Why you shouldn’t eat kiwi skin?

Kiwis are a nutritious fruit that are enjoyed around the world. However, many people wonder if it’s safe or healthy to eat the fuzzy brown skin along with the green flesh. There are pros and cons to eating kiwi skin that are important to understand.

Is Kiwi Skin Edible?

Kiwi skin is entirely edible and can be consumed safely. The skin contains high amounts of fiber, flavonoids, and other nutrients that may provide health benefits. However, the texture and taste of the skin make it unappealing to many people. The fuzzy hair-like fibers are quite tough and difficult to chew. The skin also has an acidic, bitter taste that people find unpalatable. So while kiwi skin is technically edible, most people opt to peel the skin before eating the fruit.

Nutrition Facts of Kiwi Skin

Kiwi skin contains a range of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds:


Kiwi skin contains a high amount of fiber – around 20% of the recommended daily intake per 100g. Fiber supports digestive health and makes you feel fuller for longer after a meal.

Vitamin C

Kiwi skin is very high in vitamin C with about 230% of your recommended daily intake in 100g. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to boost immunity and support collagen production.

Vitamin E

A good source of vitamin E is found in kiwi skin, which acts as an antioxidant that may protect cells from damage.


Important for cell function and tissue growth, kiwi skin provides approximately 15% of your daily folate needs in 100g.


This protein-digesting enzyme is found heavily concentrated in kiwi skin. It can help improve digestion of protein-rich foods.


Kiwi skin contains beneficial plant compounds called flavonoids, including quercetin, catechin, epicatechin, and rutin. Flavonoids function as antioxidants and may help prevent chronic diseases.

Potential Benefits of Eating Kiwi Skin

Due to its dense nutrient content, eating kiwi skin could provide the following health perks:

Supports digestion

The high fiber and actinidin enzyme levels in kiwi skin can support healthy digestion and improve gut function. Fiber bulks up stool to relieve constipation, while actinidin aids in breaking down dietary proteins.

Boosts immunity

With powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, kiwi skin can help strengthen your immune system and fight sickness. These compounds help neutralize free radicals that could otherwise damage cells.

Aids heart health

Kiwi skin provides nutrients linked to better cardiovascular health. The fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium in kiwi skin can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and stroke risk.

May prevent diabetes

Some studies have found the fiber and polyphenols in kiwi fruit skin could help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent spikes after meals. This effect could lower diabetes risk over time.

Supports skin health

Kiwi skin’s vitamin E content may help nurture healthy, youthful skin. Vitamin E is often used topically as an antioxidant to protect skin cell membranes from sun damage.

Could prevent cancer

Antioxidants like vitamin C and polyphenols found abundantly in kiwi skin demonstrate anti-cancer activities in research. They may help prevent DNA mutations that could lead to cancer growth.

May reduce inflammation

Chronic inflammation is linked to diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions. The flavonoids in kiwi skin exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that could ease system-wide inflammation.

Downsides of Eating Kiwi Skin

While kiwi skin does provide some nutritional and health upsides, there are also a few drawbacks to consider:

Allergy risk

The fibers and hairs in kiwi skin could trigger an oral allergy syndrome in those with sensitivities, causing itchiness, swelling, or irritation around the mouth.

Pesticide exposure

Kiwi skin is more likely to retain pesticide residues compared to the fruit flesh. This is because most pesticides adhere to the skin outer layer.

Textural issues

The fuzzy hairy texture and tough skin is unappealing or difficult to chew for many people, especially kids or those with dental issues.

Bitter taste

Some find the bitter, acidic taste of kiwi skin to be unpalatable and dislikable. Most prefer the sweetness of just the kiwi flesh.

Lower nutrient absorption

The oxalates and tannins in kiwi skin may bind to nutrients like calcium, iron, and zinc, preventing maximum absorption of these minerals.

Contamination risk

Kiwi skin has a higher risk of contamination from dirt, bacteria, chemicals, or handling during growth, shipping, and storage. This makes food poisoning more likely.

Tips for Eating Kiwi Skin

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

Wash thoroughly

Always scrub the kiwi skin under cool running water and pat dry to remove dirt, debris, and possible contaminants.

Remove ends

Slice off the very top and bottom ends of the kiwi where the skin is thicker and hairier to remove the most fibrous parts.

Peel thinly

Use a vegetable peeler to shave off just the outermost layer of skin if the full skin is too fuzzy or tough for you. This removes some fiber but retains nutrients.

Puree in smoothies

Add kiwi skin to your favorite smoothie recipe and blend until smooth to easily consume skin benefits. The kiwi flesh masks the bitterness.

Quick pickle

For a tangy garnish, try quickly pickling thin slices of kiwi skin in rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. Rinse and pat dry before use.

Dehydrate into chips

For a crispy, nutritious snack, dehydrate thin slices of kiwi skin in a food dehydrator or low oven until fully dried and crunchy.

Juice it

Adding kiwi skin into your vegetable or fruit juices lets you obtain its nutrients in a drinkable form without the texture issues.

Candied kiwi skin

Boil peeled kiwi skins until tender, then toss in sugar syrup to candy them for an antioxidant-rich dessert topping.

Potential Side Effects and Risks

For most people, eating kiwi skin is safe and may provide additional fiber, nutrients, enzymes, and plant compounds. However, potential side effects can include:

– Oral allergy syndrome symptoms like itching, swelling, or tingling around the lips, tongue, mouth, and throat. Those allergic to latex, avocados, bananas, chestnuts, or papayas are more likely to react.

– Choking hazard from the skin’s tough, fibrous texture, especially for young children with developing chewing and swallowing abilities. Close adult supervision is recommended.

– Skin irritation, rashes, or contact dermatitis from direct handling of the fuzzy kiwi skin, due to the fruit acids and enzymes. Reactions are more common if skin is already inflamed or cracked.

– Digestive issues like increased gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhea from the added insoluble fiber load of kiwi skin, especially if increasing intake too quickly without building tolerance.

– Nutrient malabsorption of minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc due to oxalates and tannins in the skin binding to them.

– Pesticide exposure and contamination from chemicals concentrated on the skin outer layer rather than the flesh. Certified organic kiwi may have lower contamination risks.

– Foodborne illness from bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella picked up on the skin from handling during picking, processing, shipping or storage.

To minimize risks, start slowly when adding kiwi skin to your diet and monitor for any adverse reactions. Introduce a small amount at a time and gradually increase as tolerated. As with any new food, consult your healthcare provider about potential effects on any underlying medical conditions or medications.

Who Should Avoid Eating Kiwi Skin?

Certain individuals are better off avoiding kiwi skin consumption:

– Infants or young toddlers under 2 years old, due to choking hazards.

– Those with oral allergy syndrome or allergies to latex, banana, avocado, chestnut, papaya, or other foods.

– People with irritable bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, since the high insoluble fiber content in skin could exacerbate gut inflammation and related symptoms.

– Individuals taking medications that interact with vitamin K, like blood thinners. Kiwi skin is high in vitamin K1 which plays a role in blood clotting.

– Anyone with dysphagia or trouble swallowing, since the thick skin could further complicate swallowing and present a choking risk.

– People with diverticulitis, as tiny seeds in the skin could get trapped in diverticula and cause infection or inflammation.

– Those following low fiber diets, such as for medical needs like a bowel obstruction or recent colon surgery.

– Anyone with diabetes or blood sugar regulation issues, since kiwi fruit can impact glycemic control. Monitoring carbohydrate counts is recommended.

If in doubt, talk to your doctor before adding kiwi skin to your regular diet, especially if you have an underlying health condition or food allergy concerns.


Kiwi skin is edible and contains beneficial nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and antioxidant plant compounds. Eating the skin could aid digestion, immunity, heart health, blood sugar regulation, and inflammation. However, some find the hairy texture unappetizing and the taste bitter or acidic. Kiwi skin also harbors pesticide residues and contamination risks. While most people can safely consume kiwi skin in moderation, those with allergies, swallowing disorders, IBD, or diabetes should exercise caution and avoid intake. Starting slowly and monitoring for any adverse reactions is advised when introducing kiwi skin into your diet.

Pros of Eating Kiwi Skin Cons of Eating Kiwi Skin
  • High in fiber
  • Rich in vitamin C
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Good source of folate
  • Provides flavonoids
  • Supports digestion
  • Boosts immunity
  • Allergy risk
  • Pesticide residues
  • Unappetizing texture
  • Bitter taste
  • Lower nutrient absorption
  • Contamination risk
  • Choking hazard

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