Kiwis may not be the flashiest fruit in the fruit bowl, but that’s no reason to overlook them. After all, doing so could mean that you’ll miss out on some of the serious health benefits this fuzzy fruit has to offer.

Like, bet you didn’t know that, ounce for ounce, kiwi has more vitamin C than oranges, strawberries, and grapefruit. Or, perhaps, that two large kiwis have more potassium than an entire (!) medium-sized banana. And don’t even get us started about the tons of gut-healthy fiber found in a serving of this fruit. Seriously, the list of kiwi health benefits goes on and on.

But what do the health experts have to say about kiwis’ health benefits? Are they equally impressed (or are we just easily amused)? Fortunately, when catching up with two registered dietitians—and kiwi connoisseurs—we quickly learned they’re definitely worth the hype. In fact, they may just be the key to a healthy diet packed with tons of essential nutrients. More about the fruit bowl rockstar below.

What is kiwifruit and where did it come from?

While kiwi today is most commonly associated with New Zealand, the fruit actually originated in the northern and eastern regions of China. (It’s called mihoutao or yang tao in Chinese; English speakers initially referred to it as “Chinese gooseberry” because it had a similar taste to gooseberries.) In 1904, the fruit was reportedly introduced to New Zealand by a girls’ school teacher who had been visiting China; she shared the seeds with a gardener who was able to grow them successfully. During the 1950s, produce company, Turners and Growers, officially renamed the fruit as “kiwifruit,” in honor of New Zealand’s national bird (which is also brown and fuzzy!). The rest, as they say, is history.

Health benefits of kiwi at a glance

Kiwi (aka kiwifruit) is delicious thanks to its unique, sweet-tart flavor, and its health benefits are worth being mindful of year-round. Here’s a full run-down of the nutritional benefits of one serving (one fruit), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • Water: 63 grams
  • Calories: 44 kcals
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Total fat: 0.3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Calcium: 26 micrograms
  • Iron: 0.2 micrograms
  • Magnesium: 12 micrograms
  • Phosphorous: 26 grams
  • Potassium: 148 milligrams
  • Zinc: 0.1 micrograms
  • Copper: 0.1 micrograms
  • Selenium: 0.2 micrograms
  • Vitamin C: 56 milligrams
  • Folate: 20 micrograms
  • Beta-carotene: 39 micrograms
  • Vitamin A: 3 micrograms
  • Lutein: 92 micrograms
  • Vitamin K: 30 micrograms

Ahead, registered dietitians Erica Ingraham, RD and Lauren Manaker, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT, explain how kiwi’s nutritional profile translates to positive health benefits for your body, making it one of their favorite nutrient-rich fruits to consume regularly.

6 kiwi health benefits, according to two registered dietitians

1. It’s incredibly hydrating

The first of the (many!) kiwi health benefits Ingraham points out is that it’s incredibly hydrating. “Kiwis are about 90 percent water,” Ingraham says, aka it’s one of the top hydrating foods you can possibly eat. “It’s helpful for people who are trying to meet their hydration needs,” she says. But before we get carried away, it’s worth noting, that while kiwi is high in water content, it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for good ol’ H2O. You still need to drink ample amounts of water throughout the day. For context, the average person needs about nine cups of water a day (and if you’re working out you may need even more). That’s to say, kiwi is a hydration source that will score you extra bonus points.

2. It’s packed with gut-healthy nutrients

Another benefit of eating kiwi is that, like all fruit, it has fiber. And lots of it. “The fiber in kiwi means that it can help the body maintain good digestion,” Ingraham says. “One study in particular linked eating kiwi to helping with constipation1,” she says. (BTW, there’s three grams of fiber per 100-gram serving.) So, if you’re eating kiwi with this benefit in mind, it’s best to eat the fruit in its whole form and not as a juice, as juicing can break down the essential fiber. It’s also worth noting that eating skin-on kiwi (fuzzies and all) bumps its fiber content up by a whole 50 percent. Plus, Manaker notes that kiwis also contain actinidain, an enzyme that helps break down protein that aids digestion further.

3. It helps support the immune system

Want to keep your immunity in tip-top shape? You may want to reach for kiwis (instead of oranges). “Kiwi is rich in vitamin C, which means it plays a role in supporting a healthy immune system,” Ingraham says. Often, people tend to think of oranges as the big immunity-boosting superhero—and while they do also contain substantial amounts of vitamin C, kiwi is another great source. A good goal is to aim to get 75 milligrams of vitamin C a day and one kiwi has 56 milligrams, almost the full day’s worth.

In addition to boosting immunity, vitamin C is also beneficial for wound recovery. “Vitamin C is important for iron absorption and also plays a role in helping wounds heal,” Ingraham says. Want to get the most vitamin C possible? Manaker recommends opting for SunGold kiwis packed with impressive golden kiwi benefits, such as containing more vitamin C than the more common green kiwis on the market; 161.3 milligrams versus 92.7 milligrams per 100 grams, respectively. 

4. It helps boost eye health

Yet another impressive kiwi health benefit that really sets this fruit apart from the rest of the fruit bowl stash is that it’s a good source of two key nutrients that support eye health: zeaxanthin and lutein. So, if you spend a lot of time staring a screen (um, everyone), that’s even more reason to add kiwi to your diet. Research shows that consuming six to 10 mg of lutein a day can help prevent cataracts2 and age-related macular degeneration. Kiwi is a small source that can help you hit that target.

5. It helps support a healthy heart

Kiwi contains high levels of potassium, an essential nutrient that helps support the cardiovascular system. “Regular consumption of kiwi is linked to reduced blood pressure thanks to its potassium content, which counteracts the effects of sodium in the body. Kiwis also contribute to the reduction of blood clotting and lipid levels, further benefiting heart health,” Manaker says. What’s more, studies show that regular potassium consumption3 helps reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. The goal? Getting roughly 2,300 milligrams of potassium a day and while it would take quite a lot of kiwi to get you there (one has 148 milligrams), every little bit helps!

6. It’s anti-inflammatory

Both dietitians also point out that kiwi is a good source of antioxidants. This means that eating kiwi regularly can help reduce inflammation that’s often associated with cognitive decline, disease, and cancer if prolonged. Kiwi’s anti-inflammatory benefits are also partly due to their high levels of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help keep free radicals at bay.

7. It can support skin health

Aside from supporting immunity, Manaker points out that vitamin C can help improve skin health. “Kiwis are particularly beneficial for women’s health due to their high vitamin C content, which plays a crucial role in collagen production, aiding in skin elasticity, and reducing the visibility of fine lines,” she says. Hence why kiwi and skin care go hand in hand.

8. It may be beneficial during pregnancy

Manaker also points out that the fruit’s folate content may be beneficial during pregnancy. “Folate is essential for supporting fetal development and reducing the risk of neural tube defects,” she says. There are 26 mirograms of the nutrient per 100-gram serving.

9. It may help you get better sleep

“While there are many factors that impact sleep, eating kiwis may be a viable choice to help boost one’s chances of getting some serious shut-eye,” Manaker says. A small study conducted in 2023 revealed that eating two kiwis (one hour before bed for four weeks) could potentially improve the quality of sleep and recovery for athletes4.

What are the potential risks of eating kiwi?

For the most part, there are minimal risks to be concerned about when consuming kiwi. However, there is always the chance of being allergic to it. “Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to kiwi, ranging from mild oral allergy syndrome to more severe systemic responses,” Manaker says. She also points out that you may want to be wary of consuming too much kiwi in one day. “Due to their high fiber content, consuming large quantities of kiwi can lead to digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, or diarrhea for certain individuals,” she says. As such, moderation is key, especially for folks with known food allergies or digestive sensitivities.

On the other hand, Ingraham points out that kiwi may affect blood clotting speed. “Some studies have also shown that blood clotting may slow with eating a lot of kiwi5, so that is also something to be aware of,” she says. As with any food, Ingraham recommends checking with your doctor before eating kiwi if you’re taking any medications or have any underlying health conditions.

3 easy ways to eat more kiwi

Are you in the mood for some juicy kiwi yet? Although the fruit can be eaten as-is (and it’s delicious!), if you’re looking for a few more creative ways to get your fill, check out the ideas below. (And in case you’re curious, it’s 100-percent okay to eat the seeds. Hi, fiber!)

1. Work it into your breakfast routine

This is one of the easiest ways to add more kiwi to your life. Kiwi can be a great alternative to added sugar for sweetening up your morning meals like oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie. Looking for a recipe to get you started? Try this kiwi and kale smoothie, made with almond milk and banana. Swoon.

2. Make a batch of homemade kiwi ice cream

Kiwi’s natural sweetness makes it the perfect ingredient to add to ice cream. Check out this recipe to see how to make your own kiwi ice cream at home. If you don’t eat dairy, perhaps try this banana-based kiwi “nice cream” recipe, which also includes maca, a natural energy booster, and cinnamon, an anti-inflammatory spice.

3. Use it to brighten up savory dishes

It’s 100-percent safe to cook with kiwi and doing so can add an unexpected tartness to a dish. This recipe incorporates kiwi into a chicken soba noodle entree that’s simply delightful. Typically, any savory dishes you would consider using other tasty fruits like pineapple in, kiwi will likely work just as well—just bringing a bit more tartness into the mix. You can also dice kiwi and incorporate it into salsas, too. The possibilities are endless, fam!

Discover more delicious RD-approved, anti-inflammatory foods to try next:


Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.


    1. Chan, Annie-On-On et al. “Increasing dietary fiber intake in terms of kiwifruit improves constipation in Chinese patients.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 13,35 (2007): 4771-5. doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i35.4771

 


    1. Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed M et al. “Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids and their role in eye health.” Nutrients vol. 5,4 1169-85. 9 Apr. 2013, doi:10.3390/nu5041169

 


    1. Weaver, Connie M. “Potassium and health.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 4,3 368S-77S. 1 May. 2013, doi:10.3945/an.112.003533

 


    1. Doherty, Rónán et al. “The Impact of Kiwifruit Consumption on the Sleep and Recovery of Elite Athletes.” Nutrients vol. 15,10 2274. 11 May. 2023, doi:10.3390/nu15102274

 


    1. Duttaroy, Asim K, and Aud Jørgensen. “Effects of kiwi fruit consumption on platelet aggregation and plasma lipids in healthy human volunteers.” Platelets vol. 15,5 (2004): 287-92. doi:10.1080/09537100410001710290

 


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