Much like Rodney Dangerfield, the kiwi fruit doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. While this brown, furry fruit may not be as well known as citrus fruits, the kiwi fruit has a delicious flavor and is highly nutritious. The fiber content of kiwi also makes it diet-friendly.
Vitamin C is found mostly in fruits, and kiwi fruit is one of the best sources, according to Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. The California Kiwi Commission says one serving of kiwi fruit provides nearly two and a half times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals. It’s also important for wound healing and may boost immunity. Because your body can’t store this vitamin, you need to get a continuous supply from your diet.
Kiwi fruit contains lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that promote healthy eyes. Studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, reports the American Optometric Association. Kiwi fruit is also a good source of potassium and magnesium, minerals that help maintain your fluid and electrolyte balance and improve nerve and muscle function, according to the kiwi commission.
Two kiwi fruit contain more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal, according to the California Kiwi Commission. Fiber may help with weight loss because foods with fiber are filling, helping to reduce hunger. People who consume plenty of fiber tend to weigh less than people who eat less fiber, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Kiwi fruit is also fat-free and low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a smart addition to a weight-loss eating plan.
The kiwi fruit is available year-round and can be stored in your refrigerator for up to three weeks. Slicing and scooping out the insides is a good way to eat kiwi fruit. The California Kiwi Commission recommends slicing lengthwise to create two identical halves. Then scoop out the meat from each half, and add it to salads and desserts. The skin is also edible, and rich in fiber and nutrients. Simply rinse under running water and bite into the peel.
Jan Sheehan is an award-winning medical and nutrition writer, having entered journalism in 1992. She is a former contributing editor for "Parents" magazine. She has also written nutrition articles for "Self," "Fitness," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Health" and other magazines. Sheehan has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Purdue University.