Can I eat the skin of kiwifruit?
We field this question all the time! Yes, you can eat the skin of a kiwi! Wash it first, like you would any fruit. Our Zespri® SunGold™ Kiwifruit has a fuzz-free, smooth, hairless skin. People don’t think you can eat the skin of green kiwifruit. Its bright green insides might be inviting, but on the outside, it looks fibrous, dull brown, fuzzy, and well… less inviting. Still, we continue to hear from people that they eat the skin of green kiwifruit and like it!
The truth is, consuming the skin of your kiwifruit offers many benefits.
Kiwi Skin is Great for Easy Snacking
A simple way to eat a kiwi is the cut-and-scoop method. Just cut in half with a knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon! Some people prefer to peel the kiwi first and then slice it. But, the easiest way to enjoy your kiwifruit would be to leave the skins on. Simply cut into slices without peeling it or bite into the kiwi like you would eat an apple. You could also throw the whole fruit into a blender. No matter your preference, it’s easy to enjoy kiwifruit!
Kiwi Skin Adds Fiber
Green and the SunGold varieties have both soluble and insoluble fiber – rare for a fruit. Zespri Green has 4 grams of fiber per serving (two kiwifruit) in the flesh. Zespri SunGold has about 2 grams of fiber per serving (two kiwifruit) in the flesh– and 50% more if eaten with the skin. Soluble fiber, when eaten regularly as part of a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat, is associated with better diet quality, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and moderately lower cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber is linked to reduced cardiovascular risk, as well as slower progression of cardiovascular disease in people at higher-risk.
Kiwi Skin Adds Vitamins and Minerals
Eating SunGold skin provides 34% folate and 32% more vitamin E to your diet than eating the flesh alone. Folate is an important micronutrient for all ages but particularly for pregnant women and growing infants. Vitamin C is obtained in very high levels from the flesh of SunGold kiwifruit and when combined with the vitamin E found in the skin, this duo deliver health benefits for your immune system and skin health.
Kiwi Skin and Phenolics
30% of the total phenolics in SunGold come from the skin. Polyphenolics are a group of common phytonutrients found in many fruit and vegetables and they often have health benefits. Polyphenolics are antioxidants and often have immune stimulatory effects. Antioxidants are important in protecting us from the stresses and strains of daily life such as environmental pollutants and the sun’s harmful rays.
Kiwi and Food Allergies
Actinidin, an enzyme unique to kiwifruit, may be responsible for a small number of people who report allergic reactions to kiwis. There is 4 times more actinidin in green kiwis than in our SunGold™ variety. Those that have mild allergies to green kiwifruit typically don’t have the same reaction to SunGold. But if you are allergic to green kiwis, then it’s best to consult your healthcare professional before consuming SunGold Kiwifruit.
Note: For those who do not have adverse reactions to actinidin, this enzyme can aid in digestion because it breaks down proteins after a meal. For the same reason, kiwi makes a great meat tenderizer, too! That’s why kiwis are found in many recipes for marinades.
Skin or No Skin?
If you are looking for added convenience and nutrition, try eating the skin next time. But if that doesn’t tickle your taste buds, there is always the convenient and nutritious method of cutting and scooping with a spoon. So easy too!