Eating More Kiwifruit: A Quick Boost for Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing?

Following a healthy diet helps support quality of life, Eating More Kiwifruit: A Quick Boost for Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing? In the ever-evolving landscape of well-being, one intriguing connection continues to garner attention: the link between what we eat and how we feel, both physically and mentally. While researchers delve deeper into understanding the specific dietary components influencing mental health, a recent study shines a spotlight on a familiar fruit – the humble kiwi – and its potential to significantly boost mood within days.

Prior studies suggest that vitamin C supplements and vitamin-C-rich fruits can help boost mood.

For the current study, researchers hypothesized that vitamin C could play a role in mood and healthy brain function. They were curious how fruit intake could potentially impact mental health over some time.

Eating More Kiwifruit: A Quick Boost for Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing? | Stock Photo
Eating More Kiwifruit: A Quick Boost for Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing? | Stock Photo

Diet and the Symphony of Wellbeing

It’s no secret that a balanced diet plays a crucial role in physical health. But increasingly, research highlights its profound impact on our mental well-being as well. Studies estimate that roughly 20% of the global burden of disease is attributed to mental health conditions, with depression alone affecting over 260 million people worldwide. Recognizing this intricate link, researchers are actively exploring the nutritional heroes within our food that can positively influence our mental landscape.

Is Kiwifruit Good for Mental Health?

This particular study analyzed data from a three-armed placebo-controlled trial. The participants were adults between 18 and 35 who had low plasma levels of vitamin C.

Researchers divided participants into three groups: One group received a daily vitamin C supplement, the second received two kiwifruit daily, and the third received a daily placebo tablet.

Researchers used smartphone surveys to collect data from participants, and participants had blood work done every 2 weeks.

They weren’t able to blind participants or researchers regarding the kiwifruit intervention. However, researchers and participants did not know who received the placebo versus vitamin C tablets until after the study’s completion.

Participants took their assigned intervention or placebo for four weeks and answered surveys every other day. The surveys collected data on several components, including:

  • energy and fatigue
  • mood
  • flourishing
  • sleep quality and quantity
  • physical activity levels

Based on their analysis, researchers found that participants consuming the kiwifruit saw mood and vitality improvement at around 4 days and improvement in flourishing at around day 14.

Mood improvements peaked for these participants between day 14 and day 16. Participants in the vitamin C supplement group saw mood improvements until around day 12.

Study author Tamlin Conner, PhD, a psychological scientist and professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago, New Zealand, explained to Medical News Today:

The Kiwifruit: A Vitamin C Powerhouse and Beyond:

Enter the kiwifruit, a fuzzy green gem packed with a potent blend of nutrients. Its crowning jewel is undoubtedly vitamin C, boasting nearly 157% of the Daily Value in just one fruit! This essential nutrient plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including:

  • Immune system fortification: Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, shielding cells from free radical damage and bolstering our immune defenses against infections.
  • Collagen production: This vital protein forms the building blocks of our skin, bones, and connective tissues, and vitamin C is crucial for its synthesis, keeping our bodies strong and supple.
  • Neurotransmitter support: Vitamin C plays a role in the production of dopamine and serotonin, key neurotransmitters regulating mood, pleasure, and sleep.

But the kiwifruit’s repertoire extends beyond vitamin C. It’s a treasure trove of other essential nutrients, including:

  • Potassium: This mineral supports healthy blood pressure regulation and nerve function.
  • Fiber: This dietary workhorse promotes gut health, digestion, and even satiety, potentially influencing mood through the gut-brain axis.
  • Folate: This B vitamin plays a crucial role in cell growth and repair, including the production of red blood cells and DNA synthesis.
  • Vitamin E: Another potent antioxidant, vitamin E protects cells from oxidative stress and maintains cognitive function.

With this impressive nutritional profile, it’s no surprise that the kiwifruit has been linked to various health benefits, including improved digestion, skin health, and immune function. But a recent study sheds light on its potential to rapidly impact our mental well-being as well.

Kiwifruit: A Mood-Boosting Fruit in Just Days?

A groundbreaking study published in The British Journal of Nutrition investigated the link between kiwifruit consumption and mood. Researchers recruited participants with low vitamin C levels and divided them into three groups: one receiving two kiwifruits daily, another taking vitamin C supplements, and a control group receiving a placebo. The results were remarkable!

