamin C, which is well above what most people need in a day. This potent antioxidant helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and may even inhibit or slow down cancer cell growth.
Free radicals in the body may damage parts of the cell, including DNA and cell membranes, leading to cell function disruption and disease formation, including cancer.
Kiwi contains various antioxidants that help neutralize, scavenge, and increase free radical decomposition, thus protecting the cells against damage like mutations that may cause cancer.
A study published in Nutrition and Cancer found that kiwi extract helped inhibit skin cancer cells, especially melanoma. Melanoma is usually difficult to treat due to its resistance to chemo- and radiation therapy, but researchers believe kiwi may help change that.
Another study found that a kiwi extract inhibited cancer cell proliferation in lung, liver, and colon cancers.
7. It may promote healthy skin
Vitamin C is a powerful tool against aging. It increases collagen production, which improves skin elasticity, hydration and reduces wrinkles.
A medium-sized kiwi can provide up to 70.5 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 117 percent of your daily requirement.
Kiwis also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that strengthens the skin barrier and protects against sun damage.
8. Improved sleep quality
Kiwi contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes serotonin production.
Serotonin is a mood-boosting hormone responsible for the synthesis of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
So the more you consume kiwis, the more serotonin in your body will further increase melatonin and improve sleep.
One study looked at the effects of kiwi on sleep quality in individuals with sleep problems. In the study, 24 individuals consumed two kiwis an hour before bedtime for four weeks. After the four weeks, waking up after sleep onset and delayed sleep onset were decreased, while sleep quality and total sleep time increased. Read More.
9. Treat Acne and Rosacea
There’s something almost unique about kiwi’s ability to treat acne and rosacea. The fruit contains plenty of antioxidants—alpha-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene—which are powerful free radical scavengers that can protect your skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. So if you are struggling with acne or rosacea, kiwi is your new best friend.
Kiwi is also rich in vitamins A, C, and E—all of which work together to fight acne and rosacea. These vitamins slow down skin cell damage and help clear acne-related skin infections. One study even concluded that eating kiwi may reduce inflammation in people with rosacea, which thus reduces redness.
The vitamin E in kiwi also helps protect skin cells from damaging UV rays, keeping skin soft and supple.
In addition, kiwifruit contains properties that could potentially inhibit an enzyme called lipoxygenase from breaking down arachidonic acid (omega 3 fatty aid) into leukotrienes—a chemical linked to inflammation.
9. Improves vision
Macular degeneration is a common eye problem in people over 60 years. It’s characterized by blurred vision or total vision loss.
Kiwi contains zeaxanthin and lutein, often known as the eye vitamins. These two offer antioxidant benefits, absorb light that might damage the retina, and prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
According to an animal study published in 2008 in Nutrition Research, rats that were fed a diet high in zeaxanthin or lutein showed a reduced number of free radicals and increased activity of antioxidant enzymes in their eyes.
Antioxidants have been shown to be effective against oxidative stress—one of the leading causes of macular degeneration. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals attacking your cells and DNA, causing damage that can lead to cell death and blindness. A study from researchers at Ohio State University found that when participants with moderate age-related macular degeneration took 30 milligrams (mg) per day of zeaxanthin for two years, they experienced significantly less progression than those who did not take it.
10. Reduce your risk of diabetes
Kiwis are high in fiber and low in glycemic index, which slows glucose release into the bloodstream. This plays a role in reducing diabetes risk as well as controlling blood sugar levels for those who already have diabetes.
As mentioned earlier, kiwis also contain potassium—and researchers believe that people with lower potassium intakes may be at higher risk of developing diabetes. Potassium has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and may reduce oxidative stress—two important contributors to diabetes development.
11. Increases collagen production
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body but its production declines with age. It’s found in skin, muscles, bones, and tendons.
It may help fight joint pain and degeneration, build bone and cartilage, improve skin and hair health, boost metabolism, strengthen muscles, and promote better sleep.
Improves sleep quality
Kiwis are good for you because they are high in serotonin and antioxidants.
Serotonin is necessary for melatonin production, which means that eating kiwis in your evening can help you improve sleep quality. Melatonin is known as a sleep hormone—it helps prepare our bodies for sleep, regulates sleep cycles during times of jet lag, and promotes deeper sleep.
Kiwis are among the most nutrient-dense fruits on the planet. As you’ve seen in this article, kiwis contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, making them both tasty and good for your health.
They are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to help prevent illnesses such as the common cold and reduce inflammation in the body. They also contain high levels of soluble fiber, which can help protect against heart disease and strokes by reducing cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
Additionally, kiwis are also full of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that can protect your eyes from developing cataracts later in life. It may even be possible that kiwis can help improve memory and boost brain power.
By consuming them regularly, you stand a chance to improve your general health and wellbeing.
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