This delicious fruit is commonly used to flavor drinks and desserts, but you should absolutely know about the health benefits of passion fruit as well.
Passion fruit is a nutritious tropical fruit of the passiflora vine that grows in warm climates of Australia, South America, India, and Africa. However, today, passion fruit is grown throughout the world.
Passion fruit can be classified into purple and yellow species. While the yellow one has slightly soft skin, the purple version is more firm and grows smaller in size than the yellow one. Both have a tough rind and a sweet-tasting pulp with black edible seeds.
Passion Fruit Nutrition Facts
Passion fruit is a good source of carotenoids, beta-cryptoxanthin, polyphenol, minerals, and vitamins A and C, which also double up as powerful antioxidants.
A single passion fruit contains:
- Calories: 17
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Vitamin C: 5 mg, or 9 percent of the daily requirement
- Vitamin A: 5 mg, or 8 percent of the daily requirement
- Iron: 3 mg, or 2 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium: 63 mg, or 2 percent of the daily requirement
These values may seem low, but they only represent a single small fruit. Since you are more likely to consume more than one in a sitting, these nutrients will add up.
Health Benefits of Passion Fruit
From improved skin tone and joint health to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, this fruit can bring many benefits. Enjoy passion fruit as part of a balanced diet and reap the rewards!
1. It’s a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
Passion fruit is rich in phytonutrients such as polyphenol flavonoid and carotenoid that have been shown to fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
High levels of free radicals in the body are harmful. If not neutralized, they may cause oxidative stress, which will lead to cell damage, including mutations, causing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, among others.
Passion fruit also contains other types of antioxidants like piceatannol, which have been shown to protect against insulin resistance in overweight individuals.
This antioxidant may also offer anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits, according to research.
A study to ascertain the benefits of piceatannol on metabolism found that piceatannol may promote glucose metabolism, including insulin sensitivity.
Beta carotene is another important antioxidant in passion fruit. It gets converted to vitamin A in the body, which promotes various functions, including eye health, lowering cancer risk boosting the immune system, reducing the risk of acne supporting bone health, and promoting growth and reproduction.
It also contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy aging and strengthens the immune system.
2. It’s a good source of fiber
Fiber is an essential nutrient needed in the body for different reasons, including supporting digestive health, preventing constipation, improving gut issues, lowering cholesterol, promoting weight loss, and strengthening immunity,
The passion fruit pulp is rich in fiber which can help support these benefits.
Besides, it contains soluble fiber that slows digestion and regulates blood glucose levels.
3. It may fight inflammation
Inflammation is the root cause of most chronic conditions. If not addressed, prolonged periods of inflammation can increase the risk for various chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
In one study, people taking purple passion fruit peel extract recorded less stiffness and reduced joint pain than those in the control group.
4. It can support skin health
Passion fruit contains vitamin A, promoting healthy skin cell production and maintaining firm and healthy skin.
Other benefits of vitamin A for the skin include;
- Stimulating collagen production which reduces the occurrence and appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, research shows that passion fruit seeds contain certain peptides that may also promote collagen production.
- Strengthening the skin barrier offers protection against pollution, bacteria, and other skin infections.
- Protecting against UV damage by reducing skin-sun sensitivity. According to a 2013 study, piceatannol, among other antioxidants present in passion fruit reduced photo-aging.
In a different study, piceatannol was also shown to boost skin health in various ways, including inhibiting melanin synthesis, neutralizing free radicles, promoting skin hydration, and promoting glutathione antioxidant production.
- Its high anti-inflammatory properties may reduce swelling and irritation resulting in a soothing effect on the skin.
5. Contains essential minerals
Passion fruits contain essential minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which can promote bone health, support the heart, and enhance the nervous system.
6. Fights anxiety and depression
According to a study done at the University of Florida, passion fruit has been shown to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The reason is that passion fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals essential for good mental health. For example, passion fruit is a good source of magnesium, which has been shown to reduce anxiety. Plus, the vitamin C in passion fruit can help improve mood and reduce stress levels.
Another nutrient found in passion fruit, folate or folic acid, plays an important role in brain function and is necessary for the normal development of the fetus during pregnancy.
7. Strengthens your immune system
If you’re looking for a way to boost your immune system, look no further than passion fruit. This delicious fruit is packed with nutrients that can help keep your body healthy and strong. Vitamin C, for example, is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infection.
Passion fruit also contains carotenoids, which are known to improve immunity. So if you’re looking for a delicious way to stay healthy, make sure to add passion fruit to your diet!
8. Aids digestion
If you’re struggling with digestive issues, passion fruit may be a natural solution. This unique fruit is packed with fiber and nutrients that promote healthy digestion.
