Properties and Benefits of Passion Fruit: Sweet, juicy and seedy, passion fruit are highly appreciated both for their unique, tropical aroma and for the wonderful health benefits they bring. Passion fruit (or Passiflora edulis) are native to the eastern and southern regions of South America, but nowadays have come to be cultivated extensively in numerous other countries. Passion fruit are usually round and may differ in colour and size depending on the variety.
The most common varieties are the purple passion fruit, the size of a lime and has a dark purple exterior when ripe, and the golden passion fruit, which is the size of a giant orange and has a yellow skin. Both varieties are very juicy, seedy and extremely delicious. What is more, they contain important vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals with great health benefits.
First of all, passion fruit are extremely rich in fiber, making them the greatest ally in the fight against constipation. Because of their incredibly high fiber content (over 10 g of fiber per 100 g of fresh fruit), passion fruit help cleanse the intestines, protect the colon from overexposure to toxins in waste and partially prevent the absorption of cholesterol at the intestinal level. Consuming passion fruit regularly is sure to have wonderful positive effects on your health.
Passion fruit are also incredibly sweet due to their high natural sugar content. This is why the fruit is a preferred choice in many desserts. Moreover, it makes a wonderful juice because of its tropical, fruity, juicy pulp. Passion fruit are a great source of vitamin C, an amazing natural immune system booster.
What vitamin C does is help our body develop resistance to a growing number of infectious agents. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory which is why passion fruits carry out a strong anti-inflammatory action within our body. Very important: as you may have read, inflammation is believed to be one of the main causes leading to cancer, so make sure you eat plenty of foods with anti-inflammatory components.
Only 100 g of passion fruit can also provide us with almost half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, a nutrient pivotal for a healthy vision and can improve night vision in particular. Also, the main vitamin A precursor found in passion fruit, beta-carotene, has potent antioxidant effects, protecting our eyesight from free radicals found in blue light waves. Even more, the nutrient is the prerequisite for healthy skin and mucous membranes. Both vitamin A and vitamin C help the body adequately store and use vitamin D, which we receive from exposure to sunlight.
Passion fruit have generous amounts of potassium, a potent electrolyte which regulates body fluids as well as blood pressure and heart beat. The potassium in the fruit efficiently prevents symptoms of water retention, such as swollen legs.
The fruit contain decent amounts of iron as well. An adequate intake helps both prevent and manage anemia. Last but not least, it provides small, yet important amounts of B vitamins, notably vitamins B2, B3 and B6. Read about vitamins and minerals, their roles and importance in the human body on this this page.
The average life span of passion fruit plants is of around 7 years. Passion fruit plants thrive in loamy, sandy soils, sunny gardens and love to be watered often. The fruit grows on vines and changes colour as it ripens.
The flower, known as passion flower, is somewhat eerie: despite its beautiful, rich colours, it has weird, alien-like features, making the plant even more bizarre. Nonetheless, the fruit is an absolute tropical delight. Overall, passion fruit are extremely health-friendly and consumption is wholeheartedly recommended, provided you enjoy the fruit’s unique flavor.