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Is it better to eat kiwi skin on or off?

Kiwis are a nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed either with or without the skin. Some people prefer to peel the brown, fuzzy skin before eating the vibrant green flesh inside. Others opt to consume the whole kiwi – skin and all. So which is better in terms of nutrition and taste – eating kiwi skin on or off?

Nutritional Differences

There are some nutritional differences between eating just the kiwi flesh compared to eating the skin as well. Here is an overview of the nutrients in kiwi with and without skin:

Nutrient Kiwi Flesh Only Kiwi with Skin
Calories 42 per 100g 61 per 100g
Fiber 1.4g per 100g 3g per 100g
Vitamin C 85mg per 100g 93mg per 100g
Vitamin K 40mcg per 100g 40mcg per 100g
Potassium 312mg per 100g 312mg per 100g

As you can see, leaving the skin on increases the fiber content significantly without adding many additional calories. The skin also provides a small boost to vitamin C. Other nutrients like vitamin K and potassium remain constant whether you eat the skin or not.

Fiber Benefits

The main advantage of eating kiwi skin is the extra fiber it provides. Fiber is an important nutrient that can provide the following benefits:

  • Improves digestive health – Fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food move through the digestive tract more easily. This can relieve constipation.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar – Soluble fiber in particular helps slow the absorption of sugars, preventing spikes and crashes in blood glucose.
  • Lowers cholesterol – Fiber binds to cholesterol in the gut and eliminates it from the body before it can be absorbed.
  • Aids weight loss – High fiber foods like kiwi skin help you feel fuller. This can decrease calorie intake and promote weight loss.

Adults should aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day, but most only get about half that amount. Eating kiwi skin can help boost your daily fiber intake.

Vitamin C Benefits

Eating kiwi skin also bumps up the vitamin C content. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that offers these advantages:

  • Strengthens the immune system – Vitamin C supports production of white blood cells, helping you fight illness and infection.
  • Protects cells from damage – As an antioxidant, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals that can harm cells and lead to chronic disease.
  • Supports collagen production – Vitamin C is required to make collagen, the most abundant protein in skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Helps absorb iron – Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, an important mineral needed to transport oxygen in the blood.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75-90mg. Consuming kiwi skin provides a nice dose of this key nutrient.

Potential Drawbacks of Kiwi Skin

While kiwi skin does provide extra nutrition, there are some potential downsides to be aware of as well:

  • Pesticide residue – Kiwi skin is more likely to harbor pesticide residues compared to the flesh. Make sure to wash thoroughly before eating if consuming the skin.
  • Allergies – The fuzz on the skin contains irritating calcium oxalate crystals. This may trigger reactions in those with sensitivities.
  • Digestive issues – Due to the fibrous texture, kiwi skin may cause some mild digestive upset like gas or bloating when eaten.
  • Unpleasant taste – Some find the flavor of kiwi skin to be unpleasantly bitter and astringent.

If you have sensitivities or find the texture unappetizing, feel free to peel your kiwis before eating. But if you can tolerate the skin, keep it on for the added nutrition.

Tips for Eating Kiwi Skin

If you want to give kiwi skin a try, here are some tips for making it more palatable:

  • Wash thoroughly – Give the kiwi a good scrub under running water while gently brushing the skin with your fingers to remove dirt, chemicals, and fuzz.
  • Consider organic – Choose organic kiwis when possible to minimize pesticide residues on the skin.
  • Slice thinly – Cutting the kiwi into thin slices can minimize the fibrous texture of the skin.
  • Eat chilled – Letting sliced kiwi cool in the refrigerator before eating helps balance the tart flavor.
  • Pair with yogurt – Topping sliced kiwi with creamy yogurt helps counter the acidic taste of the skin.
  • Drink fluids – Sipping water while you eat kiwi skin can help it go down smoothly.

Starting slow with very thin slices and combining with more palatable textures can help you get accustomed to the additional mouthfeel of eating the skin.

The Bottom Line

Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of eating kiwi skin:

Pros:

  • Provides more fiber
  • Increases vitamin C intake
  • Delivers more nutrients with minimal extra calories
  • No need to peel, saving prep time

Cons:

  • May harbor more pesticide residue
  • Can trigger digestive issues for some
  • Fuzzy texture and taste may be unpleasant

Overall, leaving the skin on provides extra nutrition and convenience. If you don’t mind the texture and taste, consuming kiwi skin can be a healthy choice. But peeling it remains fine too if you find the skin unappetizing. Listen to your preferences and needs to decide if you prefer to eat your kiwis nude or suits-on!