Top 5 Health Benefits of Kiwifruit + Nutrition Info and Fun Facts

Written by Dr Rebecca Harwin

Kiwifruit is a delicious and highly nutritious berry that is growing in popularity due to its nutrient density and wide-ranging health benefits.

Kiwifruit's many health benefits include promoting gut health, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and improving sleep quality.

Kiwifruit is a top source of vitamin C, and is also a great source of vitamin K, fiber, potassium, and vitamin E. Read on below to get all the details on kiwifruit's health benefits, nutrient info, and fun facts.

Kiwi Fruit Health Benefits

1. Kiwifruit Aids Digestion and Gut Health

Kiwifruit contains actinidin, a proteolytic enzyme which can aid in the metabolism of several difficult to digest proteins found in our diet (1,2). The pectic polysaccharides and dietary fiber found in the kiwi act as a prebiotic, improving the health and diversity of our intestinal bacteria to keep the digestive tract healthy (3). However, some people appear allergic to actinidin (4), and it would be wise not to over consume kiwifruit till you know how your body reacts to it.

2. Kiwifruit Can Lower Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Kiwifruit has been shown to reduce the LDL and total cholesterol levels considered harmful to our heart health and raise the helpful, protective HDL level (5). The higher amounts of vitamin C, E, and polyphenols found in the kiwifruit are beneficial for healthy cardiovascular system function. Moreover, there is evidence that the kiwi may reduce platelet aggregation and thereby reduce atherosclerotic development further preventing cardiovascular disease risk (6).

3. Kiwifruit Can Help Alleviate Asthma

Kiwifruit is a rich source of vitamin C. This and other fruits, even at low levels of consumption, has been identified as beneficial for wheeze reduction, shortness of breath, nighttime coughing, and a long-term cough. Children who consumed kiwifruit once a week had less asthma attacks than those who didn't (7).

4. Kiwifruit Helps to Improve Sleep Quality and Duration

Kiwifruit contains antioxidants and serotonin, which can help with sleep disorders. In adults who consumed kiwifruit for one week, reports of sleep quality were noted. When two kiwifruits were consumed approximately sixty minutes before sleep, it was shown that "kiwifruit consumption may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances" (8).

5. Kiwifruit Boosts the Immune System and Promotes Wound Healing

Kiwifruit has immune protective effects, which are particularly essential for children, pregnant women, and older people. This is believed to be due to the vitamin C, polyphenols, dietary fiber and carotenoids present in this fruit (9)
. The antibacterial agents in kiwifruit, found predominately in its seeds, can help wounds to heal faster and prevent infection (10). Several studies have even shown that kiwifruit as a dressing improves new tissue formation, wound debridement and acts as a disinfection (11). Due to its high vitamin C content, kiwifruit consumption may also help those suffering from burns and bedsores and aid early inflammatory resolution and tissue remodeling (12).

Nutrient Info For Kiwi Fruit

Serving size: 1 kiwifruit

Top 10 Nutrients by %DV
  • Vitamin C107% DV
  • Vitamin K35% DV
  • Fiber8% DV
  • Potassium6% DV
  • Vitamin E5% DV
  • Copper4% DV
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate)4% DV
  • Manganese3% DV
  • Carbs3% DV
  • Magnesium3% DV
Table for Common Nutrients
Nutrient%DV
Calories 42 2%
Fat 0.4g 1%
Protein 0.8g 2%
Carbohydrate 10.1g 3%
Sugars 6.2g ~
Fiber 2.1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Saturated Fats 0.02g 0%
Calcium, Ca 23.5mg 2%
Iron, Fe 0.2mg 1%
Potassium, K 215.3mg 6%
Magnesium, Mg 11.7mg 3%
Vitamin A, IU 60IU 1%
Vitamin C 64mg 107%
Vitamin B-12 0μg 0%

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database - Release 28.
See the complete nutrition facts with over 150 nutrients, or the nutrition facts comparison of Kiwi Fruit vs other foods.

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Kiwi Fruit Fun Facts

  1. Kiwifruit belongs to the Actinidia genus, and is also known as the Chinese gooseberry for its popularity in its namesake country.
  2. Kiwifruits were originally the size of a gooseberry, and have been hybridized to the current "chicken egg" size we know today.
  3. Kiwifruits are harvested in autumn. California is the largest producer of kiwifruits in the U.S. providing kiwifruit for most of the winter from October to March. In the summer months, kiwifruit comes from Chile and New Zealand. Despite these facts, China is the largest grower of Kiwifruit, followed by Italy, and then New Zealand.
  4. When selecting kiwifruit look for firm fruit with unblemished skin. Kiwifruits are ready to eat when they are soft to the touch. Ripe kiwifruits can keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. When bought firm they can last for up to eight weeks at room temperature. Store kiwis in a paper bag ripen them quickly.
  5. The water from boiling the branches and leaves of the kiwifruit plant can be used to treat mange in dogs (13).
  6. The bark close to the base of the kiwifruit vine can be put into a fire, where it will curl up into a firm tube that can be used as a pencil! (13)
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Data Sources and References

    1. Actinidin enhances gastric protein digestion as assessed using an in vitro gastric digestion model.
    2. Kiwifruit cysteine protease actinidin compromises the intestinal barrier by disrupting tight junctions.
    3. Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) changes intestinal microbial profile
    4. Identification of actinidin as the major allergen of kiwi fruit.
    5. Effects of kiwifruit consumption on serum lipid profiles and antioxidative status in hyperlipidemic subjects.
    6. Effects of kiwi fruit consumption on platelet aggregation and plasma lipids in healthy human volunteers.
    7. Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children
    8. Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems.
    9. Effects of kiwifruit on innate and adaptive immunity and symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
    10. Antibacterial activity in Actinidia chinensis, Feijoa sellowiana and Aberia caffra.
    11. The effect of dressing with fresh kiwifruit on burn wound healing.
    12. 

Vitamin C promotes wound healing through novel pleiotropic mechanisms
    13. Purdue Horticulture on Kiwifruit