Kiwifruit: Nutrition Facts

And Their Health Benefits

kiwi nutrition facts and health benefits

Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Kiwis, sometimes referred to as kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberries, are small oval-shaped fruits, with a thin furry brown skin. Their flesh is bright green, with a white core surrounded by black seeds.

California produces 98 percent of the kiwi available in the United States with peak harvesting season in the fall, from October through May. However, you'll often find kiwi available all year long, due to the spring harvest in New Zealand and Chili.

Kiwifruit Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 medium fruit (69 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 42 
Calories from Fat 3 
Total Fat 0.4g1%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 215mg6%
Carbohydrates 10.1g3%
Dietary Fiber 2.1g8%
Sugars 6.2g 
Protein 0.8g 
Vitamin A 1% · Vitamin C 107%
Calcium 2% · Iron 1%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Kiwifruit is low in calories, sugar, and fat. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One kiwifruit contains a mere 42 calories (less than a typical fruit serving) and packs in 2 g of fiber and a day's worth of vitamin C.

Health Benefits

Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, proven to boost the immune system, fight effects of stress and aging, and aid in wound healing. One kiwifruit contains about as much vitamin C as six ounces of orange juice.

Kiwis are also a good source of potassium, containing more than a banana.

Potassium is an important mineral in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. Studies have shown that those people with high intakes of potassium tend to have lower blood pressure.

In addition, kiwis are a good source of filling fiber which can help to promote bowel health and reduce bad cholesterol.

Studies have shown that people who eat fiber-rich diets are at healthier weights and have a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Kiwis also contain ample amounts of folate and zinc. They contain phytonutrients, such as lutein, which is important for eye health and may help to protect our cells from damage. Lastly, kiwifruit is a very good source of vitamin K, and a good source of potassium, and copper.

Common Questions

Can you eat the kiwi skin?

Yes. Believe it or not, the skin of a kiwifruit is completely edible. In fact, according to the California Kiwifruit Commission, eating the skin preserves the vitamin C and fiber content, tripling the fiber content. Like all other fruits and vegetables, be sure to always wash it before consumption. Adequate washing can help to reduce bacteria and pesticide residue.

Can you cook with kiwis?

You can cook with kiwi, but, heat can cause the kiwis to fall apart, therefore most chefs suggest you avoid cooking with it.

Selection and Storage

Inspect the fruit for blemishes—avoid those that appear to be damaged. And don't worry about the size of the fruit, the smaller kiwifruit is just as good as the larger ones.

Next, hold the kiwi. Press the outside gently with your thumb.

If it is very hard and doesn't give to slight pressure, it is not ripe. Kiwis that are not ripe can ripen more quickly if you place them in a vented plastic bag with an apple or banana. Leave it on the counter for a day or two and it should ripen.

When it comes to storing, kiwis will keep for several days at room temperature and up to four weeks in your refrigerator.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Kiwifruit

Kiwis are best when used raw, peeled (or unpeeled) and eaten out of hand or sliced for fruit salads (try this scallop, mango, and kiwi Salad) and garnish. They can be used in making smoothies, sauces, and mousses and contain an enzyme (actinidin) which has a tenderizing effect on meat, making them a good marinade (give it a try with this recipe for kiwifruit turkey roast or this recipe for kiwi teriyaki steak).

Their beautiful green color also brightens plates, making it useful in spicing up a foods presentation.

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Article Sources
  • California kiwifruit. Storing kiwifruit.
  • Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 804.