The kiwifruit, or Chinese gooseberry, originally grew wild in China. Kiwis are a nutrient-dense food — they are rich in in nutrients and low in calories.
Kiwi has a reputation as a health food because of its high vitamin C content, but the fruit is also rich in other nutrients. These may help reduce blood pressure, boost wound healing, help maintain bowel health, and more.
Kiwi and other fruits provide a range of health benefits due to their nutritional contents. Kiwis are a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber.
Antioxidants — including vitamin C, choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin — help remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that the body produces during metabolism and other processes.
If too many free radicals build up, they can cause oxidative stress, which can result in cell damage. This damage may lead to issues such as heart disease or cancer. Antioxidants can help protect the body by removing free radicals.
The nutrients in kiwi may benefit a person in the following ways.
A 2019 review of studies found that taking oral collagen supplements may help boost skin elasticity and hydration and reduce wrinkles. Taking supplements is not the same as consuming vitamin C in kiwis, but eating the fruit may still help keep the skin healthy.
Kiwifruit also provides vitamin E, or tocopherol. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E and its ability to help protect the skin from sun damage may help prevent skin disorders.
A 2011 study looked at the effects of kiwifruit on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems. The researchers found that eating kiwis improved sleep, according to self-reported measures.
The scientists suggested that this benefit may stem from the antioxidant and serotonin contents of kiwis.
Heart health and blood pressure
Kiwis contain fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, all of which may support heart health.
The American Heart Association (AHA) encourage people to increase their potassium intake while reducing their consumption of added salt, or sodium.
Potassium relaxes the blood vessels, which helps manage blood pressure, and people with low blood pressure tend to be less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
Kiwi’s fiber content may also benefit cardiovascular health. A review published in 2017 found that people who consume high amounts of fiber have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. They also tend to have less low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol.
Kidney stone prevention
The National Cancer Institute note that high levels of free radicals in the body can cause damage to DNA that can result in various types of cancer.
Kiwis provide a range of antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body. This is one way in which the fruit may help prevent cancer.
A 2019 study concluded that when healthy people eat kiwis, their small intestines are better able to retain water, leading to greater stool frequency and softer stool consistency.
The study authors suggested that kiwifruit could be a natural alternative to medical laxatives for people with mild constipation.
Kiwellin and kissper are proteins in kiwifruit that may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Kiwifruit contains folate, which is essential for cell division. During pregnancy, doctors advise women to take additional folate, as it may protect the fetus from developmental problems, such as neural tube abnormalities.
Vitamin K also plays an important role in blood clotting.
One kiwi provides 23–30% of an adult’s daily requirement of the vitamin.