Ask The Pharmacist: 7 medical benefits of kiwi fruit

Suzy Cohen
KRT FOOD STORY SLUGGED: POWERFOODS KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY BOB FILA/CHICAGO TRIBUNE (KRT114-March 9) Eating better doesn't have to boring or painful. People can devise a more positive diet by adding foods rather than subtracting them. For instance add kiwi to breakfast. Kiwi has the most vitamin C of any fruit. (TB) PL (smd52137) 1998 (COLOR)


Kiwi is among my favorite fruits of all time. It’s also known as “Chinese Gooseberry.” The little black seeds in kiwi do more than just get stuck in your teeth. They give you a small amount of healthy omega three fatty acids. An average kiwi has about 30 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid. Kiwi is a great source of natural vitamin C and A. It is a good source of natural folate, thiamin and riboflavin.

Kiwi also offers some vitamin K (phylloquinone) and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. In this regard, it’s great for blood pressure and bones! The fleshy part green part gives you an added bonus of fiber which promotes smooth traffic through your colon (regularity) and simulate healthy probiotic growth.

Green and gold kiwi fruits 
courtesy:  Zespri/New Zealand kiwifruit
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – Kiwi has compounds in it that reduce activation of intestinal cells which ruin your gut. This reduces inflammation in the gut.
  • Asthma and wheezing – Kiwi is rich in all kinds of antioxidants especially vitamin C which promotes collagen, and that promotes healthy breathing. There was a study published in Thorax that evaluated children and asthma symptoms. The kiwi-consuming group had less wheezing and noticed fewer nocturnal coughing fits.
  • Depression and PMS melancholy – Some foods are naturally high in serotonin and tomatoes are one of them. Kiwis have twice as much serotonin as tomatoes. Serotonin is a “happy” brain chemical that lifts mood, induces relaxation and boosts self esteem. People who are aggressive or hostile, or live in “fight” mode might be low in serotonin. I have a longer version of this article at my website in case you want more details. Eating kiwis can essentially make a person feel more content because it acts as a natural fruit anti-depressant!
  • Sleep – Serotonin converts in the body to melatonin, a sleep hormone. So eating kiwis should help you fall asleep faster, and sleep a little bit longer.  Eat one or two right after dinner. 
  • Your eyes – Natural antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin are needed to support vision. Kiwi contains these special eye-loving nutrients. If you’re suffering with glaucoma or cataracts, why not eat a kiwi today each day as part of your diet. 
  • Respiratory infections – There was some research published in Advances in Food and Nutrition Research in 2013. Compounds in kiwi were found to modulate the immune response making it a great fruit to eat if you have suppressed immunity or chronic sinus/lung infections.
  • Anemia – If you’re iron deficient and supplementing with iron tablets, you can boost the amount of iron your body takes up with vitamin C containing fruits such as kiwi or orange juice.

Kiwi is a refreshing fruit that has many medical benefits. Just be aware that you might be allergic to kiwi if you’re allergic to peanuts. There is a cross-sensitivity with tree nuts and kiwi. If you’ve never had it before, be sure to peel the fuzzy skin off before eating it. 

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit