The kiwifruit typically brings up images of the standard green kiwi, with its fuzzy, brown outer layer. But did you know that kiwis also come in a sun-golden color? In fact, there's even a type of kiwi that's colored red on the inside, although it is much less common than the green and gold types. Kiwis are recommended at the start of cold and flu season because they are packed with vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and helps the body defend against disease and illness. However, kiwis can do much more: studies have shown that kiwis can help reduce risk factors for common cardiovascular conditions, and they also contain healthy fiber that supports digestive and metabolic health. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of kiwifruits (both green and gold), and learn why these ingredients were selected for Eden's 3-in-1 Synbiotic Supplement.
Green and gold kiwifruits: nutritional powerhouses
These two kiwifruits have similar nutritional health benefits, but subtle differences in their appearance and nutritional profiles. Aside from the obvious difference in color, green and gold kiwifruits diverge in taste and their physical exteriors. Green kiwifruit tends to be more tart and is enveloped by the brown, fuzzy, and fibrous skin that kiwis are known for. Gold kiwifruit has a sweeter taste with similar brown exterior skin, minus the fuzzy texture.
Both green and gold kiwifruits are packed with vitamin C and healthy amounts of fiber and potassium. However, gold kiwis contain more vitamin C than green kiwis, and green kiwis have less sugar and more fiber than gold kiwis. Typically, growing conditions, growing locations, fertilization patterns, harvest times, and storage systems can affect the nutritional values of the kiwis. Here’s how their nutritional profiles stack up, such as how many calories in a kiwifruit:
1 x Green Kiwi (approximately 75 g):
Fat: 0.4g (0% DV)
Cholesterol: 0g (0% DV)
Carbohydrates: 10.1g (4% DV)
Sugar: 6.7g (13% DV)
Fiber: 3g (11% DV)
Protein: 0.8g (2% DV)
Vitamin C: 56mg (62% DV)
Potassium: 148mg (3% DV)
1 x Zespri Sungold Kiwi:
Fat: 0.2g (0% DV)
Cholesterol: 0g (0% DV)
Carbohydrates: 12.8g (5% DV)
Sugar: 10g (20% DV)
Fiber: 1.4g (5% DV)
Protein: 0.8g (2% DV)
Vitamin C: 130.7mg (145% DV)
Potassium: 255.2mg (5% DV)
Most notable are their vitamin C contents. Even one green kiwifruit (which has less vitamin C than its golden counterpart) provides over half the daily recommended value of vitamin C. In fact, one green kiwifruit has more vitamin C than a whole orange. It’s no wonder why people reach for kiwis at the slightest symptom of a cold or flu. Green kiwis are in season and available all year round, whereas gold kiwis are in season during the warmer months.
Health benefits of kiwifruits
1. Boosts immune system
As mentioned, vitamin C supports the immune system and helps the body fend off illness or disease. This protective ability is due to the vitamin's antioxidant nature (which defends cells against free radical activity in the body and potential cellular damage) as well as its role in collagen production and iron absorption. Vitamin C helps to produce collagen, a protein that facilitates wound healing; and it improves the body's absorption of iron, a mineral vital to growth and development that is closely linked to immune health. Comparing vitamin C content, both green and gold kiwis rank amongst the top of a list of commonly consumed fruits, well ahead of papayas, strawberries, oranges, and pineapples. (Kiwis contain almost twice, if not three times, the amount of vitamin C as the rest of these fruits.)
2. Promotes digestive health
If you're accustomed to eating kiwis without the skin, you may want to consider otherwise. The outer skin of a kiwi contains much of the fiber found in the fruit. In fact, eating kiwifruit with the skin on increases the fiber content by 50%. Fiber is a vital component of a healthy gut microbiome, and kiwis are a great source of it. Fiber feeds healthy gut bacteria, helping them to grow and diversify, which leads to a more balanced and healthy gut microbiome — and ultimately to improved digestive health. Fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, also moves waste through the body, which helps prevent constipation, keeps you more regular, and improves the health of your bowels.
Another way that kiwis benefit digestive health is through the active enzymes found in the fruit. Green and gold kiwifruit contain a particular proteolytic enzyme (an enzyme produced by the pancreas to break down protein from your food into smaller amino acids) known as actinidin. Studies have shown that actinidin supports upper-tract (gastric) digestion of certain food proteins, especially dairy and animal meat proteins, and increases the rate at which the stomach empties. The quicker rate of digestion may help relieve any gastric discomfort or feelings of bloatedness after eating a protein-heavy meal. Green kiwis contain a greater concentration of the actinidin enzyme than gold kiwis, but this enzyme is also available as a concentrated powder, Actazin, that retains the nutritional benefits of kiwifruit. Actazin is one of the kiwifruit extracts contained in Eden’s 3-in-1 Synbiotic Supplement.
3. Supports heart health
Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that contributes to greater cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure. Potassium affects blood pressure levels by helping the kidneys excrete excess sodium (which contributes to high blood pressure and hypertension) through urine. By reducing high blood pressure levels and easing the tension in blood vessels, potassium also helps preserve the health of blood vessel walls.
One kiwifruit provides 3-5% of the daily recommended value of potassium. While this level is not as high as it is in potatoes or beans, kiwifruit are nonetheless an excellent source of potassium and have been shown to effectively reduce blood pressure. In this randomized, controlled study, kiwis (at least three fruits per day) were found, over the course of eight weeks, to lower blood pressure levels in participants with moderately elevated blood pressure. In another study, eating at least three kiwifruits per day reduced platelet aggregation by 15%. Excess platelet aggregation can cause heart attack, stroke, or other more serious health conditions that affect blood vessels and essential organs, such as the lungs.
Kiwis may also support heart health by helping to reduce and manage cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A recent animal study on the beneficial impact of golden kiwifruits (and its peels) on healthy rats found that consumption of two golden kiwifruits (with the skin), over four weeks, reduced total cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL-C). The same study also revealed a positive effect on gut bacteria and diversity in the gut microbiome, which ultimately supports heart health. The ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes — a potential biomarker of obesity, gut dysbiosis, and subsequent health conditions — was reduced from 3.04 to 1.34.
Incorporating kiwifruits into your diet
In the United States, kiwis are in-season during the fall and winter (from September/October to March/April). Depending on how the kiwis are stored, the in-season period may be longer.
You can generally tell when a kiwi is ripe by gently squeezing the fruit: a softer kiwi means that the kiwi is ready to be used. You may want to avoid kiwis with discolored or mushy spots, as that may indicate an over-ripe kiwi or even a spoiled kiwi. To incorporate whole kiwifruits into your diet, you can use them in fruit bowls, smoothies, or on your pastries or desserts.
3-in-1 Synbiotic Superblend
Kiwifruit extracts in supplement form
Another way to take advantage of the health benefits of kiwifruit is to consume concentrated kiwifruit extracts, which are contained in Eden's 3-in-1 Synbiotic Supplement. Eden's contains potent extracts from green kiwis (Actazin) and gold kiwis (Livaux), which support greater gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria — specifically, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, known as F. prau, a butyrate-producing bacteria associated with increased mucus production and gut barrier function, as well as reduced inflammation. The kiwifruit extracts have also been shown to improve bowel function. Eden’s 3-in-1 also contains a host of prebiotics, probiotics, and other polyphenols that ultimately support greater gut and metabolic health.
Available in both the sun-gold and the standard green variety, kiwifruits make great fruits to incorporate into your daily diet. Jam-packed with vitamin C, and a rich source of fiber and potassium, kiwis support greater immune health, greater digestive health, and improved heart health. Kiwis are best consumed when they are in season, which falls during the colder months in the United States. However, you can also enjoy the health benefits of kiwis by consuming kiwifruit extracts, which retain as much nutritional value from the fresh fruit as possible; and, of course, supplements are accessible all year round. Take advantage of nutritional kiwifruit extracts that benefit gut and digestive health in Eden's 3-in-1 Synbiotic Supplement.