Passion fruit is one of the tropical fruits that’s fast-gaining popularity. This exotic fruit is rich in many health benefits that you might want to know.
The tropical climate is rich, boasting of many foods and fruits, including passion fruit. This yellow or purple exotic fruit is fast becoming popular among health-conscious people and building a great buzz. This great fruit has many vitamins, antioxidants, and several other plant compounds with lots of benefits to human health. This article is your primer; use it to learn all you need to know about this rich tropical fruit with a broad nutritional profile that speaks for itself.
Understanding what passion fruit is
Passion fruit is a tropical flowering vine that thrives well in warm climates, including India, South America, Europe, South Africa, and Asia. The fruit belongs to the Passifloraclass, and comes in two major varieties; purple (Passiflora edulis) and yellow (Passifloraflavircapa) passion fruits. Of course, there are several variants of passion fruits, but the mentioned ones are the most popular all over the world. The yellow variant is bigger and less sour compared to the purple passion fruit is which sourer. Although the outer rind of passion fruit is tough, the inner part is soft and filled with seed-filled juice. Some passion fruits can do well in both tropical and subtropical areas, while others can only thrive in tropical climates.
The nutritional profile of passion fruit
In crediting foods and dietary components, nutritionists focus on the nutritional profile of the food in question. Even in this regard, passion fruit gathers acclaim since this tropical fruit has quite a rich nutritional profile. Antioxidants, provitamin A, fibers, and vitamin C are just but a few components that make passion fruit own an outstanding nutritional profile. The fruit also has potassium and iron, two great nutrients. Potassium is needed for osmotic balance and steady flow of blood, while iron helps manufacture hemoglobin and transport blood to all parts of the body. What’s more, the iron you gain from passion fruits is packed with vitamin C, which enhances how the body absorbs the iron mineral. Imagine that just a small passion fruit contains 17 calories, meaning that you get as many calories as you wish from passion fruits. As if that’s not enough, you get plant compounds from passion fruit. These include polyphenols and flavonoids, and these are not to boost the body’s immune system.
Does passion fruit have any downsides?
Having explored the nutritional profile of passion fruit, you likely want to know if there are any potential downsides linked to consuming passion fruits. Most people can tolerate passion fruit and enjoy it. However, a small number of people usually find the fruit intolerable because of latex allergy. Although latex is not present in passion fruits, some compounds in the fruit take after latex and this may trigger allergic reactions similar to what a person with latex allergy experiences. The outer rind of passion fruit also has chemicals referred to as cyanogenic glycosides which can be oxidized to form the poisonous cyanide element upon interaction with enzymes. The good news is that the outer rind is generally inedible and so the risk for cyanide consumption is reduced.
Eating passion fruit
Passion fruit juice is a sweet juice. To get it, cut open or rip apart the outer rind after which the juice will be exposed. You can also eat the film of separation between the flesh and the outer rind, although many people don’t eat it for being bitter. You can enjoy the flesh and fruit straight from the fruit, or mix them with yogurt. The juice also makes a good smoothie alongside other fruits, and you can also enjoy the juice with desserts and salads.
Because of its rich nutritional profile and the many plant compounds in passion fruit, many health benefits are linked to this fruit. This section examines some of these benefits.
i. Rich in nutrients
The rich nutritional profile of passion fruit explored earlier is one of the bases of its health benefits. Potassium, iron, vitamin C, and provitamin A are all needs for a healthy body. Moreover, passion fruit has vitamin B6 and niacin, which are equally needed by the body.
ii. Rich in antioxidants
Besides the nutrients, passion fruits also harbor some of the rarest forms of antioxidants. Yet, antioxidants are equally useful to the body. Because of metabolism and other factors such as environmental conditions, the body usually consists of free radicals. These molecules can accumulate and cause a condition known as oxidative stress. Coupled with inflammation, oxidative stress results in many health conditions and chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The antioxidants in passion fruits can fight inflammation and free radicals.
iii. A valid boast for fiber
Fibers are a critical dietary requirement. Fibers help fight constipation and maintains the general body condition in shape. Taking fibers from passion fruit will reduce the severity and frequency of gut problems and bowel disorders. Besides, cholesterol levels also go down with enough fiber intake, keeping the heart health in check.
iv. Suitable for diabetics
Passion fruit is one type of fruit that people with diabetes type 2 would consume without being harmed. The fruit has a low glycemic index. This means that when you take it, the chances of triggering insulin and sugar spikes are minimal, which is why many diabetics tolerate it.
v. A boost for the immune system
The other health benefit you can reap by taking passion fruit is protection for your immunity. Passion fruit is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and all these fight inflammation, oxidative stress, and diseases. Besides, vitamin C helps enhance the body’s ability to absorb iron, a mineral that strengthens your body and makes it ready to fight infections.
Passion fruit is a great tropical fruit that can be found in the tropical and some parts of subtropical climates of Europe, South Africa, India, South America, and Asia. The fruit has a rich nutritional profile and consists of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and many healthy plant compounds. You can enjoy the fruit straight from the rind or alongside desserts and salads.