Passion fruit is a tropical fruit of the Passiflora vine. The fruit is coined after its flower, which comes from one of the hundred species of the passionflower.
Grown all over the world, they are commonly found in Asia, Europe, Australia, and South and North America.
The passion fruit got its name because priests in the 1500s thought parts of the passionflower symbolized the “passion,” or suffering and death, of Jesus.
It has a tough outer egg-like shape and juicy, seed-filled center with a tangy-sweet taste. The outer skin of passion fruit is yellowish purple, and internally it is pulpy, juicy with several seeds.
There are several types of passion fruit (about 500) that also vary in size and color, however, purple and yellow varieties are the most commonly available ones.
Passion fruit is versatile i.e you can eat the pulp and seeds (the seeds are edible), juice them, or add them to other shakes, salads, yoghurts, and juices. The white film separating the rind from the flesh is edible as well, but most people don’t eat it, as it’s very bitter.
Passion fruit contains vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, flavonoids,magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, fiber, and protein. It is a great addition to your diet.
Here are some of its awesome health benefits.
1. Boosts the immune system
Passion fruit contains high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants that help to boost the immune system. These antioxidants are responsible for fighting off free radicals and keeping the immune system healthy.
Antioxidants also help in reducing inflammation and stress in the body, both of which are associated with diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The crunchy seeds have 8% of vitamin A also act as a barrier against diseases and illness.
2. Supports heart health
Passion fruit is a rich source of potassium, a mineral that is associated with heart health. Potassium can help boost cardiovascular health by normalizing blood pressure. It relaxes blood vessels and enhances blood flow.
The high fiber content in the fruit also helps in removing excess cholesterol from the blood vessels. It ensures that the blood is properly traveling from the heart to other parts of the body preventing any blockage. Moreover, the sodium content in passion fruit is also low, which helps in keeping the blood pressure low.
3. Aids digestion
Passion fruits are a very rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber. A single cup of this fruit provides the human body with approximately 98 percent of its daily requirement. Fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet since it is the substance that facilitates healthy digestion of food, and the regulation of bowel movements.
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4. Improves sleep and reduces insomnia
Passion fruit can be a beneficial option for those who are suffering from stress or insomnia. It is rich in magnesium that is said to have a powerful impact on the brain cells that keeps your food fresh and happy. Passion fruit contains a compound known as Harman which works as a sedative, hence beneficial in insomnia.
5. Anti-Tumor Activity
Passion fruit is also thought to be a powerful source to enhance anti-carcinogenic activity in the body. Antioxidants in passion fruit primarily eliminate free radicals, which are known for mutating the DNA of healthy cells into cancerous ones.
Passion fruit contains anthocyanin which gives color to the fruit and reduces the formation of tumours. It also contains flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, all of which have been linked with anti-cancer properties.
6. Promotes Bone Health
Passion fruit is a rich source of various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. These are the bone-strengthening minerals that make your bone strong and healthy.
Studies have shown that passion fruit has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce joint pains.
7. Relieves respiratory conditions
Passion fruit plays an important role in reducing all respiratory conditions such as cough, cold, asthma, and flu-like symptoms. It helps thin and loosen phlegm deposits within the chest and nasal cavities. Hence, it eases breathing and helps the body to get rid of mucus accumulation.
N.B: Passion fruit is perfectly safe to eat for most people, but those with a latex allergy appear to be most at risk of a passion fruit allergy.
The Purple Passion fruit skin also contains a toxin called cyanogenic glycoside. This chemical can cause cyanide poisoning in high amounts and It’s highest in unripe fruits. Once the fruit is ripe, it’s safe to eat.