Compared to more popular fruits—like berries, apples, and bananas—kiwis are likely not high on your list of groceries to snag during the week. However, when considering the incredible health benefits eating a kiwi can do for your body, you may want to reconsider adding them to your cart.
“Kiwis are also low in calories, making it a perfect snack or dessert option,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDNauthor of Finally Full, Finally Slim and a member of our medical expert board.
Along with being a sweet treat that’s also low in calories, kiwis can benefit your body’s health goals in numerous ways. Here’s why you should toss in a few kiwis into your basket next time you’re at the store, and for even more healthy fruit tips, here are 5 Best Fruits to Help Lower Cholesterol.
Antioxidants play an essential role in fighting off the free radicals in your body, which are caused by oxidative stress and increase your risk of developing chronic diseases. Foods rich in antioxidants are essential for protecting your body and keeping it healthy.
Kiwis are a rich source of vitamin C, choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all types of antioxidants known for warding off free radicals.
“Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, this yummy green fruit can support heart health, digestion, immune health, and even sleep,” says Young.
Vitamin C is one particular antioxidant kiwis are rich in, with a whopping 64 micrograms per one tiny fruit. Slice up two kiwis and you’ll have more than enough vitamin C for the day.
“Kiwi contains more than 200% of the daily value for the antioxidant vitamin C making it a perfect food for immune health,” says Young.
Vitamin C is essential not only for its antioxidant properties, but this water-soluble vitamin is important for improving your immunity and even your skin.
Along with the high antioxidant content, kiwis are also a rich source of fiber—which is important not only for your digestive health, but also protecting your liver, lowering your blood sugar and blood pressure, and even weight management.
“The fiber in kiwi makes it a good addition to promote heart health, digestive health, and prevent constipation,” says Young.
A single kiwi contains 2 grams of fiber, which is 6% to 8% of the amount you need in a day. According to the American Heart Association, getting at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day is essential for good health and reducing your risk of disease.
Young also points out that kiwis are also known for their high folate content. Folate is a B vitamin that is an essential nutrient involved in protein metabolism and for producing red blood cells during growth, which is especially important for women who are pregnant (they need more folate than normal at 600 micrograms). One kiwi contains 17 micrograms of folate, so slice up a few to get closer to your daily value for the day.
Slice up some kiwi to sprinkle on some yogurt, or even enjoy it in a fruit salad or a simple side with a sandwich to get in your folate, fiber, and vitamin C for the day.
READ MORE: The #1 Best Fruit To Keep Your Brain Sharp, Says Dietitian
Kiersten Hickman is a Deputy Editor at Eat This, Not That!, with a main focus on food coverage, nutrition, and recipe development. Read more