Is it safe to eat kiwi skin with hair?

Kiwis are a nutritious fruit packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and potassium. While the green flesh is the most commonly eaten part, the fuzzy brown skin and tiny black seeds are also edible. Some people prefer to peel the skin before eating kiwis, while others like to consume the whole fruit, skin and all. But is it actually safe to eat kiwi peel with the hair intact? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

Nutritional Benefits of Eating Kiwi Skin

The skin of the kiwi contains high amounts of fiber, flavonoids, and vitamins compared to the flesh. Ounce for ounce, kiwi peel contains nearly 5 times the fiber, 2 times the vitamin E, and 50% higher vitamin C content than the flesh alone. The skin also provides polyphenols and carotenoids, plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

By eating the peel, you can increase your intake of nutrients and fiber. The extra fiber in the skin can also promote feelings of fullness and healthy digestion. This may aid in weight management and gut health.

Potential Downsides of Eating Kiwi Skin

The fuzzy exterior of the kiwi skin may be unappealing to eat for texture reasons. Some people find the thin hairs unpleasant or difficult to chew. The oxalate content is also higher in the skin, which may be problematic for those prone to kidney stones.

Kiwi peel contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause mouth irritation or a scratchy feeling in sensitive individuals. The skin is also more likely to contain pesticide residues compared to the flesh. Make sure to wash kiwis thoroughly before consuming the skin.

Some people may experience an oral allergy syndrome after eating kiwi skin. The symptoms include itching, swelling, or irritation of the lips, tongue, and throat. If you have any reactions after eating kiwi peel, discontinue consumption.

Tips for Eating Kiwi Skin

If you want to consume kiwi peel, here are some tips to make it more palatable and safe:

  • Wash the kiwi thoroughly under cool running water while rubbing the skin to remove dirt, chemicals, and microbes.
  • Trim the ends and cut the kiwi in half crosswise before scooping out the inside flesh with a spoon.
  • Slice the halves into wedges or pieces to make the fuzzy skin easier to chew.
  • Add the kiwi pieces to smoothies for a nutritional boost.
  • Blend pieces of the kiwi peel into juices, salsas, sauces, or dips.
  • Candied kiwi slices with the skin intact make a tasty, fiber-filled snack.

Nutrition Comparison of Kiwi Flesh vs. Skin

Here is a nutrition comparison of 1 ounce (28g) of kiwi flesh versus skin:

Nutrient Kiwi Flesh Kiwi Skin
Calories 23 21
Fiber 0.7g 3.4g
Vitamin C 12.7mg (21% DV) 19.1mg (32% DV)
Vitamin E 0.1mg (1% DV) 0.2mg (2% DV)
Vitamin K 7.8mcg (10% DV) 8.9mcg (11% DV)

DV = Daily Value

Risks for Sensitive Groups

While most people can safely consume kiwi peel, those with the following conditions may want to avoid it:

  • Oral allergy syndrome – Allergic reactions like itching, swelling, and irritation affecting the mouth, lips, or throat.
  • Kidney stones – The oxalates in kiwi skin may contribute to kidney stone formation in prone individuals.
  • Irritable bowel disease – The skin’s fiber content may exacerbate IBD symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain.
  • Difficulty swallowing – The texture and hairiness of the peel may make it hard to swallow for some.

Pregnant women may also want to exercise caution, as the pesticide load may be higher in the peel. Consult a doctor if you have any concerns or experience reactions from eating kiwi skin.

Final Verdict

Based on the nutritional profile and potential benefits, eating kiwi peel appears safe for most healthy adults and children over the age of four. However, some preparation is required to make the skin palatable, and allergic individuals or those prone to kidney stones should exercise caution.

While the flesh remains the most popular edible part of the kiwi, consuming the fuzzy outer skin can provide extra fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to reap the nutritional rewards of kiwi peel without the texture, try blending it into smoothies or juices. With proper washing and preparation, eating kiwi skin can be an easy way to increase your daily nutrient and fiber intake.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *