Food Fact Kiwifruit: Vitamin C, E, & Protection Against Asthma


Kiwis are excellent sources of vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. They are rich in phytonutrients that appear to protect human DNA from free-radical damage. They are also a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorous.

Protection Against Asthma

The protective properties of kiwi have been demonstrated in a study with 6- and 7-year-old children in northern and central Italy. The more kiwi or citrus fruit these children consumed, the less likely they were to have respiratory-related health problems including wheezing, shortness of breath, or night coughing. These same antioxidant protective properties may have been involved in providing protection for these children.

Eating vitamin C-rich fruit such as kiwi may confer a significant protective effect against respiratory symptoms associated with asthma such as wheezing.

A study published in Thoraxthat followed over 18,000 children aged 6-7 years living in Central and Northern Italy found that those eating the most citrus and kiwifruit (5-7 servings per week) had 44% less incidence of wheezing compared to children eating the least (less than once a week). Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%, severe wheeze by 41%, night time cough by 27%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%.

Children who had asthma when the study began appeared to benefit the most, and protective effects were evident even among children who ate fruit only once or twice a week.

Incorporate more kiwis in your children’s diet and it will benefit them in the long run.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

  • Kiwifruit are so delicious, they can be eaten as is. One of our favorite ways to do so is to peel with a paring knife and slice.
  • Add kiwifruit to tossed green salads.
  • Serve sliced kiwifruit and strawberries, fruits whose flavors are naturally complementary, topped with yogurt.
  • Mix sliced kiwifruit, orange and pineapple together to make chutney that can be served as an accompaniment to chicken or fish.
  • Blend kiwifruit and cantaloupe in a food processor to make a chilled soup. For a creamier consistency, blend yogurt in with the fruit mixture.
  • Kiwifruit have a wonderful flavor and appearance for use in fruit tarts.


  1. Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A, et al. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Lancet. 2001 Mar 3;357(9257):657-63. 2001.
  2. Kurl S, Tuomainen TP, Laukkanen JA et al. Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke. Stroke 2002 Jun;33(6):1568-73. 2002.
  3. Maillar C. [The kiwi, rich in vitamins C and E and also in potassium]. Servir 1998 May-1998 Jun 30;46(3):160. 1998. PMID:13380.
  4. Sommerburg O, Keunen JE, Bird AC, van Kuijk FJ. Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Br J Ophthalmol 1998 Aug;82(8):907-10. 1998. PMID:13370.
  5. Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.

2 thoughts on “Food Fact Kiwifruit: Vitamin C, E, & Protection Against Asthma

  1. Hi Strong Jane, can you send me the link to that study with the “70 Chubby Western Kids” you mentioned in your comment? I strongly believe in healthy diets and exercise. They both go hand in hand! American’s are statically overweight, the whole world knows it at this point in time. I don’t know of a healthy diet that makes people gain weight overtime so I’m very interested in reading that study. I appreciate your comment!


  2. Pingback: Dark Greens | OrganicREADY

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