Kiwis have a unique hairy exterior, but when you cut them open, they’re a green, tart and delicious fruit.Although they share with the name of the national bird of New Zealand, the kiwi fruit is originally from China. Kiwis we’re first exported to New Zealand in the early 20th century, where they became popular with the British and American serviceman stationed there during the Second World War. The squaddies loved kiwis so much, they were exported after the war1.
In this article, we’ll reveal the health benefits that explain the kiwi’s historical popularity. Then, we’ll uncover the nutritional composition of kiwis, so you can see their great vitamin and mineral content yourself. Finally, we’ll advise of any adverse side effects associated with kiwi consumption.
Kiwi health benefitsKiwis are a small fruit with mighty health benefits, including:
- Improved digestion. Kiwis are incredibly fibrous, which is essential for digestive health2. In addition to fibre, kiwis contain an enzyme called actinidin, which enhances the body’s ability to digest protein3.
- Better immune health. One scientific study showed that kiwi consumption improves immune system health4.
- Protection against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a significant contributing factor in the development of age-related diseases5. Kiwis have shown promise at reducing oxidative stress throughout the body, enhancing health6.
- Lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with adverse health outcomes. One scientific study showed that regular kiwi consumption is likely to reduce blood pressure8.
Kiwi nutrition profileOne average-size kiwi contains
- 85% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for healthy cells, skin, bones, cartilage, and blood vessels9.
- 31% of your daily recommended vitamin K. Vitamin K helps your blood clot10.
Kiwi side effectsKiwi is an allergen. People who are allergic to kiwis may experience side effects like a sore throat, runny nose, and irritated eyes. In cases of severe allergic reactions, people may struggle to breathe or break out in hives. Those who are allergic to pollen or latex are likely to also have an allergic response to kiwis11. Many people report that kiwis create an itching or tingling sensation on their tongue. This is likely due to the protease enzymes in this fruit, which break down proteins12 – you’re feeling the fruit’s feeble attempt to erode your mouth!
Last Updated: 3rd November 2020