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Superfood: Kiwi

These fruits may be fuzzy, but kiwis clearly offer up a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.
Superfood: Kiwi
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Originally called the Chinese gooseberry, kiwifruit is packed with vitamins and minerals and is one of the most nutritionally dense fruits out there. These fuzzy fruits can help promote weight loss and may even help manage digestion and asthma [1] [2]. 

Go Go Gooseberry — Why They’re Super

Photo by Caitlin Covington

Forget Flintstones chewables — kiwis are filled with essential vitamins, too! One medium kiwi packs 5 percent of the daily recommended amount of folate and 117 percent of daily vitamin C. Plus, this tangy fruit provides 38 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, a nutrient often missing from people’s diets that is essential for bodily functions like normal blood clotting. One cup of sliced kiwi (about two medium fruits) also contains 273 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which is important for the growth and repair of tissues in every part of the body. (One cup of oranges, on the other hand, only contains 160 percent.)

These guys got minerals covered, too. Kiwis offer a variety of nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, and manganese. And get this — one cup provides more potassium than the same amount of sliced bananas, with less sugar and calories, to boot.

Here’s the skinny: Kiwis are also great for those trying to diet or lose weight, with only about 50 calories in one medium fruit. And they may taste sweet, but there’s no worrying about cavities when it comes to kiwi, with just 7 grams of sugar in one medium fruit — almost three times less than the amount in one apple. One cup of the fruit also contains 5 grams of fiber (the green part has soluble fiber, while the seeds and skin offers the insoluble kind), or about 21 percent of the daily recommended intake, to help promote feelings of fullness. Unlike soluble fibers, insoluble fibers don’t dissolve in water,and are considered very gut-healthy because they add bulk to the diet and have a laxative effect.

Extra, extra! Kiwifruits may offer up even more benefits, and there’s a little somethin’ for everyone. One study found that eating two to three kiwi fruits per day can help lower blood triglyceride levels by up to 15 percent, suggesting that kiwi may be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease [3]. The fiber in kiwifruit may also improve bowel function and help prevent constipation and can even help with asthma: Consumption of kiwi may be help children breathe easier and protect them against wheezing [1] [4] [2].

Kiwi Crazy — Your Action Plan

At the grocery store, look for a kiwifruit that is plump and fragrant with a slightly firm feel. Most prefer eating peeled kiwi, but the skin is edible (and contains extra fiber, too!). Just wash the skin and rub gently to minimize the brown fuzz before eating. And while the phrase “slooping the kiwi” may sound a little, well, kinky, it’s actually just a method of slicing and scooping this green fruit: Slice the kiwi in half and then use a spoon to scoop out the delicious meat.

And it’s not just for noshing on, either — kiwis can even improve skin. Wake up with dark under-eye circles in the morning? Placing kiwis under eyes can lighten up circles, and the vitamin C acts as a natural astringent to help minimize pores.

Our Favorite Kiwi Recipes from Around the Web:

Breakfast: Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie via Prevention
Lunch: Banana-Kiwi Salad via EatingWell
Cocktail Hour: Kiwi Caipirinha via Sunset
Dinner: Kiwi-Marinated Fajitas via La Kocinera
Dessert: Kiwi-Lime Sorbet via Epicurious

Bonus Recipe: Greek Yogurt and Kiwi Parfait

Photo by Caitlin Covington

(Serves 1) 

What You'll Need:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1-2 drops  vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 kiwi, sliced

What to Do:

  1. In a small bowl, combine vanilla extract and yogurt. Mix until well blended.
  2. In a glass, layer yogurt mixture, honey, and kiwi slices.
  3. Enjoy! For some extra crunch, top with a classic granola or slivered almonds.

 

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Works Cited +

  1. Kiwifruit improves bowel function in patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. Chang, C.C., Lin, Y.T., Lu, Y.T., et al. School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010;19(4):451-7.
  2. Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children. Forastiere, F., Pistelli, R., Sestini, P., et al. Department of Epidemiology, Regional Health Authority, Lazio, Rome, Italy. Thorax, 2000 Apr;55(4):283-8.
  3. Effects of kiwi fruit consumption on platelet aggregation and plasma lipids in healthy human volunteers. Duttaroy, A.K., Jørgensen, A. Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Norway. Platelets, 2004 Aug;15(5):287-92.
  4. Increasing dietary fiber intake in terms of kiwifruit improves constipation in Chinese patients. Chan, A.O., Leung, G., Tong, T., et al. Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, China. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG, 2007 Sep 21;13(35):4771-5.

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