Kiwis not only taste amazing but are packed with a ton of nutrients including folate, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, phytochemicals, and more. Here are four healthful reasons to treat yourself to a serving:
1. It helps maintain a healthy weight
Kiwis are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help you feel satiated i.e. achieve a feeling a fullness. Dietitians say it is a good idea to eat the skin of the fruit as well since it contains up to 50 percent of the fiber content.
And while rich is fiber, the fruit is low in calories, sugar, and fat. A single large kiwi is estimated to contain only 55 to 60 calories while a medium-size kiwi offers around 7 grams of sugar, just a third of the amount found in a single apple.
With all these qualities combined, the fruit can be consumed as a sweet yet healthful snack. Experts also include it among their options for the best foods to consume after a workout session.
2. It may reduce blood pressure levels
In a study from 2011, participants with slightly high levels of blood pressure were instructed to eat either three kiwis or one apple a day. At the end of the study period, the ones who consumed were found to have lower systolic blood pressure, likely due to their antioxidant properties.
However, the researchers emphasized moderate consumption and cautioned against thinking of the fruit as a solution on its own. “Kiwi is not the wonder fruit, but certainly adding kiwi to your diet can help decrease mildly high blood pressure levels,” said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
3. It gives your immune system a boost
Kiwis are packed with nutrients, especially Vitamin C, which is known to support various cellular functions that contribute toward a healthy immune system. Just one cup of the fruit is estimated to provide 273 percent of your daily recommended value.
“Kiwifruit may support immune function and reduce the incidence and severity of cold or flu-like illness in at-risk groups such as older adults and children,” wrote the authors of a 2012 review which examined the benefits of the fruit.
4. It can help promote good eye health
Kiwis contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants which can protect against eye damage from the likes of ultraviolet radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution.
“[The antioxidants] get into the lens and retina of your eye, and they are believed to absorb damaging visible light,” said Dr. Elizabeth J. Johnson, a research scientist and associate professor at Tufts University in Boston. One study also demonstrated how the fruit could decrease macular degeneration (the leading cause of vision loss) in participants by 36 percent.