Kiwis are round fruits that possess a sweet taste with a tart finish. Like citrus fruits, kiwi contains high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants, making them one of the top favorite exotic fruits. They also possess a fresh, sweet taste like pineapple that feels refreshing on hot summer days.
However, despite their similarities with citrus fruits, kiwifruits belong to a different family. Kiwi belongs to the family Actinidiaceae, while citrus fruits belong to the family Rutaceae. Kiwi also contains minimal acid compared to citrus fruits. Unlike most citrus fruits, kiwis have an alkalizing effect when ingested, making it a safer option for people with acid reflux.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about the difference between kiwi and citrus fruits, their similarities, and other essential information.
Table of Contents
What is a Kiwi Fruit?
A fruit with fuzzy brown skin and brilliant green or yellow flesh, the kiwifruit is also known as the Chinese gooseberry or just the kiwi. Before eating, the edible peel is usually peeled from the inside, with rows of edible microscopic black seeds.
The most common way to consume kiwi is raw as a snack, a component in fruit salads and smoothies, or as a garnish on desserts and drinks. Kiwifruit is more expensive than widely available fruits like apples and bananas, yet not especially pricey.
The kiwifruit is a native of eastern and central China. The Song dynasty in 12th-century China is when the kiwifruit was first mentioned in writing. The plant was almost ever cultivated or developed since it was typically harvested from the wild and used for medical purposes.
The most often marketed kiwifruit is the A. deliciosa, also known as the fuzzy kiwifruit. Other common kiwifruit varieties include A. chinensis or golden kiwifruit, A. coriacea or Chinese egg gooseberry, A. arguta or hardy kiwifruit, A. kolomikta or Arctic kiwifruit, A. melanandra or purple kiwifruit, A. polygama or silver vine, A. purpurea or hearty red kiwifruit.
Difference Between a Kiwi Fruit and Citrus Fruits
Although kiwis and citrus fruits share a few things, they are vastly different. First, kiwis and citrus fruits belong to other families and are therefore different. Second, kiwis grow on vines like strawberries, while citrus fruits grow on shrubs. Third, citrus fruits have wide varieties with different shapes and tartiness, including the famous lemon, lime, mandarin orange, grapefruit, clementine, mandarin, and pomelo.
Citrus fruits are native to Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Melanesia, and Australia. On the other hand, kiwifruits are grown diversely worldwide, including in Japan, South Korea, China, and western countries like New Zealand, California, Greece, France, Italy, and Chile.
Citrus fruits are also known for their high citric acid content. Lemon, key lime, blood orange, citron, and grapefruit are among the top fruits with the highest citric acid content. Citric acid makes a fruit acidic, making these fruits acidic. Kiwis also contain citric acid, but only at a minimal level. The total acid content in kiwis ranges around 1-3% of its total weight.
Due to their thin peel, kiwis have a shorter shelf life than citrus fruits. In particular, kiwis can last 5-10 days in the refrigerator, while citrus fruits can last up to 4 weeks in favorable conditions.
Similarities Between a Kiwi Fruit and Citrus Fruits
Kiwis and citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamins, especially vitamin C or ascorbic acid. However, kiwi contains more ascorbic acid than most citrus fruits. For example, a serving of 100 grams of kiwi provides 92.7 milligrams of ascorbic acid compared to the 53 milligrams from lemon juice and orange juice, 31 milligrams from grapefruits, and 61 milligrams from pomelos.
Although citrus fruits are more commonly farmed, both citrus fruits and kiwifruits grow in humid, hot climates. Both fruits can also be eaten raw or made into juices or smoothies, providing a sweet, refreshing taste. In addition, due to their tart flavor, both kiwifruits and citrus fruits work excellently with baked goods or fruit salad. And lastly, both kiwifruits and citrus fruits are highly delicious.
Benefits of Kiwifruit
Improves Gut Health
With roughly 3.4 g of fiber per 100 g of fruit, kiwis are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. High levels of lignin in kiwifruits contribute to their high levels of insoluble fiber. Kiwifruit is also well recognized for having favorable digestive system effects and potent laxative effects.
The effectiveness of kiwifruit intake in treating constipation in healthy older people has been shown in modern research. Together with the gastric and intestinal proteases, actinidin, the proteolytic enzyme found in kiwifruit, improves protein digestion inside the small intestine and the stomach. In addition, a different study found that eating kiwifruits dramatically shortened the colon transit time in those with irritable bowel syndrome.
Vitamin C, which is plentiful in kiwis and boosts the immune system, is present in large proportions. The kiwifruit is a powerful fruit that delivers a shock of nutrients in every bite; in fact, it contains nearly 230 percent of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin C.
Antioxidant properties are abundant in kiwis as well. Antioxidants aid in the body's elimination of free radicals and the reduction of oxidative stress. In the end, this could shield the body from illness and inflammation.
Promotes Heart Health
The kiwifruit has blood pressure-lowering qualities. The kiwifruit helps lower the risk of stroke and heart disease by supporting healthy blood pressure and offering a boost of vitamin C and vitamin E. In addition, kiwi fruit has a lot of dietary fiber. Fiber lowers LDL, or bad cholesterol, which reduces risk factors for heart disease. A high level of cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis or the hardening of the heart's arteries.
Yes. The majority of the acid content in kiwis is quinic and citric acid. However, kiwis only contain around 1-3% of acid.
Kiwifruit grows from vines, making them berries and not citrus fruits.