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Should You Eat Kiwi Skin?

Updated: Jan 15

Should you Eat Kiwi Skin?
Green Kiwi Popsicles

You already eat a lot of kiwi because it's high in vitamin C. And we learned from Dr. William Li, that it reduces DNA damage by 60%. But are you doing it right? If you're just scooping out the juicy insides and leaving the skin, you might be missing out.

Recent studies have shown that if you can hack a little bit of fuzz and eat the skin along with it, you'll get a much bigger nutritional benefit. That's because there are more antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids on the peels than in the inside. This was confirmed by a 2019 study, and reiterated by a 2023 feature by the Cleveland Clinic.

Some cultivars have even been bread to have less prickly fur to make eating them whole easier and more appealing. Gold kiwis have thinner, less fuzzy skin. If a whole kiwi just sounds like a bit much, add it to your smoothie. Or, prepare them the way we do: cut into slices with the knobby ends cut off. This spares your tongue from a direct hit from the skin.

  • If you are eating the skin, be sure to wash the outsides well and always go for organic kiwis to avoid pesticides.

  • An enzyme in the skin called actinides helps break down protein and is good for digestion, making it an ideal dessert.

  • The soluble fiber creates a gel that cleans the colon and picks up toxic waste in the digestive tract.

  • Kiwis have high levels of PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) a compound that helps produce new mitochondria.

But as in all things there are a few cons to eating the entire kiwi, skin and all. The first is that it is more likely to cause allergic reactions. The second is that kiwi skin is higher in oxalates than the flesh. The skin of green kiwi has 36mg of oxalate while the bulb only has 15mg. So, if you are prone to kidney stones, generally don't drink enough water, or regularly eat a lot of high oxalate foods, like spinach and rubarb, you might want to just keep eating only the insides!

Kiwi: 45 calories

ORAC Value*: 602 (green) 1210 (gold)

Vitamin C: 70 - 150 mg

Potassium: 230 mg

Calcium: 25 mg

Sugars: 6 g

Vitamin E: 30% more with skin

Polyphenols: 30% more with skin

Folate: 34% more with skin

*ORAC is the Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity. This is a measurement of the antioxidant value of foods.


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