Passion fruit is a delicious and nutritious tropical fruit and it has begun to gain popularity, especially amongst individuals who are health-conscious.
Despite the small size of this fruit, it is healthy rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and plant compounds that could be beneficial to your health.
Below is everything that you must know about the passion fruit.
What exactly is passion fruit?
Passion fruit is a seed of the Passifloravine, which is a type of passionflower. Passion fruit has a tough outer layer and a juicy seed-filled center.
If you are worried about the smallness of this fruit, I’m glad to have you know that there are several types of passion fruit, and that vary in both size and color. Yellow and purple varieties are the most commonly available passion fruits, including:
Passiflora edulis: These ones are very small and round or oval-shaped passion fruits with purple skin.
Passiflora flavicarpa: This kind of passion fruit is round or oval in shape with yellow skin and usually a little larger than the purple type.
Though passion fruits are a tropical fruit, there are a few varieties that can survive in sub-tropical climates.
This is the main reason why they’re grown all over the globe, and crops can be found in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.
Passion fruit is undeniably highly nutritious
Passion fruit is a great source of nutrients, especially vitamin C, fiber, and provitamin A.
A single ball of purple passion fruit contains (1):
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Calories: 17
- Vitamin C: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Iron: 2% of the DV
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
Though the above may not seem like much, bear in mind that what you see here are the values for only one piece of this small fruit that contains only 17 calories. This, Calorie for calorie, passion fruit is a good source of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Passion fruit is also rich in beneficial plant compounds, including polyphenols and carotenoids.
In fact, a group of researchers revealed findings that suggest passion fruit was richer in polyphenols than some other tropical fruits, including papaya, lychee, mango, banana, and pineapple.
Additionally, you need to know that passion fruit offers a tiny amount of iron.
The human body does not usually absorb iron very well from plants. However, the iron contained in passion fruit is accompanied by a lot of vitamin C, which is popular for its ability to enhance iron absorption
Health benefits of passion fruit
Due to the stellar nutrient profile of the passion fruit, these tiny balls of goodness may offer various health benefits to consumers.
Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants function as protectors to your body against free radicals. If you don’t know what free radicals are, they are unstable molecules that are capable of causing damage to your cells when they are present in your body and in large numbers.
Passion fruit is packed with a lot of antioxidants. To be more specific, it is rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, and polyphenols.
Polyphenols are plant compounds with a wide range of antioxidant and great anti-inflammatory properties. This means that polyphenols may reduce a person’s risk of chronic inflammation and conditions such as heart disease.
As for vitamin C, it is an essential antioxidant that is humans need to get from your the food we eat. It helps to provide support for your immune system as well as healthy aging.
Beta carotene is also a vital antioxidant as well. The human body converts it into vitamin A, and as you probably are aware, it is essential for the preservation of good eyesight.
Diets that are rich in plant-based beta carotene have been connected to a lower risk of some types of cancer, including cancers of the colon, prostate, stomach, and breast.
The seeds of passion fruit are rich in piceatannol, which is a polyphenol that may help to improve insulin sensitivity in people with excess weight, and potentially reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes when taken as a supplement.
Passion fruit is a good source of dietary fiber
A single-fruit serving of the delicious passion fruit will provide you with a total of around 2 grams of fiber — that is quite a lot for such a small fruit.
Fiber is essential for keeping your gut healthy and even preventing constipation, which is a great thing for people like me. Yet most individuals don’t eat enough of fiber.
Soluble fiber can helps slow down the digestion of the foods you eat, which can help to prevent blood sugar spikes.
Meals that are high in fiber are not just a great way of avoiding constipation, they have also been associated with lowering the risk of illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity
Passion fruit peel is also very wonderful and they have been used in supplements to help reduce inflammation.
The high content of antioxidant in passion fruit peels may provide them strong anti-inflammatory effects when they are taken as a supplement.
One small research did an investigation on the effects of a purple passion fruit peel supplement on the symptoms of asthma over one month.
The group of research subjects who took the supplement experienced a reduction in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
In another research in people who had knee osteoarthritis, those who were taking the peel extract of a purple passion fruit reported less stiffness and pain in their joints than people who did not take the supplement.
However, the effects of antioxidants on pain and inflammation in those who had osteoarthritis still remain unclear, and more studies are needed.
Potential downsides of passion fruit
For most people, the passion fruit is perfectly safe for consumption, but some allergies do occur in a tiny population of people.
Individuals who have a latex allergy often appear to be most at risk of an allergy to passion fruit.
The reason for this is that some of the plant proteins contained in the passion fruit possess a structure that is similar to that of the latex proteins, that can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.
The skin of purple passion fruit may also hold some chemicals known as cyanogenic glycosides. These cyanogenic glycosides can be combined with some enzymes to create the poison cyanide and these are potentially poisonous in large amounts.
Nonetheless, the passion fruit’s hard outer layer of skin is not usually consumed because it is generally considered to be inedible.
How to eat a passion fruit
Because not everyone has seen a passion fruit, it is only born that not everyone knows how to eat it. To eat this delicious tropical fruit, all you need to do is to slice or rip the rind open to reveal the colorful, juicy flesh and tiny seeds.
The passion fruit seeds are edible, so there is no problem if you choose to eat them together with the juice and flesh.
The white film that separates the rind from the flesh is also very edible, but most Individuals prefer not to eat it, as it has a very bitter taste.
Do not worry about getting bored eating the passion fruit because it is greatly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. A lot of people like myself enjoy this fruit raw and would rather eat it straight out of the rind.
Some of the more common ways to consume the passion fruit include:
Drinks: Passion fruit can be squeezed through a sieve to extract its delicious juice, which you can decide to add to cocktails or just use to make a cordial in your next flavored water.
Desserts: Passion fruit is often used as a topping or as flavoring for different cakes and desserts such as cheesecake or mousse.
On salads: If you need something different in your salad, you can add some passion fruit to add a crunchy texture and a very sweet flavor to salads.
In yogurts: You can mix your passion fruit with some natural yogurt to create a delicious snack.
If what you are looking for is a tasty and nutritious snack, the passion fruit is a wonderful choice.
It is very low in calories and quite high in nutrients, antioxidants and fiber — all of which makes the passion fruit an excellent addition to a healthy, and balanced diet.
In my country, passion fruit is hard to find, and when you eventually find them, they come at very pricey. How often do you get passion fruits and how do you love to eat them? share with us in the comments section provided below.