Passion fruit is an intriguing and mysterious fruit that has a surprising number of health and medicinal benefits for those fruit lovers who add it to their diet. These benefits include passion fruit’s ability to prevent cancerous growth, enhance digestion power, boost immune function, improve eyesight and skin health, regulate fluid balance in the body, lower blood pressure, boost circulation, and improve bone mineral density. Furthermore, it reduces signs of premature aging, lessens inflammation, improves sleeping habits, and eliminates asthma.
What Is Passion Fruit?
Passion fruit looks a little strange growing on its creeper vine, which can wrap itself around almost any surface and cling onto it, seeking sunlight. However, don’t let appearances fool you, this fruit is widely eaten around the world, and has been for hundreds of years. There are more than 500 varieties of it, and their appearance varies widely. In terms of color, they are usually yellow or dark purple and look somewhat like a grapefruit. The interior is filled with a firm, juicy meat and an abundance of seeds. The fruit is regularly squeezed for the highly beneficial juice, and you often see it added to other juices to improve the flavor and add an exotic taste.
You can find passion fruits grown in nearly any warm climate in the world, provided they are frost-free throughout the year. This includes the South Pacific, Central America, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and various subtropical locations throughout the world. These individual cultures utilize it in their cuisine, because the need for exportation is relatively slim, considering that it is grown in so many different places and varieties around the world. It is a popular breakfast food, juice, snack, and flavor additive to salsa, salad, and desserts.
Nutritional Value Of Passion Fruit
That long list of health benefits commonly attributed to passion fruit is due to the nutrient, mineral, and vitamin content of the fruit, which includes antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, fiber, and protein. The percentages of many of the vitamins and minerals are shockingly high, and passion fruit is a great addition to the diet that can result in a number of amazing health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Passion Fruit
Let’s explore some of those benefits in greater detail below.
- Boosts Immunity
Since ancient times, passion fruit has been cultivated and enjoyed because of the belief that it provides a boost to the immune system. It was however unknown to most people until modern times that this immune strengthening property was due to the presence of vitamin C, carotene, and cryptoxanthin. In fact, a single serving of passion fruit (100 grams) provides about 30 mg of vitamin C. All of these vitamins act as antioxidants, which scavenge free radicals from the body and neutralize them before they can harm the organ systems and result in conditions like cancer, heart disease, or premature aging. Furthermore, vitamin C stimulates the activity of white blood cells and the rest of the immune defense system, thereby protecting you from common illnesses and serious diseases at the same time.
- Prevents Cancer
Passion fruit is also 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 also contains vitamin A, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, all of which have been linked to anti-cancer properties, particularly in terms of oral and lung cancers.
- Rich in Vitamin A
Aside from its cancer-protective qualities, vitamin A is also linked to benefits in eye health, including the prevention of macular degeneration, cataracts, and night blindness. Furthermore, a high antioxidant content of passion fruit is helpful in reducing wrinkles, and promotes the proper functioning of membranes throughout the body, including the skin, to keep it hydrated and glowing!
- Aids in Digestion
Passion fruits are a very strong source of fiber, and a single serving provides the human body with approximately 98% 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. Passion fruit is a good source of soluble fiber, both in the pulp and in the rind, which acts as a bulk laxative, moving food through the digestive tract and reducing exposure time of the colon to any toxins. It can reduce signs of constipation by regulating bowel movements, scrubbing the blood vessels clean of excess cholesterol, and even preventing gastrointestinal conditions like colorectal cancer!
- Reduces Blood Pressure
If you eat one serving of passion fruit each day, you can satisfy 1/4 of your potassium needs immediately. Potassium is a vital mineral in the human body for a number of reasons, one of which is its role as a vasodilator. It relaxes the tension of blood vessels and promotes increased blood flow. This reduces the strain on the heart and increases overall cardiovascular health. Furthermore, potassium is necessary to maintain the proper fluid balance of the body’s cells. Movement between membranes is often only allowed through potassium-regulated channels, so proper amounts of this mineral are of extreme importance. So make sure you pop a passion fruit into your lunch once in a while to keep your heart healthy and your cells functioning!
- Improves Circulation
When combined with the vasodilation properties of potassium, the high iron and copper content of passion fruit can really make an impact. Iron and copper are both essential components of red blood cell production. Once the RBC count increases and the vessels are dilated, then healthy, oxygenated blood can flow freely to necessary areas of the body, stimulating the metabolic activity in all the organ systems and boosting productivity and efficiency. Healthy blood flow is essential for proper functioning!
