13 Benefits of Kiwi Fruit for Digestion and Heart Health
Kiwis are a tropical fruit originally found in Asia and New Zealand. However, nowadays it is one of the most available and popular fruits across the world. Along with it’s popularity, kiwis are also one of the healthiest fruits available with a high vitamin and mineral content and a high amount of enzymes and other nutrients. This provides a comprehensive list of varied benefits to everything from the eyes and skin to the lungs, heart and immune system.
With this considered, as well as a relatively low cost compared to other exotic fruits, this merits a review of each of the benefits kiwis can provide so this can be considered when shopping for foods to help improve health and well-being.
13 Health Benefits of Kiwis
1. Kiwis Have Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients
Many cardiovascular diseases and immune system problems stems from, or is made worse by, inflammation in the body (1).
With high levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, with nearly the daily recommended amount of these vitamins found in one fruit (2), these help fight inflammation and can help reduce the occurrence of plaque buildup and cardiovascular disease (3). Vitamin E can also help improve immune system function and help fight illness (4).
With the above nutrients, kiwis can make a great addition to the diet for those looking to take care of their heart or worried about getting ill during the year.
2. Kiwis Can Improve Digestion and Prevent Constipation
With over 2 grams of fiber in only one kiwi, this fruit can help increase nutrient absorption through its insoluble fiber content and help regulate bowel movement through the high amount of insoluble fiber it contains (5).
It has also been shown in multiple studies to be effective in improving Irritable Bowel Syndrome in those suffering with this digestion condition (6, 7). Along with this, it also contains an enzyme called actinidin, which helps the breakdown and digestion of protein.
This can make kiwis a great addition to meals and snacks to make sure the maximum amount of nutrition is attained and digestion is improved and to prevent or eliminate constipation in people with digestive problems.
3. Kiwis May Improve Mood
Aside from being high in vitamins and fiber, kiwis also contain serotonin, which is a chemical found in the brain that is associated with happiness and a calming effect (8). It is also associated with anti-depression effects on the brain (9).
This makes kiwis unique, with one of the only fruits to contain a nutrient like serotonin, it could be beneficial in increasing circulating serotonin in the brain which could help improve mood and benefit mental health.
4. Kiwis Can Improve Sleep
Along with the potential improvements in mental health, kiwis are also beneficial for sleep, with research showing that including kiwi in the diet helped improve both the onset of sleep and the total duration of sleep as well as perceived sleep quality (10).
This is again believed to be due to kiwi’s relatively high serotonin and carbohydrate content which have both been shown to improve sleep (11, 12).
With sleep being a key element in weight loss, disease prevention and mental health (13) this offers another reason to include kiwis in the diet.
5. Kiwis May Protect Against DNA Damage
A more recent study from the Journal of Nutrition showed that supplementing the diet with kiwis helped protect the DNA and protect against cell damage, which can help prevent aging and cancer risk (14).
This protective effect was thought to come from the powerful antioxidants found in the kiwis and offer another unique benefit to this exotic fruit for health-conscious shoppers.
6. Kiwis Can Improve Cardiovascular Health
Other than helping to fight inflammation, kiwis can also help improve cardiovascular health by providing a source of potassium in the diet, which has been shown to improve heart functioning, reduce blood pressure and help prevent cardiovascular disease (15). This potassium can also help regulate heartbeat and prevent arrhythmia and chest pain.
For individuals conscious about their cardiovascular health, kiwis are an essential fruit to add to the diet.
7. Kiwis Can Improve Skin Health
The high amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin K in kiwis are also beneficial in maintaining strong and healthy skin, nails and hair through reducing skin inflammation and increasing collagen and keratin production, which are both proteins that are essential in skin and hair growth (16).
This can have a positive impact on skin aging, greying hair and helping prevent dry and flaky skin, as well as promote skin and nail growth, giving kiwis a more diverse range of benefits that can apply to beauty as well as health.
8. Kiwis Can Improve Lung and Respiratory Health
As well as helping improve the cardiovascular system, there is also research showing that eating kiwis can help improve lung health and breathing (17). In this study, children who took in kiwis experienced less wheezing and more comfortable breathing.
This was again thought to be due to a high vitamin C content in the fruit and the high antioxidant content within the fruit.
9. Kiwis Help Keep The Eyes Healthy
Due to the high amount of vitamins and minerals found in kiwis, these fruits can help maintain eye health and protect against eye disease such as macular degeneration (18).
This is through vitamins such as Vitamin E which can help maintain the outer layer of the eye which helps maintain its structure and protect against damage and degeneration from diseases like that mentioned above.
10. Kiwifruits Act As A Natural Antacid
Because kiwis are a highly alkaline fruit, they can help fight acid reflux and prevent heartburn after eating large meals or acidic foods. Considering that many antacid tablets can contain some side effects, kiwifruits can offer a natural and more taste friendly method of fighting acid reflux with none of the side effects of commercial antacid tablets.
This adds value to kiwis as a snack between meals and for those who suffer frequently with heartburn.
11. Kiwis Can Aid Weight Loss
The high fiber content and low calories in each kiwi makes this an ideal fruit to consume when dieting to lose weight. Fiber has been shown to reduce hunger and the high water weight in kiwifruits have also been shown in research to be a key quality in foods that help fight hunger (19, 20).
By providing a high amount of vitamins and minerals alongside fiber and water, kiwifruits offer a nutritious food that can be used when reducing food consumption to maintain good quality nutrition while keeping calories low.
12. Kiwis Can Improve Bone Health
As well as being high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E, kiwifruits also provide a high dose of Vitamin K, which helps calcium absorption and aids Vitamin D synthesis in the body (21).
This can help improve bone density and protect against bone disease like osteoporosis and provides another diverse benefit for this exotic fruit.
13. Kiwi Have Anti-Bacterial Properties
Along with helping to prevent illness, kiwis also have bacteria fighting properties that can be used to help conventional medicine in combatting common bacterial infections (22), with these bacterial fighting nutrients having been shown to help fight against common bacteria strains in prior research (23).
With the immune supportive benefits from the high antioxidants in the kiwis and the cell protective effect of these fruits, this benefit can be particularly useful for those who are looking to speed up recovery from bacterial illnesses or to help protect against future infection.
Kiwis offer a wide range of health benefits, from boosting immunity tp preventing cardiovascular disease. Incorporating it into a weight loss diet is easy, as the fruit contains very little calories per serving. If you’re on the lookout for fruits that won’t rack up the carbohdrates, kiwis are among the top fruits recommended for their lower carbohydrate-per-serving, as well as their glycemix index.