An exotic yet invigorating food, the kiwi fruit is packed with nutrients, including essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. Kiwis are low in calories and have many health benefits. But can kiwis help you lose weight? Read on to find out and discover the benefits of eating kiwi and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
Can Kiwi Help With Weight Loss? Kiwi is an ideal part of a low-fat diet, but can it help you lose weight? Kiwi emerges as a top fruit for enhancing a healthy weight loss strategy, thanks to several key elements listed here:
Can Kiwi Help With Weight Loss?
Kiwi is an ideal part of a low-fat diet, but can it help you lose weight? Kiwi emerges as a top fruit for enhancing a healthy weight loss strategy, thanks to several key elements listed here:
How Many Kiwis A Day Should I Eat To Lose Weight?
Eating one or two kiwis a day can help you lose weight, as they are high in fibre and low in calories. However, weight loss also depends on your overall diet and lifestyle. Kiwifruit should be part of a balanced diet combined with regular exercise. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalised dietary advice.
How Does Kiwi Help With Weight Loss?
Kiwi is rich in dietary fibre, both insoluble and soluble. The insoluble fibre found in the seeds increases stool bulk in the bowel, while the soluble fibre intercepts bile acids, helping to lower blood cholesterol. These types of fibre work in synergy to promote a beneficial gut microbiome in the small intestine, which can help prevent cravings and overeating, and even stabilise mood swings.
Studies have shown that people with vitamin C deficiency have a harder time losing body fat. Conversely, those with sufficient vitamin C can metabolise fat up to 30% more effectively during exercise than those with inadequate vitamin C reserves. The link between vitamin C and weight management remains somewhat elusive, but there is a significant relationship.
Low Glycaemic Index
Kiwifruit have a low glycaemic index (GI), which means they’re digested and absorbed into the bloodstream gradually, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Consuming foods with a low GI index is beneficial for health, as a diet rich in low GI foods is more effective in weight management.
On the other hand, a diet with a high glycaemic index increases the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic. A diet with a high glycaemic index increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease because of the repeated stress it puts on insulin-producing cells.
Kiwi is a delicious fruit that is over 90% water. This high level of hydration, combined with the high fibre content, promotes a feeling of fullness with minimal calorie intake. In addition, the extra hydration helps to naturally promote regularity of digestion.
Are There Any Scientific Studies?
Scientific studies suggest that kiwi may help with weight loss. Eating Golden Kiwi reduces body fat and improves blood pressure in overweight adults. Kiwi’s high water and fibre content can help you feel fuller with fewer calories. However, for effective weight loss, kiwi should replace higher calorie, less nutritious foods.
The kiwi is considered to be one of the most nutritious fruits in the world. It’s unusual to find such an array of beneficial elements in a single fruit, while maintaining a minimal calorie count. In particular, the skin (which is edible) of a kiwi contains 15 times more antioxidants than the flesh.
Antioxidants play a vital role in protecting your cells from free radicals. These harmful molecules have been linked to several serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more, as well as contributing to ageing. The kiwi berry is a rich source of
- Dietary fibre
- Vitamins – E, A, C, B
- Minerals – Potassium, Calcium,
- Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Manganese
What’s even more amazing is that this list only covers the nutrients currently known to be found in kiwi. However, there are many aspects of the kiwi’s composition that have yet to be explored. Kiwi may therefore have many undiscovered nutritional benefits. Despite its dense nutrient profile, the kiwi fruit is not high in calories. A single kiwi contains just 60 calories, no fat, 1 gram of protein and plenty of fibre. One kiwi provides almost 10% of the recommended daily intake of fibre.
Kiwi Fruit Nutrition
Kiwis belong to the berry family like strawberrys. New Zealand is the leading producer of kiwi fruit, although it’s also grown in the United States. The two most popular varieties of kiwi fruit are
Golden Kiwi: characterised by a bright yellow seed and smooth brown skin. Its flavour is reminiscent of a mixture of strawberries and mangoes.
Fuzzy Kiwi: has a green interior and a brown, fuzzy exterior. It has a sour and tangy taste, making it the most popular kiwi on the market.
Kiwi berries have gained popularity due to their rapid growth and convenience (the skin is edible!). Kiwi berries are similar in size to a large grape and have a similar nutritional profile to kiwis. They are packed with flavour. As well as being delicious, these kiwifruit varieties offer remarkable health benefits.
Top Ways To Add Kiwi To Your Meals
While there are many ways to incorporate kiwi into different recipes, the most popular method is to eat it raw for a delicious, nutritious treat. First, cut the kiwi in half and use a spoon to scoop out the juicy green flesh. You can also eat the berries with the skin on.
Other great ways to incorporate kiwi into your daily diet include
- Fruit Crumble – Mix kiwi with maple syrup, flour, oat-based muffin mix and a pinch of brown sugar to make a delicious tropical fruit crumble.
- Smoothie – Add kiwi to your morning fruit smoothie for an extra boost of nutrition.
- Parfait – Combine kiwi with Greek yoghurt and top with crunchy granola or nuts for a delicious snack.
- Tropical Salsa – Make a fruity salsa to accompany fish by blending kiwi with mango, red onion, lime juice and fresh coriander.
- Fruit Blends – Add kiwi to your fruit blend to enhance the flavour.
How Much Does Kiwi Cost?
The cost of kiwis varies depending on factors such as location, season, organic status and the store selling them. In general, conventional kiwis in the United States can cost around $0.25-$0.75 each. Organic kiwis may be slightly more expensive. Prices may be lower during peak seasons or in countries where kiwis are grown locally. It’s always best to check local supermarkets or online grocery stores for the most accurate and up-to-date prices.
