Kiwi fruits may be small, but they’re packed with both flavor and health benefits. Their sweet and tangy green flesh contains essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Plus, they’re a great source of antioxidants and fiber. Let’s delve into the most important kiwi fruit nutrition facts, plus the truth about how kiwi’s sugar content compares to that of other fruits.
5 Kiwi Fruit Nutrition Facts to Know
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, the average kiwi contains:
- 42 calories
- 6.2 grams of sugar
- 2.1 grams of fiber
- 64 milligrams of vitamin C, which totals up to 107% of your recommended daily intake (RDI)
- 8 micrograms of vitamin K, which accounts for 35% of your RDI
- 17 micrograms of folate
- 7 milligrams of magnesium
- 23 milligrams of calcium
- 215 milligrams of potassium
- 1 milligram of vitamin E
- 60 international units of vitamin A
Here are five of the most exciting facts you should know about the nutrients found in kiwi fruit.
1. Kiwi and Vitamin C
Research shows that thanks to their high vitamin C content, kiwis have numerous health benefits. One area in which vitamin C plays an especially important role is collagen synthesis. Collagen provides structural integrity for your skin, among other things, meaning that the benefits of eating vitamin C rich fruits like kiwi include protecting your skin from damage caused by UV light, pollution, and smoke, as well as improving overall skin texture.
2. Kiwi and Vitamin K
Kiwi is a good dietary source of vitamin K, which helps to maintain the health of your bones, brain, and heart. Without adequate intake of vitamin K, your body cannot produce a substance called prothrombin that plays central roles in blood clotting and bone metabolism.
3. Kiwi and Potassium
Many people are deficient in potassium, which functions as both a mineral and an electrolyte inside the body. We need potassium to maintain normal blood pressure, transport nutrients to our cells, and preserve healthy nerve and muscle function.
4. Kiwi and Fiber
Research findings show that kiwi fruit can improve digestion, particularly for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. One reason for this may be kiwi’s fiber content.
5. Kiwi and Antioxidants
Kiwi fruit contains a wealth of polyphenols shown to have powerful antioxidant effects. Studies show it has even more potent antioxidant activity than oranges and grapefruits do, and can help prevent the development and deterioration of diseases known to be linked to oxidative stress.
Worried About Kiwi Sugar Levels?
Kiwi’s sweet flavor might cause worry that it’s a high-sugar fruit, which in turn might make you worry it’s not a healthy fruit option. But as you can see from the kiwi fruit nutrient facts listed above, the average sugar content is about 6 grams.
As a point of comparison, a medium navel orange contains 14 grams of sugar while a red delicious apple contains 16 grams of sugar. Don’t let concerns about sugar keep you from eating deliciously sweet and juicy kiwis—you can have two for the same amount of sugar found in apples and oranges!
So, why is the kiwi GI listed as 52, putting it on the average to high end? The glycemic index was one of the first methods developed to measure how sugary foods are, but it has some design flaws. A big one is that it doesn’t account for standard serving sizes, instead standardizing each food entry to contain 50 grams of carbohydrates. To give some context for the problems that creates, 50 grams of carbs in the form of a Snickers bar translates to a petite 2.8-ounce serving, while 50 grams of carbs in the form of pumpkin necessitates a whopping 35-ounce serving, far more than the average individual is likely eating in one seating.
To help correct these distortions, researchers at Harvard University introduced the concept of the Glycemic Load in 1997. And the kiwi glycemic load is just 7, well below the threshold set at 11 for low glycemic load foods.
How to Add Kiwi Fruit to Your Diet
You can, of course, eat kiwi fruit raw. And while most people remove the fuzzy skin, it’s actually entirely edible and can triple your fiber intake. But our favorite way to eat kiwi is to toss it in a blender and whip up a delicious kiwi smoothie.