- Improves Bone Health
Since passion fruit is such a rich source of minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, it is a very important fruit for increasing bone mineral density and bone strength. Some of these minerals play an integral role in creating additional bone matter, strengthening existing bone matter, and speeding up repair. This can be a means of eliminating, preventing or alleviating the symptoms of osteoporosis and the associated pain and inflammation that occurs when bones deteriorate with age and activity.
- Treats Insomnia
One often overlooked compound in passion fruit is a medicinal alkaloid, harman, which functions as a sedative. This compound of passion fruit has been connected to a reduction in restlessness, insomnia, and nervous anxiety, which can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep . So, instead of a glass of warm milk, next time try reaching for a slice of passion fruit and head back to your pillow!
- Respiratory Conditions
Recent studies have shown that a combination of various extracts from the purple passion fruit peel creates a novel mixture of bioflavonoids, which have an expectorant, sedative, and soothing effect on the respiratory system. It has been positively connected to a reduction in asthma attacks, wheezing, and whooping cough. Next time someone in your family starts hacking and coughing, slice off some passion fruit peel and see if that calms them down.
Passion fruit juice is a popular drink in many parts of the world, particularly in tropical regions, due to its wealth of nutrients and unique health benefits.
What Is Passion Fruit Juice?
Passion fruit juice is made by pressing or squeezing the passion fruit berries, scientifically known as Passiflora edulis, a type of vine that is native to various regions of South America. The juice is very tart and has a powerfully sweet aroma, which is why it is often mixed with other fruit juices to add flavor and isn’t consumed by itself.
Passion Fruit Juice Nutrition Facts
Passion fruit juice is a nutrient-dense juice that contains significant levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B2, copper, and alpha-carotene. However, if you want a concentrated dose of nutrients, pure passion fruit juice is an excellent choice that can deliver a number of impressive health benefits.
Benefits Of Passion Fruit Juice
Drinking passion fruit can help stimulate digestion, improve vision, aid in sleep, protect the heart, strengthen bones, reduce stomach inflammation, boost the immune system, support circulation, lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and optimize brain function.
As an excellent source of vitamin C, passion fruit juice is great for the immune system and can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are the first line of defense for the body. Additionally, vitamin C will act as an antioxidant, further reducing oxidative stress and protecting against chronic illnesses.
Lowers Blood Pressure
With notable levels of potassium, passion fruit juice is known for its ability to lower your blood pressure, which can protect against cardiovascular diseases and reduce strain on the blood vessels and arteries. There are other alkaloids in the juice that have similar soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Fights Stomach Distress
Passion fruit juice is known as a coolant, meaning that it can balance pH levels and reduce inflammation in the gut, preventing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), duodenal ulcers, and other painful conditions affecting the gut.
Improves Heart Health
Passion fruit juice is rich in vitamin A and B-family vitamins that are known to protect against heart disease and lower overall cholesterol levels, respectively. This helps optimize cardiovascular function and lower your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
The stimulant nature of passion fruit juice, along with the iron content, helps kick-start your circulatory system, improving oxygenation of the extremities in the body, and providing an energetic boost to your day.
There are significant levels of beta-carotene found in passion fruit juice, which is a powerful antioxidant that affects oxidative stress in the retina, helping relieve macular degeneration and slow down the development of cataracts.
Improves Bone-mineral Density
Passion fruit juice boasts iron, phosphorus, copper, and potassium, all of which are necessary to increase the bone mineral density and lower your risk of osteoporosis, keeping you strong and active as you age.
Passion fruit juice is nutrient-dense and has moderate levels of dietary fiber, which can make the body feel full, thereby lowering your chances of overeating or snacking between meals. It is important to note that this juice does contain high levels of sugar and a moderate number of calories, so drinking in moderation is key, or else it can work against your weight-loss goals.
Various antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and other polyphenolic compounds are present in passion fruit juice. These nutrients help reduce oxidative stress throughout the body, including in neural pathways, preventing beta-amyloid deposition and lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Skin & Hair Care
With vitamin B2, vitamin B6, A, and C, passion fruit juice is excellent for improving the health, luster, and glow of both your skin and hair. It can help prevent hair loss and dandruff, as well as inflammatory conditions on the skin such as psoriasis and eczema.
Known for its soothing, relaxing, and anxiolytic properties, some people have a glass of passion fruit juice before bed to calm their mind and prepare themselves for a restful night of sleep.
Aids in Digestion
Numerous elements of passion fruit juice make it valuable for improving digestion. The dietary fiber and sugar content help stimulate peristaltic motion and prevent symptoms of constipation while balancing acidity in the gut. The B vitamins can also increase the production of gastric juices, further speeding up the digestive process and ensuring you get as many nutrients as possible from your diet.