Kiwi Nutritional Benefits
As well as reducing fat and aiding weight loss, kiwi has many other health benefits:
Common bowel problems are often due to inflammation, inefficient digestion and sluggish bowel movements. Kiwi’s anti-inflammatory properties and high fibre content typically help to reduce digestive problems such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea and bloating. In addition, kiwi is rich in actinidin, an enzyme that efficiently breaks down protein.
A 2019 research article in the Journal of Nutritional Science highlighted the beneficial effects of kiwi on gut health. The study looked at the effects of eating 3 kiwis a day for a month. The results showed that participants who ate kiwi had significantly better stool regularity and less abdominal pain at the end of the study.
Improve Immune Function
Kiwi is rich in vitamin C. This nutrient is essential for several bodily functions, including
- Supporting effective immune function
- Healing wounds
- Tissue development
- Improving iron absorption
- Powerful antioxidant
Importantly, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Therefore, your body absorbs it most efficiently on an empty stomach. For optimal absorption, take vitamin C in the morning, 30 minutes before eating.
It’s well known that eating fruit and vegetables is good for your heart. This is due to the high fibre, low fat and low calorie content of fruit and vegetables compared to many other foods. Adding kiwis to your diet follows the same principle. Research suggests that kiwi may help lower blood pressure and reduce the likelihood of heart disease and stroke.
Recent research has shown that kiwi inhibits an enzyme responsible for raising blood pressure called angiotensin converting enzyme. This action mirrors how an antihypertensive drug (ACE inhibitor) controls high blood pressure.
Potential Adverse Reactions To Kiwi
Although the health risks associated with eating kiwi are usually minor, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of an allergic reaction:
- Inflammation of the mouth, lips or tongue
- Throat irritation or itching
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Stomach pain, cramps or bloating
- Skin irritation such as hives, eczema, or a rash
Many people develop allergies in adolescence or early adulthood, but it is possible to develop them later in life. So there’s always a chance of developing an allergy to kiwi at any stage of life.
Who Should Avoid Eating Kiwi?
People who should avoid eating kiwi include those with a known allergy to kiwi, as it can cause reactions ranging from mild oral allergy symptoms to severe anaphylaxis. People with a latex allergy may also need to avoid kiwi due to the possibility of cross-reactivity. In addition, people with kidney problems or taking blood thinners should consult a healthcare professional before consuming kiwi, as it is high in potassium and may affect blood clotting. Pregnant women and people with gastrointestinal problems should also use caution when consuming kiwi.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any specific kiwi-based diets for weight loss?
There are no specific kiwi-based diets, but incorporating kiwi into a balanced diet can be beneficial due to its nutritional content and low calorie count.
What is the best time to eat kiwi for weight loss?
Eating kiwi as a snack between meals or as part of a balanced breakfast can be beneficial for weight loss, helping to control hunger and provide essential nutrients.
Does the sugar in kiwi hinder weight loss?
While kiwi contains natural sugars, it is not in high amounts. The fiber content in kiwi helps to balance its sugar content, making it suitable for weight loss diets.
Can kiwi smoothies help with weight loss?
Yes, kiwi smoothies can help with weight loss, especially when mixed with other low-calorie, high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
Are green or gold kiwis better for weight loss?
Both green and gold kiwis are beneficial for weight loss. They have similar nutritional profiles, with slight variations in taste and texture.
Consider adding kiwi to your healthy diet, as it is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet and is an important part of your healthy weight loss journey. Not only are kiwis low in calories, but they are also packed with nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants, which can help prevent many diseases.
Not only are these fruits delicious, they are also remarkably easy to incorporate into your daily diet (think delicious fruit salad!). So next time you visit the supermarket, pick up a bunch of kiwis or kiwi berries to reap the benefits. Better still, if your local climate allows, grow a kiwi tree and enjoy picking your own fresh kiwis for free.
- Richardson, D.J., Ansell, J., & Drummond, L. (2018). The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review. European Journal of Nutrition, 57(8), 2659–2676. Read Article.
- Johnston, C.S. (2005). Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss: From Vitamin C to the Glycemic Response. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 24(3), 158–165. Read Article.
- Turati, F., Galeone, C., La Vecchia, C. (2019). Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load and Cancer Risk: An Updated Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 11(10), 2342–2342. Read Article.
- Boland, M.J. (2013). Kiwifruit Proteins and Enzymes. In: Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health (pp. 59–80). Elsevier. Read Article.
- Eady, S.L., Wallace, A., Butts, C.A., Hedderley, D., Drummond, L., Ansell, J., & Gearry, R.B. (2019). The effect of ‘Zesy002’ kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis var. chinensis) on gut health function: a randomised cross-over clinical trial. Journal of Nutritional Science, 8. Read Article.
- Hettihewa, S.K., Hemar, Y., & Rupasinghe, H.P.V. (2018). Flavonoid-Rich Extract of Actinidia macrosperma (A Wild Kiwifruit) Inhibits Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme In Vitro. Foods, 7(9), 146–146. Read Article.
Jayson Peterson is an experienced pharmacist, naturopathic physician, medical examiner, and minister. After earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, Jayson Peterson completed clinical rotations at several prestigious healthcare institutions and has been affiliated with several pharmacy chains throughout his career. His main passion and zeal is focused on providing world-class patient care by giving precise details and thorough instructions to those who need it most.