The fruit also contains prebiotic compounds that help nourish the good bacteria in your gut. Plus, it’s low in calories and fat, making it a great addition to a healthy diet.
9. Promotes heart health
Passion fruit is packed with nutrients that can help promote heart health. For one, passion fruit is a good source of fiber. Fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease. Additionally, passion fruit contains antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C, which can help to protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals. Another benefit of passion fruit for the heart is its high level of potassium. Potassium deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure and increased risk for stroke, both of which are risk factors for heart attack or other cardiovascular problems.
10. Reduces symptoms of anemia
Iron is an important mineral in the human body. It helps transport oxygen in the blood and plays a role in many other important processes.
Anemia is a condition where there is not enough iron in the blood, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms. Passion fruit is a good source of iron, and consuming it can help reduce the symptoms of anemia.
11. Protects against liver damage
Passion fruit is full of antioxidants, which can help protect your liver from damage. These antioxidants also help to detoxify the liver and remove harmful toxins.
Additionally, passion fruit can help to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation. All of these factors together make passion fruit a great fruit for protecting your liver health.
12. Supports bone health
This tropical fruit is packed with nutrients that promote bone health. For example, passion fruit is a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones. It also contains phosphorus and magnesium, two other minerals that are important for bone health.
Furthermore, passion fruit is a good source of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin K is another nutrient found in passion fruit, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis by improving calcium absorption in the intestine.
How to Eat Passion Fruit?
Passion fruit is a sweet and tangy fruit that goes great with all sorts of dishes and drinks alike. While you may be familiar with passion fruit from your travels or vacations, chances are you’re not utilizing it as much as you could at home in your kitchen.
Passion fruit can do so much more than just make delicious desserts! Here are surprising ways to use passion fruit in your day-to-day life.
First, you must ensure your passion fruit is ripe and ready. Unripe passion fruits are usually green and may require 3-4 days on the counter to ripen. In most cases, ripe fruits aren’t harvested, since they usually fall off the vine.
A ripe passion fruit should be large, plump, and a bit wrinkly with a dark purple or dark yellowy-red color.
To eat, cut it into two, then scoop with a spoon. The seeds are edible and often eaten together with the flesh and juice.
While most people may enjoy eating the fruit directly from the rind, there are various other ways to eat the fruit, including:
1. Stir them into salads:
A little bit of passion fruit can go a long way in terms of flavor. Try stirring them into salads for a burst of sweetness and acidity that will liven up any dish.
2. Add them to popsicles:
Passion fruit popsicles are the perfect summertime snack! They’re refreshing, fruity, and so easy to make. Simply add passion fruit puree to your favorite popsicle recipe or buy pre-made popsicles at the store.
For an extra special treat, top passion fruit popsicles with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of shredded coconut.
3. Use passionfruit juice:
The next time you want to add a little something special to your cocktails, ditch the plain old lime and reach for a passion fruit instead.
Just cut open the fruit, scoop out the insides into a sieve placed over a bowl, and press down with a spoon to extract all of the delicious juice. Use it in place of lime juice in any recipe or just enjoy it on its own as a refreshing way to flavor your water.
4. As a flavoring or topping for desserts:
Passion fruit is a tart and tangy fruit that can be used to add flavor to desserts. It can be used as a topping on cakes or mousse, or even incorporated into the cake batter or mousse itself.
When using passion fruit as a flavoring, be sure to use it sparingly, as its strong flavor can easily overpower other ingredients.
5. Add to sauces and marinades:
If you’re looking for a way to add some excitement to your cooking, why not try adding passion fruit to your sauces and marinades?
The tart and sweet flavor of passion fruit can take any dish from ordinary to extraordinary. Besides, it pairs well with nearly anything.
6. Make a tropical smoothie:
A delicious way to enjoy passion fruit is by adding it to a tropical smoothie. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of frozen mango chunks.
- 1/2 cup of pineapple juice.
- 1/2 cup of non-dairy yogurt.
- 1 passion fruit.
Simply combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Potential side effects
Side effects of passion fruit are rare. However, if you are allergic to latex, you may avoid passion fruit as it contains the same compounds as latex.
Passion fruit is a tropical fruit with a characteristic purple or yellow color.
It’s rich in nutrients, especially antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which have been shown to promote health.
Passion fruit may increase antioxidant protection, fight inflammation, promote fiber intake, enhance healthy skin, and support cardiovascular health.
It’s also very easy to incorporate into the diet as you can easily add to drinks, salads, etc.
More Exotic Fruits:
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