The passion fruit is usually purple and looks similar to a grapefruit. Its pulpy interior is made of firm, juicy meat and several seeds. The fruit has a tart flavor.
The fruit has been identified in recent times for its health benefits. Research states that it may aid diabetes treatment. Its high fiber content also enhances digestive health. There are antioxidants in the fruit that regulate blood pressure and promote heart health.
In the following article, we have further discussed the health benefits of the fruit. Scroll down to know more.
What Are The Benefits Of Passion Fruit?
1. May Aid Diabetes Treatment
The low glycemic index (GI) and the high fiber content of the fruit can make it beneficial for people with diabetes. The fruit is also rich in pectin, a type of fiber that keeps you full without increasing your calorie intake (1), (2). Its high fiber content ensures the fruit’s sugar is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream. This prevents sugar crashes and cravings.
Studies show that passion fruit may be used as a dietary supplement for diabetes treatment due to its hypoglycemic potential (3). The fruit can also lower serum cholesterol levels and improve the functioning of insulin (decreases insulin resistance) (4).
2. May Regulate Blood Pressure And Protect The Heart
Passion fruit is also rich in potassium, an important mineral that regulates blood pressure levels (5). Potassium relaxes blood vessels and enhances blood flow. This reduces heart strain and improves overall heart health.
A rat study states that the extract of the passion fruit peel may be used as a remedy for hypertension. However, more research is needed to understand the effect of the peel extract on blood pressure control in humans (6). The piceatannol in passion fruit may help lower blood pressure levels (7).
3. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
Passion fruit is replete with antioxidants that fight cancer-causing free radicals. It also contains vitamin A, flavonoids, and other phenolic compounds. These may help in cancer prevention (8), (9). The passion flower (flower of the plant that bears passion fruit) contains chrysin, a compound that has shown anticancer activities (10). Piceatannol, another important compound in the fruit, was found to kill colorectal cancer cells (10).
The fruit also contains vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can fight free radicals and may reduce cancer risk (11).
4. May Boost Immunity
Passion fruit contains vitamin C, carotene, and cryptoxanthin – these nutrients help boost the immune system (12). Vitamin C also stimulates white blood cell activity. This results in a stronger immune system and protection from common ailments (13).
5. May Enhance Digestive Health
Passion fruit is an ideal addition to a digestive-friendly diet as it is a great source of fiber. The fruit contains soluble fiber, both in its pulp and the rind. Dietary fiber acts as a laxative and improves bowel movement (14). The fiber also helps prevent constipation and reduces total cholesterol levels by excreting it through feces.
6. May Improve Skin Complexion
The fruit is a great source of vitamin A, a nutrient that is particularly beneficial for the skin. The other antioxidants in the fruit, like vitamin C, riboflavin, and carotene, also boost skin health and complexion and delay the signs of premature aging. Passion fruit is rich in piceatannol that may have an anti-aging effect (7).
However, concrete research in this area is limited. More studies on humans are needed.
7. May Improve Cognitive Health And Reduce Anxiety
8. May Strengthen Bones
Passion fruit is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Hence, including the fruit in your diet is a good way to complement the effects of other bone-strengthening foods. These minerals, when taken along with other rich sources (like green veggies and milk), maintain bone density and may prevent osteoporosis (19).
Studies have shown that the passion fruit peel extract also has anti-inflammatory properties. These may help relieve osteoarthritis symptoms (20).
9. May Help Treat Respiratory Ailments
he novel mixture of bioflavonoids in passion fruit can have positive effects on the respiratory system. Studies show that the fruit extracts can help ease asthma, wheezing, and cough (21).
More information is needed to understand the therapeutic effects the fruit can have on respiratory conditions.
10. May Aid Sleep
The fruit contains harman, which may have sedative properties (22). Anecdotal evidence suggests that the fruit may help treat insomnia and restlessness. However, research is limited, and more information is needed.
11. May Improve Blood Circulation
Scirpusin B, a compound in passion fruit seeds, acts as a vasorelaxing substance (23). It relaxes the blood vessels, and this may promote blood circulation.
Also, the potassium in passion fruit may have vasodilation properties. The iron and copper in the fruit may further promote circulation as they are essential components involved in the production of red blood cells. However, this needs more research.
12. May Be Beneficial During Pregnancy
The folate in passion fruit helps in the growth and development of the fetus and prevents neural tube defects in infants. Folate is crucial before and during pregnancy, and during breastfeeding, its need further increases (24). As already seen, the fruit may also boost immunity and bone health during this period.
13. May Aid Weight Loss
The fiber in the fruit may keep you fuller for longer periods. However, there is no direct research stating that passion fruit can aid weight loss. You can include it as a part of your weight loss diet.
Passion fruit is replete with essential nutrients and other antioxidants. In the following section, we will explore its detailed nutrition profile.
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Passion Fruit?
|PRINCIPLE||NUTRIENT VALUE||PERCENTAGE OF RDA|
|Total Fat||0.70 g||3.00%|
|Dietary Fiber||10.40 g||27.00%|
|Vitamin A||1274 IU||43.00%|
|Vitamin C||30 mg||50.00%|
|Vitamin E||0.02 µg||<1%|
|Vitamin K||0.7 mg||0.50%|
*Values sourced from USDA, passion-fruit, purple, raw
Passion fruit is not eaten the usual way. In the following section we have briefed on the process and the various ways you can include it in your diet.
How To Eat A Passion Fruit
Cut the fruit in half with a sharp knife. Scoop out the insides (along with the seeds) with a spoon and eat the fruit along with seeds. The membrane that separates the seeds from the peel can be tart. You can sprinkle some sugar on it and eat it.
Passion fruit can be used in other ways as well. You can mix it with yogurt, add to salad dressings, and also use as a topping in desserts and drinks.
Do keep in mind not to eat the skin of the fruit. It may contain a small amount of cyanogenic glycosides (sources of cyanide) that may cause potential harm (25). The fruit may also cause some harm to certain individuals. We have discussed the potential side effects of the fruit in the following section.
What Are The Side Effects Of Passion Fruit?
Passion fruit is generally safe for most people, but some may experience allergies. Always consult your doctor if you experience any adverse effects after consuming this fruit.
- May Cause Latex-Fruit Syndrome
People with latex allergy could be more sensitive to passion fruit and may experience allergic symptoms (26). Hence, such individuals should avoid consuming passion fruit.
- May Cause Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Though passion fruit can be beneficial during pregnancy, studies state that passionflower may induce contractions and must not be taken during this period (27). Though there is no evidence that the fruit may also cause similar effects, it is important to exercise caution. Consult your doctor before taking this fruit during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- May Cause Issues During Surgery
Since the fruit can stimulate the central nervous system, it may interfere with anesthesia during surgery. Stop consuming it at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery. Research is limited in this area. Hence, consult your doctor.
Passion fruit is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It may aid diabetes treatment, regulate blood pressure, and also reduce cancer risk.
This versatile fruit is available in many varieties. Including it in your diet is easy. Be wary of the side effects, however. If you are easily prone to food allergies, check with your doctor before consuming passion fruit.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
What are the most popular passion fruit varieties in the world?
The most popular varieties of this fruit include the yellow passion fruit, the purple passion fruit, the sweet passion fruit, and the banana passion fruit.
How do you know when a passion fruit is ready to eat?
The yellow variety will be deeply golden while the purple variety will be almost black. The fruits must be slightly wrinkled, indicating they are ripe.
How long does a passion fruit take to grow?
If planted in early spring, the fruit takes 6 months to grow. If planted in autumn, the fruit can take 12 months to grow.
What is the passion fruit called in other languages?
Passion fruit is called junoon ka phal in Hindi, maracuya in Spanish, maracuja in Portuguese, and fruit de la passion in French.
Is passion fruit in season?
Yes. As it is a tropical fruit, it is available all round the year, though it is primarily available in the summers.
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