Passion Fruit: Benefits, Nutritional Value & Ways To Eat 2023
Health-conscious people are increasingly interested in the potential benefits of passion fruit. There is a legitimate reason for this. This tiny superfood is found in warm climates and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional benefits, despite its size.
There are two common types of passion fruit commonly consumed: the more widely available purple passion fruit and the less known yellow-colored fruit, which tends to be larger. Both are egg-shaped with a yellow interior containing crunchy seeds. The inside passion fruit pulp tastes sweet with a hint of sourness.
This article looks at the different nutritional aspects of passion fruit and its benefits for our bodies. Read on to learn everything you need about passion fruit’s benefits and why this fruit is so good for you.
6 Impressive Benefits Of Passion Fruit
There are several health benefits of passion fruit due to its impressive nutrient profile.
- Abundant in antioxidants
- Rich in fiber
- May reduce anxiety
- Pain reduction
- Red blood cell production
Benefits Of Passion Fruit
Here are a few reasons this beneficial fruit should be a regular part of your diet.
Abundant In Antioxidants
Both purple and yellow passion fruit contain multiple powerful antioxidants, such as
- Vitamin C
- Beta carotene
- Linoleic acid
Antioxidants are important as they fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the villains that damage our cells if they become too abundant. They can lead to various diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Polyphenols are plant compounds found in passion fruit that are beneficial against inflammation. This is because of their potent antioxidant effects. Lowering your chronic inflammation levels can help protect against various conditions, such as
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The vitamin C present is essential for a robust immune system and healthy aging.
Another antioxidant in passion fruit called beta carotene converts to vitamin A within the body. This vitamin aids in healthy vision. Researchers have found that beta-carotene also has a protective effect against certain cancers, including
- Breast Cancer
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
Passion fruit seeds are high in linoleic acid. The linoleic acid found in these edible seeds is an essential fatty acid, meaning your body cannot make it on its own. Instead, you must obtain it through diet. These types of fatty acids help with multiple biochemical processes, such as regulating blood pressure, blood lipid levels, immune function, blood clotting, and possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Eating a diet with quality sources of linoleic acids may
- Support immune system function
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
- Promotes a healthy nervous system
- Support healthy skin
- Protect bone health
Rich in Fiber
One serving of passion fruit possesses almost 10% of your daily fiber needs, which is a lot considering it’s such a small fruit. In addition, it contains both insoluble and soluble fiber.
Fiber is vital for a multitude of reasons, such as
Regulation Of Bowel Movements
You will notice a large and softening stool from consuming dietary fiber. Constipation is less likely to occur when your stool is bulky. Since fiber absorbs water and adds bulk to stool, it may also help you solidify loose, watery stools.
The fiber in this delicious fruit can also help your digestive system. In addition to reducing your risk of hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon, diets high in fiber may help prevent diverticular disease. Furthermore, high-fiber diets can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
By decreasing low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol), the dietary fiber found in passion fruit may help total overall cholesterol levels. In addition, high-fiber foods reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which are cardiovascular health benefits.
Blood Sugar Control
Soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Foods high in fiber are more satiating than those low in fiber. As a result, you will likely consume fewer calories and feel fuller.
Decreased Risk Of Death
According to studies, eating more fiber reduces your chances of dying from cancer and cardiovascular disease.
May Reduce Anxiety
Passion fruit grows on a flowering tropical vine. The flower, stem, and leaves have long been used as an ancient medicinal herb for insomnia and anxiety. In the brain, it increases a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Some brain cells are less active when GABA is present, which gives you a more relaxed feeling.
Several studies show passion flower to be as effective at treating anxiety disorders as some pharmaceutical drugs. Although passion flower did not work as quickly as pharmaceuticals, it resulted in less impairment in job performance than pharmaceuticals.
Passionflower also reduced anxiety in patients before surgery compared with a placebo.
Magnesium And Anxiety
Passion fruit contains magnesium, which researchers have linked to decreased stress and anxiety.
A review completed in 2017 suggests magnesium supplementation can potentially be helpful for those who suffer from anxiety. Of note, the researchers of the study state that additional evidence is still necessary to confirm this.
Of note, passion fruit contains magnesium but in small quantities (about 1% of your daily needs); therefore, to increase your magnesium intake, pair passion fruit with other high-magnesium-containing foods such as dark leafy greens or beans and legumes.
Passion fruit also has health benefits for your skin. As you age, your skin can become dry, wrinkled, and saggy. Antioxidants (specifically vitamin c) have proven to decrease these effects and the effects on sun-damaged skin, which can prevent further damage and aging.
As mentioned before, passion fruit helps combat harmful free radicals which damage our bodies and our skin and hair. This is because passion fruit contains large amounts of antioxidants. Interestingly enough, antioxidants can also help to maintain collagen levels which is essential for keeping your skin tight and firm, thus promoting healthy aging.
Additionally, the vitamin A content in passion fruit can help strengthen the skin barrier. The strength of your skin barrier is essential to protect against toxins, bacteria, and potential infections. Vitamin A can also be helpful for those suffering from acne, as it reduces inflammation and can unclog pores.
A study completed in 2010 showed that purple passion fruit peel extract improves physical function and reduces pain in knee osteoarthritis patients.
Red Blood Cell Production
Passion fruit contains high amounts of vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C is vital for iron absorption in the body as it prevents iron loss and increases hemoglobin in the blood. Appropriate iron levels are essential for healthy blood flow and blood vessels and for boosting heart health.
There are also a few additional proven health benefits that passion fruit can offer, such as
- Neurological health improvement
- Bone strengthening
- Enhancing metabolic health
- Improving insulin sensitivity by helping normalize blood glucose levels (passion fruit also has a low glycemic index)
- Providing essential nutrients such as essential minerals and vitamins
- Maintaining good mental health
Passion fruit nutrition facts provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. Per 1 fruit (18 grams):
- Calories: 17
- Protein: 0.4 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Magnesium: 5.2 milligrams
- Vitamin C: 5.4 milligrams
- Vitamin A: 11 micrograms
- Beta Carotene: 134 micrograms
Adverse Effects Of Passion Fruit
Most people are perfectly safe eating passion fruit, but a small number of people may suffer from allergies. Passion fruit allergies seem to be most prevalent among those with a latex allergy. This is called latex fruit syndrome.
Latex fruit syndrome is primarily because the plant proteins in the fruit have a similar structure to latex proteins. Therefore, individuals with allergies to these proteins may experience reactions.
Multiple chemicals are present in the passion fruit’s purple skin, including cyanogenic glycosides. In large amounts, these chemicals can form poisonous cyanide. It is fortunate, however, that the hard outer skin of the fruit is not normally eaten.
Best Way To Add Passion Fruit To Your Diet
If you are shopping for passion fruits, choose one with thick skin that feels heavy compared to its size. Despite popular belief, wrinkled skin does not indicate ripeness. Instead, wrinkled skin suggests that it is drying out.
You should give the outside of the fruit a thorough scrub once you’ve selected the perfect fruit, even if you don’t eat the peel. Otherwise, it may spread harmful bacteria from the peel to the flesh when you cut into it.
It is not necessary to peel your passion fruits before cutting. Instead, you can simply scoop out the seedy pulp after cutting it in half. Once sliced, passion fruits can last from two to three weeks in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the pulp to provide fresh food fast when you are on the go.
Most people enjoy passion fruit raw. Some will sprinkle lime juice or sugar on top to add a sweet flavor to the fruit. Other ways to add passion fruits into your diet include
- Blending and adding them to different beverages to add a tropical flair
- Adding them to greek yogurt
- Combining them with other fruits such as mangos, kiwi, or dragonfruit for an exotic salsa
- Toping desserts along with other tropical fruits
- Creating a sauce with the fruit and adding it on top of light fish or chicken
- Sprinkling the fruit on top of salads along with slivered almonds for additional crunch
- Creating a jelly to be spread on whole-grain crackers
If you feel stuck in a fruit rut, give passion fruit a try. It is full of antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals that can help your heart, gut, and immune system function better than ever.
Considering all these factors, plus the fact that passion fruit is relatively low in calories, makes it a nutritious tropical fruit. So go ahead and add this tropical fruit and its many health benefits to your diet today.
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