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6 Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit
Kiwi is believed to originate from China, and they were originally called “yang tao.” When the fruit arrived in New Zealand, the local sellers changed the name to “Chinese gooseberries” to sell to the market. When the name didn’t resonate with the people, kiwi became remarketed in 1959 as kiwifruit, making this food named after the New Zealand national bird.1
Today, kiwi can be added to a variety of different recipes, from salads to desserts. Their taste is often described as a mix of strawberry and grape, and kiwi often adds a tropical taste to the recipes they are incorporated into.
Here are 6 health benefits of kiwi to help you learn more about the nutritional benefits of enjoying this fruit!
Boost Immunity and Prevent Health Conditions
One health benefit of eating kiwi is it can boost your immunity. Kiwis contain high vitamin C content, and vitamin C can help the body fight free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.2
Kiwi also contains carotenoids, polyphenols, and dietary fiber, and a study found a correlation between these components and protection from cold and flus. Research has also found that the nutrients found in kiwi can lower blood pressure, which can protect the body from heart attacks and strokes.3
Improve Eye Health
Kiwi contains zeaxanthin and lutein, two compounds responsible for creating Vitamin A. Vitamin A is responsible for keeping the cornea (the outside of your eye) clear and aids your vision when it needs to adjust to dimmer lights. These two compounds may also protect the eyes from cataracts and help absorb light that can damage the retinas.4
A cup of kiwi also contains roughly 20% of your daily recommended copper, which is a mineral important to your nervous system. The nervous system plays a role in the health of the retina, which is the part of your eye responsible for converting images into electrical impulses that your brain reads.5
One study found a benefit of kiwi is it improves sleep. The researchers found that those who ate two kiwis before bed had better sleep quality and quantity. They speculate that some of the antioxidants and high serotonin content might be the cause of the improvement in sleep.6
Some ongoing research about foods with antioxidants and vitamin C show that they may have an impact on sleep. Vitamin C can help with cardiovascular problems that are associated with sleep apnea.7
Another health benefit of kiwi is the flesh and outside contain fiber, both soluble (.7 grams per large kiwi) and insoluble (1 gram per large kiwi). Soluble fiber is often found in plants and forms a gel that can help prevent food from moving too quickly through the digestive tract. The insoluble fiber kiwi provides will move the food throughout the digestive system.8
Kiwis also contain an enzyme called actinidain, which is a digestive aid known to dissolve proteins. People with irritable bowel syndrome often need actinidain to help improve their digestion of meats.9
Another way kiwis benefit the body is they contain carotenoids, which protect the body against health conditions such as heart disease. Furthermore, a review found that people who ate foods with carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E were at lower risk of heart disease, and kiwis are abundant in all of these nutrients.10
One kiwi has 215 mg of potassium or 5% of the daily recommended intake. Potassium aids in heart health by managing blood pressure because it can relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow.11
Aids in Hydration
One health benefit of kiwi fruit is it is hydrating, with a single kiwi consisting roughly of 90% water.11 This makes kiwi an excellent way to give your body the water it needs to carry out its daily functions.
Water helps the body regulate its temperature, control mood, repair skin, and digest food. Dehydration can often throw these processes off, causing the heart and kidneys to work harder. Eating kiwi can be one way to consume more water in your everyday diet.
How to Add More Kiwis to Your Diet
Now that you are in the know about some of the best health benefits that kiwis offer, here are some ways you can add more kiwi to your diet:12
- Make a kiwi burger
- Create a salsa with kiwi
- Blend a smoothie with kiwis as an ingredient
- Bake kiwi bread or muffins
- Make kiwi chia pudding
- Add kiwi to your salad
- Mix kiwi into your yogurt
- Squeeze kiwi juice into your lemonade mixture
- Drink kiwi juice
- Eat a parfait with kiwi in it
- Add kiwi on top of your meats, such as chicken
- Freeze homemade kiwi fruit popsicles
Try Kiwi Today!
Now that you know some of the benefits of kiwi, try adding some to your recipes today! Kiwi fruit can add flavor to your recipes while providing some great nutritional benefits to meet your daily recommended vitamin and mineral intake.
Here at Saber Healthcare, we believe in taking steps to make sure the residents at the buildings we offer services in meet their nutritional goals. Our dietary teams consistently work to develop and create menus that contain delicious food that meets our residents’ daily vitamin and mineral needs.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF KIWIFRUIT?” Zespri Group Limited. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.zespri.com/en-UK/blogdetail/what-is-the-origin-of-kiwifruit#:~:text=The%20original%20fruit%20is%20from,seeds%20back%20from%20her%20travels.
- Moore, Marissa. “How Vitamin C Supports a Healthy Immune System.” Eat Right. 30 March 2021. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/how-vitamin-c-supports-a-healthy-immune-system
- Saha, Somdatta. “Kiwi For Immunity: 5 Interesting Ways To Add Kiwi To Your Winter Diet (Recipes Inside).” NDTV Food. Last updated 11 December 2020. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://food.ndtv.com/health/kiwi-for-immunity-5-interesting-ways-to-add-kiwi-to-your-winter-diet-recipes-inside-2337223
- Patel, Hiral. “Kiwi Fruit – Benefits, Nutrition & Kiwi for Weight Loss.” Healthify Me. 19 September 2022. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/kiwi-fruit-benefits/#:~:text=Kiwis%20can%20prevent%20macular%20degeneration,essential%20nutrient%20for%20your%20eyes.
- Appleby, Maia. “What Are the Health Benefits of Kiwi for the Eyes?” SF Gate. Last Updated 20 December 2018. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-kiwi-eyes-2813.html
- Suni, Eric. Vyas, Nilong, ed. “The Best Foods To Help You Sleep.” Onemedia, Sleep Foundation. 19 September 2022. Accessed 23 September 2022 Link: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep#:~:text=Kiwifruit%20possess%20numerous%20vitamins%20and,and%20had%20better%20sleep%20quality.
- “Kiwi: Super Food for Sleep?” Sussex Publishers, Psychology Today. 26 November 2013. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201311/kiwi-super-food-sleep
- Bruso, Jessica. “The Soluble Fiber in Kiwis.” SF Gate. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/soluble-fiber-kiwis-4663.html
- Borah, Plavaneetah. “Benefits Of Kiwi Fruit: From A Powerhouse Of Antioxidants To Inducing Sleep.” NDTV Convergence. 29 October 2021. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/7-kiwi-fruit-benefits-from-a-powerhouse-of-antioxidants-to-inducing-sleep-1236599
- Kubala, Jillian. Meeks, Saede. “4 Health Benefits of Kiwi.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 31 January 2022. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kiwi-benefits#Kiwi-benefits
- Ware, Megan. Hatanaka, Miho, ed. “What are the health benefits of kiwifruit?” Healthline Media, MedicalNewsToday. 5 December 2019. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271232
- Sassos, Stefanie. “8 Powerful Health Benefits of Kiwi You Should Know.” Good Housekeeping. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a33606591/kiwi-benefits/
- “How Hydration Affects Your Health.” Saber Healthcare Group. 17 April 2021. Accessed 23 September 2022. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/how-hydration-affects-health