Kiwi, A Superfood: Discover its Surprising Health Benefits

Kiwi, A Superfood: Discover its Surprising Health Benefits

Kiwi, A Superfood: Discover its Surprising Health Benefits

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Studies have shown the remarkable ability of kiwi fibre to enhance stool consistency and transit time, surpassing that of many other fruits. 

4th June 2024

By Sukhmani Kooner 

Beyond its vibrant green flesh and tangy-sweet taste, this unassuming fruit packs a punch of nutritional goodness that may surprise many. From boosting immune function to promoting heart health, the benefits of incorporating kiwi into one’s diet are manifold and backed by scientific research. Rich in vitamins C, K and E, as well as fibre and antioxidants, kiwi offers a plethora of advantages for overall well-being.

Kiwis stand out as champions of digestive health owing to their abundant reserves of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Studies have shown the remarkable ability of kiwi fibre to enhance stool consistency and transit time, surpassing that of many other fruits. The key lies in its exceptional water-retaining properties, which facilitate smoother passage through the digestive tract.

Kiwis serve as a reservoir of vitamin C, an essential nutrient renowned for its potent antioxidant properties, which plays a pivotal role in bolstering the body’s immune system. Vitamin C acts as a shield, safeguarding cells from the perils of oxidative stress induced by free radicals. The abundant presence of vitamin C in kiwis not only fortifies the body’s defences against external pathogens but also aids in the regeneration of other antioxidants, further amplifying its protective effects. Moreover, beyond its immunity-boosting prowess, vitamin C is integral to collagen synthesis, promoting skin health and wound healing.

With a supply of 64 mg of vitamin C, a single kiwi meets 71% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for men and an impressive 85% for women. Studies have revealed that integrating two kiwis into daily consumption over the span of four weeks can significantly elevate immune cell functionality, particularly in individuals grappling with suboptimal levels of vitamin C. This underscores the efficacy of kiwis not just as a delectable fruit but as a potent tool in fortifying the body’s defences, ensuring vitality and resilience against infections and oxidative stress.

Incorporating kiwi into your diet helps in sustaining cardiovascular health. Studies unveil its remarkable ability to regulate blood pressure, attributing this benefit to its rich nutrient profile, particularly its high potassium content. Moreover, daily consumption of kiwi has demonstrated a pronounced impact on lipid profiles, manifesting in decreased total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while concurrently elevating levels of HDL cholesterol, often dubbed as the “good” cholesterol.

Kiwis are a staple in any balanced diet, especially for those on a weight management journey. Despite their natural sweetness, they boast a low-calorie profile, making them a guilt-free indulgence that satisfies cravings without tipping the scale. Additionally, their high fibre content adds to their weight management prowess, as fibre adds bulk to the diet without contributing to calorie overload. This means that incorporating kiwis into meals or snacks not only provides a delicious treat but also helps individuals feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating and supporting sustainable weight loss efforts.

Kiwis offer a natural defence against age-related vision deterioration, including macular degeneration and cataracts. This remarkable fruit owes its ocular benefits to the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids, potent antioxidants known to combat oxidative stress within the eye.

Kiwis, boasting a high-water content, are classified as low-glycemic index foods, making them an excellent option for individuals mindful of blood sugar levels, particularly those with diabetes. Green kiwi varieties typically have a glycemic index of approximately 39, while golden varieties hover around 48. This low glycemic index translates to a limited impact on blood glucose levels after consumption.

Packed with vitamin C and vitamin K, these fruits play pivotal roles in fortifying the immune system and maintaining optimal bone health. Additionally, kiwis supply approximately 10% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of copper, a vital mineral essential for energy metabolism, blood vessel integrity and the formation of connective tissue.

While kiwi boasts an array of health benefits, it’s crucial to exercise caution if you have an allergy to this fruit. Kiwi contains various allergens, notably actinidin, which can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Symptoms of kiwi allergy range from abdominal pain and vomiting to respiratory issues like wheezing and difficulty swallowing. Skin reactions such as hives, itching of the throat and mouth, as well as facial swelling, are also common indicators of an allergic response to kiwi. For those with known kiwi allergies, avoidance is key to preventing potentially severe reactions, ensuring optimal health and well-being.