  • Within just four days, those consuming kiwifruit reported significant improvements in mood and vitality compared to the other groups.
  • These positive effects peaked around days 14-16, showcasing a sustained impact of kiwifruit consumption on mood.
  • Interestingly, the vitamin C supplement group displayed a milder and later improvement in mood compared to the kiwifruit group, suggesting potential synergistic effects of other bioactive compounds within the fruit.

While the exact mechanisms behind kiwifruit’s mood-boosting properties are still being unraveled, researchers speculate that several factors might be at play:

  • Vitamin C’s role in neurotransmitter production: Its involvement in the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, key players in mood regulation, could explain the observed improvements.
  • Antioxidant activity: Vitamin C’s ability to combat free radical damage might protect brain cells and support cognitive function, indirectly influencing mood.
  • The gut-brain axis: The fiber content in kiwifruit promotes gut health, which research suggests can significantly impact mental well-being through the intricate communication pathways between the gut and the brain.
  • Other bioactive compounds: Kiwifruit contains additional antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acids, as well as minerals like magnesium, which might contribute to the observed mood-boosting effects.

Beyond Mood: A Holistic Approach to Wellbeing

While the study’s findings are exciting, it’s crucial to remember that kiwifruit isn’t a magic bullet for mental health. It’s a powerful nutritional ally, but addressing mental health concerns requires a comprehensive approach. If you’re struggling with mental health challenges, seeking professional guidance from a therapist or counselor is essential. Additionally, adopting healthy lifestyle habits like regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management practices play a crucial role in promoting overall well-being.

Eating More Kiwifruit: A Quick Boost for Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing? | Stock Photo
Eating More Kiwifruit: A Quick Boost for Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing? | Stock Photo

Integrating Kiwifruit into Your Diet:

With its impressive nutritional profile and potential mood-boosting properties, incorporating kiwifruit into your diet seems like a no-brainer. But how do you make this fuzzy friend a regular fixture in your meals? Here are some simple tips:

  • Start your day with a kiwi sunrise: Slice up a kiwi and add it to your morning yogurt, granola bowl, or smoothie. Its vibrant green color and refreshing sweetness will add a delightful twist to your breakfast.
  • Snack smart with kiwifruit: Pack a couple of kiwifruits for a mid-morning or afternoon snack. They’re naturally sweet and filling, satisfying your cravings while offering a healthy dose of nutrients.
  • Sweeten your salads with kiwi magic: Diced kiwis add a burst of tangy sweetness and a vibrant pop of color to your salads. Pair them with leafy greens, feta cheese, and a drizzle of honey for a delightful summer salad.
  • Get creative with kiwi desserts: Bake kiwi crumbles, whip up a kiwi sorbet, or blend a delicious kiwi smoothie. The possibilities are endless!
  • Don’t forget the skin!: While many choose to peel the kiwifruit, the fuzzy skin is actually edible and packed with nutrients. Wash it thoroughly before consuming, and enjoy the additional fiber and antioxidants it offers.

Remember: While two kiwifruits per day were used in the study, adjust your intake based on your individual needs and preferences. Consult a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications that might interact with kiwifruit.

Beyond the Fruit: A Holistic Approach to Wellbeing:

While kiwifruit is a valuable tool in your well-being toolbox, remember that it’s part of a bigger picture. Here are some additional steps you can take to nurture your mental and physical health:

  • Prioritize a balanced diet: Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources.
  • Move your body: Regular exercise is crucial for both physical and mental health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body and mind to rest and recharge.
  • Manage stress effectively: Develop healthy coping mechanisms like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature to manage stress levels.
  • Nurture positive relationships: Strong social connections play a vital role in our well-being. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.
  • Seek professional help when needed: Don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor if you’re struggling with mental health challenges.

By incorporating a healthy diet, including kiwifruit, alongside other lifestyle practices, you can empower yourself to cultivate a holistic approach to your well-being, paving the way for a happier and healthier you.


The humble kiwifruit may seem unassuming, but its nutritional powerhouse potential shouldn’t be underestimated. Its impressive vitamin C content, coupled with other beneficial nutrients and potential mood-boosting properties, makes it a valuable addition to a well-balanced diet. Remember, kiwifruit is a tool, not a magic bullet. Embrace a holistic approach to your well-being, incorporating healthy habits alongside the delicious delights of kiwifruit, and unlock the path to a more vibrant and fulfilling life.

Read Also | How Probiotics and Prebiotics in Fermented Foods Impact Mental Health

Note: This article is written based on scientific evidence found by the team. Sources are duly referenced with keywords hyperlinked to source websites and are clickable for reference.