As it is a rather non-commonplace fruit, not many people know about the benefits and nutritional value of the passion fruit. This fruit is a type of berry, with a sweet and sour taste, a heavy aroma and many seeds. It is a tropical fruit that is cultivated in north-eastern parts of India. However, it is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.
The nutrition profile of the passion fruit is rich and varied. It is a good source of fibre and antioxidants. It has 2 grams of fibre, 9% of vitamin C requirement, 8% of vitamin D requirement, and only 17 calories. For the fruit of its size, the proportion of nutrients is quite good. It is also a source of iron and potassium, and plant compounds such as carotenoids and polyphenols.
The following are the health benefits of passion fruit:
- Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants fight toxic substances that cause damage to internal tissues. Polyphenols act as antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects, which reduces the risk of chronic inflammation and heart disease. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and promotes healthy aging.
- Good source of fibre
Fibre improves digestion and prevents constipation. It slows down the process of digestion, preventing blood sugar spikes. The bowel movement is made easier. High-fibre diets are said to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Good for diabetics
Passion fruit is low on the glycemic index, and therefore maintains insulin levels for diabetics. The high fibre content gives one the feeling of fullness, reducing cravings and unhealthy snacking.
- Prevents osteoporosis
Being a good source of minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, etc. passion fruit helps in keeping bones healthy. The minerals maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. They also accelerate the recovery of damaged bones.
- Boosts immunity
Research has shown that the antioxidants in passion fruit strengthen the immune system. This is mostly due to the presence of vitamin C, carotene, and cryptoxanthin.
- Reduces blood pressure
One serving of passion fruit every day provides one-fourth of the body’s daily requirement of potassium. This mineral relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow, which reduces blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health.
The passion fruit can be consumed in many ways. Eating it along with the seeds gives you more fibre. The following are some ways to eat passion fruit:
- Blending it into a smoothie
- Making a jam
- Squeezing the juice out and adding it to cocktails or water
- Mixing with natural yogurt
- As a topping for desserts
- As a salad dressing to give them texture and a sweet flavor
Of course, a great way to eat fruit is to consume it as it is! Try to buy organically-grown fruits as they are free of chemicals, pesticide and fertilizer residue.